People

  1. Miranda Square2

    Marie Lynn Miranda

    Faculty Director

    Marie Lynn Miranda

    Faculty Director

    mlm@nd.edu
    Website
    P: +1 574-631-6631
    1013 Flanner Hall

    Dr. Marie Lynn Miranda founded and continues to lead the Children’s Environmental Health Initiative (CEHI), a research, education, and outreach program committed to fostering environments where all people can prosper. She is an accomplished and recognized data science scholar and communicator with over 135 peer-reviewed publications focused on the nexus of health, education, equity, and the environment, with over $65 million in federal, corporate, and foundation funding. Miranda is a professor of applied and computational mathematics and statistics at Notre Dame. She is also Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at Duke University and Indiana University School of Medicine.

    Miranda specializes in spatial analytic approaches, especially targeted at understanding how the environment shapes health and wellbeing among children and those from low resource communities. Miranda is a leader in the rapidly evolving field of geospatial health informatics and has developed global cultural and scientific competence through extensive work on four continents. CEHI’s work leverages research, stakeholder engagement, and advocacy to effect environmental policy change. CEHI received the 2008 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Justice Award.

    Miranda has also held academic leadership positions at the University of Michigan (Dean of the School of Natural Resources and the Environment), Rice University (Provost), and the University of Notre Dame (Provost). In these roles, she implemented strategic choices for targeted university investments, significantly advanced diversity objectives related to faculty and students, delivered on critical fundraising targets, and demonstrated leadership excellence through effective engagement of a broad stakeholder group in strategic planning, as well as through emergency management during and after Hurricane Harvey and throughout the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic.

    Miranda is a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of Duke University, where she earned her A.B. in mathematics and economics and was named a Truman Scholar. She has a Ph.D. and M.A. from Harvard University, where she held a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of Sigma Xi.

  2. Bravo Square2

    Mercedes Bravo

    Research Affiliate

    Mercedes Bravo

    Research Affiliate

    mercedes.bravo@duke.edu

    Mercedes Bravo serves as a Research Scientist Affiliate at CEHI and as an Assistant Professor at the Duke Global Health Institute. Her research focuses on identifying and characterizing relationships between social and environmental exposures and disparities in health and developmental outcomes. Mercedes received her Ph.D. in Environmental Science (2014) from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, and also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science (Chemistry minor) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

  3. Callender Square2

    Rashida Callender

    Research Associate

    Rashida Callender

    Research Associate

    rcallend@nd.edu

    Rashida Callender is a research associate at CEHI and project manager for the Texas Flood Registry and COVID-19 Registry. She is involved in protocol development and management, survey design, community outreach, and statistical analysis. Rashida received her Master of Public Health in Biostatistics from UTHealth School of Public Health and her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from MIT.

  4. Melissa Fiffer Photo Small

    Melissa Fiffer

    Senior Research Scientist

    Melissa Fiffer

    Senior Research Scientist

    mfiffer@nd.edu

    Melissa Fiffer is a Senior Research Scientist at the Children's Environmental Health Initiative (CEHI). Her role includes leading epidemiologic studies, fostering CEHI's network of GIS-trained health departments, and managing research translation and communication efforts. She brings 11 years of experience working for the federal government, primarily in the U.S. EPA’s Office of Atmospheric Programs. She is passionate about using science to tackle complex environmental challenges and inform evidence-based programs and policies to protect public health and reduce inequities. Melissa holds a PhD in Environmental Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health, and a masters degree in Environmental Health from the Duke Nicholas School of the Environment.

  5. Gih Square2

    Brandi Gih

    GIS Technician

    Brandi Gih

    GIS Technician

    bgih@nd.edu

    Brandi Gih serves as a GIS Technician for the Children's Environmental Health Initiative. She is responsible for assisting with data management, providing technical support for GIS research projects, and supporting GIS training efforts. Brandi has been a member of the CEHI team for 8 years, first at the University of Michigan and then Rice University before following CEHI to Notre Dame. Brandi holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and American Studies as well as a Masters of Public Policy from the University of Northern Iowa.

