Our Work in Community Health

Community Health

Community-Based Research & Evaluation

We work with organizations and communities to develop initiatives that seek to understand the implementation, outcomes and impact of public community health programs.

Community Capacity Building

We believe that community-identified solutions are the best solutions and we work with communities to understand and tailor interventions to meet local community health needs.

Systems Science

Systems science examines feedback loops, emergent properties, and complexity, among other things, which allow scientists to understand and document complex interactions that result in health behavior or health problems.

Community Health Team

Whitney Garney

Whitney R. Garney, PhD, MPH

Principal Investigator
Whitney is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A&M University and the Principal Investigator of the CHESS Lab.
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Kristen Garcia, MPH

Kristen is a Senior Research Associate in the CHESS lab and leads community capacity building and evaluation efforts for multiple projects.
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Sonya Panjwani, MPH

Sonya is a Research Associate in the CHESS Lab where she serves as an evaluator for public health programs. Her areas of interest include global health and system science.
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Shelby Lautner, MS

Shelby is a Graduate Research Assistant in the CHESS Lab and PhD Candidate in the Department of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A&M University.
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Kobi Ajayi

Graduate Research Assistant
Kobi is a Graduate Research Assistant in the CHESS Lab and a PhD student in the Department of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A&M University.
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Mandy Spadine

Mandy Spadine

Graduate Research Assistant
Mandy is a Graduate Research Assistant in the CHESS Lab and a PhD student in the Department of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A&M University.
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Chris Schwen

Graduate Research Assistant
Chris is a Graduate Research Assistant in the CHESS Lab and currently pursuing his master’s degree in Health Education at Texas A&M University.
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Mentors and Collaborators

Alton Burton

Alton is the Community Outreach Coordinator for The Brazos Valley Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse in Bryan, Texas. Alton has worked with youth for over 10 years through education, mentoring and one on one counseling.
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Mark Benden

Mark Benden, PhD

Mark received his BS in BIEN, MS in IE and PhD from Texas A&M and is a Certified Professional Ergonomist (#706). His career includes experience as an officer in the United States Army Reserve, Rehabilitation Engineer, and Ergonomics Consultant.
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Carly E. McCord

Carly E. McCord, PhD

Carly is a licensed psychologist and the Director of TeleBehavioral Care at the Texas A&M Health Science Center. She is also a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Educational Psychology.
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Kelly Wilson

Kelly Wilson, PhD, MCHES

Kelly is a Professor and Division Chair in the Department of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A&M University. She has considerable experience managing school and community-based research and practice related projects .
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Kenneth McLeroy

Kenneth McLeroy, PhD

Kenneth has considerable experience in the design, implementation, and evaluation of community interventions.
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kristie-primm

Kristie Primm, PhD, MPH

Kristie is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
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daenuka

Daenuka Muraleetharan, PhD, MS

Daenuka is a Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.
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Yan Li

Yan Li, PhD

Dr. Li is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Population Health Science and Policy, and Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Science at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
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Meg Patterson

Megan S. Patterson, PhD, MPH

Megan S. Patterson, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A&M University.
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Leigh E. Szucs, PhD, CHES

Leigh Szucs, Ph.D., CHES is a Health Scientist in the Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) at the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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Monica Wendel

Monica Wendel, DrPH, MA

Monica Wendel is the Chair and Professor in the Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences Department at the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences.
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Meredith Williamson

Meredith Williamson, PhD

Meredith Williamson, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and clinical assistant professor for the Department of Primary Care Medicine and Population Health within the College of Medicine at the Texas A&M Health Science Center.
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Contact Us

chesslab@tamu.edu

2929 Research Parkway College Station, TX 77843