Amy Gawad works on developing new initiatives and oversees ongoing activities at UHI. Prior to joining our team, she was a research associate at the Board on Children, Youth, and Families of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), where she oversaw the William T. Grant Foundation Youth Development Prize Committee. In addition, she served as the research associate on a number of reports, including Ethical Considerations for Research on Housing-Related Health Hazards Involving Children; Working Families and Growing Kids: Caring for Children and Adolescents; and Community Programs to Promote Youth Development. Prior to her work on youth development at the NAS, she had responsibility for the dissemination of board reports, including “From Neurons to Neighborhoods”, a report on the science of early childhood development. She received her Master of Public Health from the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.
Director, Bunting Neighborhood Leadership Program
Rebkha Atnafou joined the UHI team in 2013 as our associate director for community engagement. As of 2017, Ms. Atnafou now serves as director of the Bunting Neighborhood Leadership Program. During her time with the UHI she has been involved in various research projects, including the Global Early Adolescent Study as the Baltimore site research coordinator, serving as co-investigator for the Colorectal Cancer Screening to Reduce Racial Disparities study, and research coordinator for the Family Cancer History project. In addition, she provides youth development training, programming, and research work for the Center for Adolescent Health. Rebkha’s focus is on youth development and sexual health training, systems and capacity building, leadership development, promoting evidence in health education and outreach, and illuminating sociocultural barriers to cancer prevention among urban African Americans. She is a certified national trainer for evidence-based youth sexual health curriculums and has worked with various cities around the country to plan city-wide afterschool systems, integrate youth violence prevention plans in state health departments, and youth sexual health plans in school districts.
Prior to joining UHI Rebkha served for over a decade as the executive director for the After-School Institute. In this role she was charged with providing training, technical assistance, and systems building for afterschool programs throughout Baltimore and around the country. Rebkha has a BA in biology from Binghamton University and MPH from Columbia University.
Richard Lofton, Jr. is an assistant professor at the Center for Social Organization of Schools in the School of Education. In addition, he is the co-principal investigator for the national evaluation of the Student Success Mentor Initiative, which aims to reduce chronic absenteeism, develop caring relationships within schools, and increase successful outcomes for students. His research examines the impact of concentrated poverty on homes, schools, and communities, as well as the importance of uncovering systematic inequalities and developing meaningful relationships with students and their parents for academic success. Richard assists in guiding and supporting UHI in its programs and initiatives and serves as the faculty lead for our Small Grants Program. He holds a Ph.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Pamala Martin oversees finance and administrative aspects of UHI and has primary responsibility for the oversight and administration of small grants program. As a faculty instructor she instructs in our capacity building workshop series and the Bunting Neighborhood Leadership Development Program. She is the administrator for the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health in the Bloomberg School of Public Health which has 50 faculties, 130 staff and 80 students and a substantial domestic and international project portfolio. Before joining Hopkins, she was a clinical administrator for St. Agnes Healthcare where she had responsibility for both outpatient and inpatient services.
Terrinieka W. Powell, is an associate professor in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health. Her areas of expertise are adolescent sexual health research, qualitative methodology and community-engaged approaches to research. With her background in research, Terrinieka plans and oversees the UHI’s quarterly Baltimore Researchers Dinner. Through her research, she aims to improve adolescent health outcomes through partnerships with churches, schools, and community-based organizations. Specifically, she has collaborated with institutions across several states to prevent teen pregnancy, HIV, and substance abuse among people of color. Her most recent publications describe strategies for public health professionals to successfully partner with community-based organizations to prevent HIV, models used by communities to provide comprehensive support to young people, and ways Black churches can address sexual health. Her current and past grant funding demonstrate her persistent attempts to seek and secure support for her research and continues to enhance her ability to improve the lives of vulnerable young people.
Communications & Marketing Associate
Imani West oversees the management, implementation, and evaluation of all communication efforts for the UHI. She manages the UHI’s website and social media, writes and edits communication content, coordinates the production of print and electronic material, and develops marketing, media, and outreach strategies. With over four years of communications experience, Imani has a background in digital marketing and copy writing. Prior to joining the UHI, Imani was the communication coordinator for the Institute for Integrative Health, a non-profit in downtown Baltimore. She holds a BA in Mass Communication and Political Science from Virginia Wesleyan University.
Natalie Wiggins coordinates all on- and off-campus events and programs and assists in the development of new initiatives that will match community needs with university resources and vice versa. With a background in graphic and web design, Natalie works with our communication and marketing associate to design both print and electronic marketing material to support outreach efforts. Prior to joining our team, Natalie was a graphics designer and a program coordinator at ARIEL, one of the largest Russian-American centers in the DMV tristate area. She received her first B.S. in Government and Business Administration from Belgorod State University, Russia, and her second bachelor’s degree in Web Design from the University of Maryland Global Campus formerly known as University of Maryland University College.