I am a health scientist working in the Computational Health Behavior and Decision Science research group at IBM Watson Health. I have a Ph.D. in Biobehavioral Health from Penn State University (2014), a B.S. in Nursing from the University of Virginia (2006), and a B.A. in Psychology from Connecticut College (2002).
My doctoral studies in Biobehavioral Health provided me with multidisciplinary training on the biopsychosocial and environmental processes influencing health and health behavior. As a doctoral student, I conducted a variety of research studies exploring individual differences in the behavioral effects of stress in both laboratory- and field-based settings. Following my doctoral studies, I completed a National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine (2014-2106) where I gained additional training on the development, implementation, and evaluation of health behavior interventions. I was primarily involved in studies on technology-based motivational incentive interventions targeting diabetes self-management behaviors (e.g., continuous glucose monitor use, self-monitoring of blood glucose, physical activity).
My current research focuses on investigating the use of technology to promote sustained health behavior change. Three questions I would like to address through my research are: 1) How can we best engage people in the use or technology for health behavior change?; 2) Why are technology-based interventions effective in changing health behavior, i.e., what are the underlying mechanisms (e.g., increased self-efficacy, knowledge, social support)?; and 3) What contextual factors (e.g., demographic, psychosocial, cognitive) moderate the effects of technology on health behavior change?