  6. Li Square2

    Ruiyang Li

    GIS Technical Team Lead

    Ruiyang Li

    GIS Technical Team Lead

    rli24@nd.edu

    Ruiyang Li is a GIS analyst at CEHI, a certified Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP). He graduated as a Master student from School of Natural Resources & Environment, University of Michigan in 2014. He is interested in the application of spatial analysis in public health and automation of daily tasks at CEHI. He is excited to be a part of CEHI team; and wants to contribute in improving the health quality of various communities.

  7. Aaronlilienfieldasbun

    Aaron Lilienfeld-Asbun

    Research Analyst

    Aaron Lilienfeld-Asbun

    Research Analyst

    alilien4@nd.edu
    1023 Flanner Hall

    Aaron Lilienfeld is a research analyst active in a wide range of CEHI projects. His goal is to support the CEHI research team and projects dedicated to finding the causal links between environmental factors and people’s health. He is mainly interested in working with data at both the individual and group level, with an emphasis on R programming. Aaron graduated from the University of Houston with a double major in Economics and Political Science and magna cum laude honors.

  8. Maxson Square2

    Ben Maxson

    GIS Analyst

    Ben Maxson

    GIS Analyst

    bmaxson2@nd.edu
    1027 Flanner Hall

    Ben Maxson serves as a GIS Analyst and member of CEHI’s Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) training team, assisting in the CDC’s training curriculum designed to provide public health professionals working on chronic disease the skills necessary to execute common GIS tasks. He also provides general GIS support for CEHI. Ben completed his Master in Geospatial Information Science and Technology program at North Carolina State University in the spring of 2021.

  9. Fabely Moreno

    Fabely Moreno

    Undergraduate Research Assistant

    Fabely Moreno

    Undergraduate Research Assistant

    fmoreno2@nd.edu

    Fabely Moreno began as an undergraduate research intern at CEHI in September 2022. Fabelyis a senior majoring in Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics (ACMS) with a concentration in Biological Sciences from Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. Fabely has an interest in investigating factors that contribute to health disparities in minority groups. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, walking on the beach, and watching movies.

  10. Risa Myers

    Risa Myers

    Data Scientist

    Risa Myers

    Data Scientist

    rmyers23@nd.edu

    Risa Myers servers as a data scientist at CEHI and a full-time assistant teaching professor at Rice University, where she teaches databases and data science. Her research interest is predicting outcomes from healthcare data. Risa received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Rice University, her Masters of Science in Computer Science from Stanford University and her Bachelor's degree from MIT in Computer Science and Engineering.

  11. Osgood Square

    Claire Osgood

    Data Manager

    Claire Osgood

    Data Manager

    cosgood@nd.edu

    Claire Osgood is CEHI's Data Manager. She graduated from Duke University with a double major in Computer Science and Economics. She is involved in the acquisition, processing, and maintenance of data used by CEHI, with an emphasis on SAS programming. She also manages access to CEHI's restricted data, and works closely with IT staff on infrastructure to ensure data security. Her goals are to use data and her programming skills to help affect positive change in our community

  12. Keo Pangan

    Giuseppe Pangan

    Undergraduate Research Assistant

    Giuseppe Pangan

    Undergraduate Research Assistant

    gpangan@nd.edu

    Keo Pangan started working as an undergraduate research intern at CEHI in January 2022. Keo hails from Wilmington, Delaware, and is a junior studying Applied & Computational Mathematics & Statistics (ACMS) and Harp Performance. He has a particular interest in utilizing mathematical and statistical analyses with an application to public health outcomes. Important skills that Keo brings to the CEHI staff include R programming, organization, and data analysis.

  13. Rolando Perez

    Undergraduate Research Assistant

    Rolando Perez

    Undergraduate Research Assistant

    rperez6@nd.edu

    Rolando Perez began as an undergraduate research intern at CEHI in October 2020. Rolando is from Brownsville, Texas and is a senior majoring in applied and computational mathematics and statistics, with a concentration in biological sciences. Rolando has a particular interest in spreading education of social issues amongst low income and minority communities. Important skills that Rolando brings to CEHI include R programming, ArcGIS, and advanced technical writing. Rolando’s favorite hobbies are playing chess and watching Notre Dame football!

