Meet the team!

The CRG-HPP team is diverse. Members include faculty and students across CUNY and other schools and universities, community collaborators and other stakeholders.

Dr. Susan LetteneyDr. Susan Letteney
Co-Director & Professor of Social Work

  • DSW, Social Welfare, Yeshiva University
  • MSW, Social Work, Hunter College/CUNY
  • BS, Education, Vanderbilt University

Susan Letteney is Professor of Social Work in the Social Sciences Department at York College and Research Fellow at the Center for Community and Urban Health at Hunter College School of Public Health. She teaches courses on social welfare programs and policies, human behavior, community organizing and generalist practice skills. Dr. Letteney has developed Writing Intensive and online courses. Her research focuses on issues that confront children and families affected by HIV and AIDS, including disclosure, stigma, social support, caregiving, custody planning and children’s adjustment to a parent’s HIV illness. Her social work practice experience includes the clinical and policy aspects of health/mental health programs for women and children. She has designed permanency planning, mental health and chemical dependency programs for underserved women and children in New York City.

Dr. Susan LetteneyDr. Nicholas A. Grosskopf
Co-Director & Assistant Professor of Community Health Education

  • EdD, Health Education, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • MS, Health Education, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • MA, Human Sexuality, Marriage & Family Life Education, New York University
  • BS, English Education, University of South Florida

Dr. Grosskopf has extensive experience working in community health settings, specializing in HIV prevention and education with urban youth and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) health. He has held positions with Hunter College's Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training (CHEST), the Bureau of HIV/AIDS at the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, and the New York City Department of Education. Dr. Grosskopf periodically serves as a reviewer for many sexual health journals such as Journal of Homosexuality, Journal of Sexual Medicine and Archives of Sexual Behavior. He also holds a joint appointment at the CUNY Graduate Center in the Doctor of Public Health (DPH) program. Dr. Grosskopf's scholarly interests also include research ethics and human research participant protection as he serves as Vice-Chair on the CUNY University-Intergrated Institutional Review Board (UI-IRB) #1.

Dr. Susan LetteneyMichael T. LeVasseur
Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow
Michael T. LeVasseurPre-Doctoral Research Fellow

  • MPH, Epidemiology & Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Hunter College
  • BA, Molecular Biology & Medical Anthropology, Sarah Lawrence College

Michael LeVasseur is a PhD student in the Department of Epidemiology at Drexel University. His research focus is on social networks and the application of network methodologies in diminishing health disparities and developing novel modeling techniques to prevent future outbreaks of infectious disease. He has held positions at the HIV Research Center of Columbia University, the Bureau of Environmental Policy and Surveillance at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Population Council, and Weill Cornell Medical College.

Dr. Susan LetteneyJude E. Elysee
Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow

  • Doctoral Candidate, School & Clinical Psychology, Kean University
  • MS, Psychology, Mercy College
  • BA, Psychology, Hunter College of The City University of New York

Jude Elysée is a doctoral candidate in School & Clinical Psychology at Kean University.  He is an adjunct professor of psychology in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department at Mercy College. He has received his Masters degree in Psychology from Mercy college, with his graduate research focusing on spirituality and gay-identity in the GLBT populations.

Dr. Susan LetteneyJagadisa-devasri Dacus
Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow

  • Doctoral Candidate, Social Welfare, CUNY Graduate Center
  • MSSW, Columbia University
  • BASW, University of California at Berkeley

Jagadisa-devasri Dacus, LMSW, is a doctoral candidate in the Social Welfare Program at the Hunter College School of Social Work – City University of New York Graduate Center.  His research focuses on sustained HIV-negativity among HIV-Black men who have sex with men (MSM).  He is a University of California at Berkeley School of Social Welfare Emerging Scholar and a research fellow in the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Minority Researcher Skills in Youth, Community, Family and HIV Fellowship (RHISC).  He currently teaches the graduate-level Fundamentals of Social Work Research Methods yearlong sequence at the Hunter College School of Social Work.

Dr. Susan LetteneyCrystal George-Moses
Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow

  • MSW, Fordham University
  • BS, Syracuse University

Currently Ms. George-Moses is a doctoral student in Social Welfare at The Graduate Center, a part of The City University of New York.  While pursuing this degree, she is examining child welfare policy and practice and the impact of child welfare systems upon families and children.  Other research interests include social welfare policy especially antipoverty programs, child welfare policy, and economic inequality.  She also consults providing case management and counseling to clients through the family court system and conducting staff training.  She has expertise in best case practices, strengths-based supervision, program development, training, group work facilitation especially parenting groups, curriculum writing, conference presentations, advocacy, and quality assurance and auditing.

