Samantha Shawley is a second year Social and Behavioral Sciences PhD student from Waynesburg, Pennsylvania. She received her Master’s in Public Health with an emphasis in Social and Behavioral Sciences and her Bachelor’s in Biology from West Virginia University. Her research interests focus on diabetes, obesity, lifestyle interventions, and evaluation. Samantha’s career goals are to teach and become an administrator at the university level, while also providing lifestyle and evaluation services to the community. Samantha currently holds a position as a Graduate Service Assistant in the West Virginia University School of Public Health, which focuses on school accreditation, academic affairs, and assessment.
Brenna Kirk is a third year Social and Behavioral Sciences PhD Candidate from Greenville, North Carolina. She received her MPH degree in 2016 with an emphasis in Health Behavior and dual BS degrees in Biochemistry & Chemistry in 2015 from East Carolina University. Her research interests focus on diabetes, patient self-advocacy, community-based lifestyle interventions, and rural health disparities. Brenna aspires to become a professor where she can apply her passion for community-engaged research and teaching in higher education once she graduates from the doctoral program at West Virginia University. Brenna also currently holds positions at WVU that include roles as a Project Coordinator for the West Virginia Diabetes Collaborative (PCORI-funded project; PI: Ranjita Misra), a Behavioral and Biomedical Sciences T32 Trainee (NIGMS; PI: Albert Berrebi), and as the 2021-2022 SOPHE Dr. Jessie Gruman Patient Engagement Fellow.