     

     

  14. Runyi Shi

    Runyi Shi

    Undergraduate Research Assistant

    Runyi Shi

    Undergraduate Research Assistant

    rshi2@nd.edu

    Runyi Shi began as an undergraduate research intern at CEHI in February 2022. Runyi is from Beijing, China and is a sophomore majoring in Computer Science and Program of Liberal Studies. Runyi has a particular interest in policies and demographics. Important skills that Runyi brings to CEHI include R programming,Python, Excel, critical thinking and writing. Fun fact about her -she peels bananas the same way monkeys do!

  15. Soale Square2

    Abdul-Nasah Soale

    Research Statistician

    Abdul-Nasah Soale

    Research Statistician

    asoale@nd.edu
    Website
    1022 Flanner Hall

    Nasah is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics (ACMS) and a research statistician at the Children's Environmental Health Initiative (CEHI) at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. He received his Ph.D. in Statistics in 2021 from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and his  M.S. in Mathematical Science in 2016 from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee.  Prior to graduate school, he received his B.S. in Actuarial Science in 2012 from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana.

  16. Isabelle Thiara

    Isabelle Thiara

    Undergraduate Research Assistant

    Isabelle Thiara

    Undergraduate Research Assistant

    ithiara@nd.edu

    Isabelle Thiara began as an undergraduate research intern at CEHI in January 2022. Isabelle is from San Francisco, California and is a junior double majoring in Applied & Computational Mathematics & Statistics and Global Affairs, with an additional minor in the Glynn Family Honors Program. Isabelle has a particular interest in global health, specifically how statistics can help target environmental health challenges. Important skills that Isabelle bringsto CEHI include R programming and experience in ArcGIS Pro.

  17. Tootoo Square2

    Joshua Tootoo

    Director of Training and Geospatial Sciences

    Joshua Tootoo

    Director of Training and Geospatial Sciences

    jtootoo@nd.edu
    P: +1 574-631-8043
    1012 Flanner Hall

    Joshua Tootoo serves as CEHI's Director of Training and Geospatial Sciences. His work and responsibilities involve the coordination of CEHI's GIS capacity building efforts and the management of the group's geospatial projects. A certified Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP), he completed his Masters in Environmental Planning from the University of Rhode Island and also holds dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Botany and Forest Ecology from North Carolina State University.

  18. George Yacu

    George Yacu

    Undergraduate Research Assistant

    George Yacu

    Undergraduate Research Assistant

    gyacu@nd.edu

    George Yacu began as an undergraduate researcher at CEHI in September 2022. George is from Vernon Hills, Illinois and is a senior majoring in biochemistry with a minor in philosophy. George has a special interest in investigating outcome disparities across the cancer control continuum with particular attention to patterns of HPV vaccine uptake. Important skills that George brings to CEHI include R programming, performing PubMed literature reviews, and technical writing along with practical experience scribing at a general pediatrics clinic and assisting at a subspecialty pediatrics research lab. A fun fact about George is he lived in Copenhagen, Denmark for five months during his study abroad in Fall 2021.

  19. Zephyr Square2

    (Pierre) Dominique Zephyr

    Statistician

    pzephyr@nd.edu
    1022 Flanner Hall

    Dominique Zéphyr serves as a statistician at CEHI. His responsibilities include supporting the development and application of statistical methods to assess how environmental and social exposures affect health and developmental outcomes across time and space. He is involved in the design, planning, and implementation of research projects and data analysis. Before joining CEHI, from 20012 to 2020, he worked as a Senior Data Analyst in the Applied Statistics Lab (ASL), a unit of the Dr. Bing Zhang Department of Statistics at the University of Kentucky. He has been a core research team member of the National Longitudinal Survey of Public Health Systems (NALSYS) and the National Health Security Preparedness Index, projects funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). At the Applied Statistics Lab, he also provided statistical support to faculty and graduate students across campus. From 2006 to 2012, Dominique Zéphyr worked as a Chief Data Analyst and Research Coordinator for the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP), a unit of the Political Science Department at Vanderbilt University that carries out public opinion surveys in 26 countries in the Americas, including the United States and Canada. He has received specialized training on survey sampling, analysis of complex sample survey data, multi-level modelling, structural equation modeling, and analysis of experimental and non-experimental data at the University of Michigan. He completed his graduate studies at Vanderbilt University, where he obtained two Master’s degrees, one in Economics, and the other in Latin American Studies.