Dr. Susan LetteneyDana Watnick
Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow

  • MPH, Department of Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
  • MSSW, School of Social Work, Columbia University
  • BA, Women’s Studies, University of Michigan

Dana Watnick is a DPH candidate at the Graduate Center of The City University of New York (CUNY). She has been a Project Director for multiple NIH-funded research initiatives on HIV and pregnancy prevention among inner-city youth; adolescent couples and HIV risk; and linkage to and engagement in HIV primary care. Her research focus is on neighborhoods and early pregnancy risk among young men. She is currently the Director of Research Methods and Data Analysis at the Preventive Intervention Research Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Dr. Susan LetteneyRyan A. Levy
Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow

  • Doctoral Student (Phase II), Department of Anthropology, University at Albany--SUNY
  • MA, Anthropology, University at Albany--SUNY
  • BA, Anthropology, State University of New York, College at Geneseo

Ryan Levy is a doctoral student in anthropology at the University at Albany--SUNY. He is also serves as a member of the Training and Academic Affairs Subcommittee of UAlbany's LGBTQI Concerns Committee and has acted as research associate for the AIDS Council of Northeastern NY. Ryan's research focuses on ethnic diversity in sexual identity and its importance for public health outreach projects. Particularly, Ryan studies Latin American populations of men who have sex with men (MSM) in the US (NYC metro area). Through incorporating ethnographic methods, Ryan uses an intersectionality framework to nuance targeted risk frameworks and advocate for holistic and humanistic approaches to health promotion.

Dr. Susan LetteneyLiora Sitelman
Senior Research Associate

  • MS, Organizational Behavior, NYU-POLY 2010
  • BA, English, Bryn Mawr College

Liora is currently applying for PhD programs in social psychology and plans to be a social researcher and a university professor.

Dr. Susan LetteneyCristian Chandler
Senior Research Associate

  • MPH, Socio-health Science, College of Public Health, University of South Florida
  • BA, Sociology, University of South Florida

Cristian graduated with a master's degree in public health specializing in health disparities and social determinants. His research interests include infectious disease (specifically HIV), linkage to care for newly diagnosed individuals, community intervention and structural change as well as health disparities in LGBT and queer communities of color.   He has been a collaborator on projects with the National Medical Association in increasing sexual history collection, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in increasing participation in biomedical interventions and currently works as the community coordinator for the Connect to Protect Tampa Bay project of the Adolescent medicine Trials Network (ATN) for HIV interventions.

Dr. Susan LetteneyAlexandra Thakkar
2012 Undergraduate Research Fellow/ Research Associate

  • BS, Social Work, York College of The City University of New York
  • AA, Borough of Manhattan Community College of The City University of New York

Alexandra was an inaugural member of the undergraduate research fellows program with CRG-HPP.  Since graduating from York, she was accepted to the Advanced-standing MSW program at Hunter College/CUNY and plans to graduate in Spring 2014.  Her future goals are to work in a clinical based setting within LBGT US armed-service members. She looks forward to learning more about research methodology and working as an associate with the research group.

Dr. Susan LetteneyStephane Labossiere
2012 Undergraduate Research Fellow

  • BS (student), Community Health Education, York College of The City University of New York

Stephane aspires to become a leader in the field of health education and promotion. After completing his educational goals, he hopes to become the president of his own health promotion center which will be focused on preventing and educating communities about the health hazards of our society. This center will provide many services such as, HIV/AIDS counseling, nutrition education, and health insurance to underserved communities in the U.S and abroad.

Dr. Susan LetteneyRudolf Nisanov
2013 Undergraduate Research Fellow

  • BA, Psychology, York College of The City University of New York
  • AS, Kingsborough Community College of The City University of New York

Rudolf is a Psychology major and will be graduating in the Spring of 2013.  With the intentions to continue his education in graduate school, Rudolf plans on immersing himself in research in different areas of interest.

Dr. Susan LetteneyMarina Kajtazi
2013 Undergraduate Research Fellow

  • BS (Student), Health Promotion Management, York College of The City University of New York

Marina is a junior at York College studying Health Promotion Management.  She has plans to attend Medical School in the near future to become a Pediatrics Hematologist/Oncologist.  Marina has been volunteering with the New York Hemophilia Chapter in NYC for the last 5 years which is an organization that gives funding and education to communities affected by this blood this order.  Being a part of this organization has inspired her to one day have an organization of her own that will provide aid to those in need in the poorest countries affected by this disease.  For now, her pilot endeavor, Project Hemophilia Eastern Europe, is a work in progress but she plans to organize their first event by 2015.

Dr. Susan LetteneyAsheley Siewnarine
2012 Pre-Baccalaureate Research Fellow

  • High School Student, Queens High School for the Sciences at York College/CUNY

Asheley is a high school student collaborating with the research group as part of the York College Summer Research Program.  She is scheduled to graduate in June of 2013.  She aims to go to college, in New York, and pursue a career in the field of psychology.  She has a broad range of interests, but hopes to work specifically with children and adolescents.

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