Meet Our Master Trainers
Dr. Loretta Sweet Jemmott, Ph.D, RN, FAAN
Dr. Loretta Jemmott is one of the nation’s foremost researchers in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention among African American adolescents, having been involved with $74 million in federal funding devoted to this issue during the course of her career. Several of her curricula have been designated for national use by the Centers for Disease Control. Her reputation has achieved international proportions, having recently been invited to South Africa to help impact HIV/AIDS in Africa. Dr. Jemmott is a professor of nursing and chair of the Center for Health Disparities at the University of Pennsylvania. Click Here to view a short video of Dr. Jemmott.
Dr. Antonia M. Villarruel, Ph.D, RN, FAAN
Antonia M. Villarruel Ph.D.,R.N., FAAN is Professor and Nola J. Pender Collegiate Chair and the Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship at The University of Michigan School of Nursing. She has a Master’s Degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD from Wayne State University. She has an extensive background in health promotion and health disparities research and practice, specifically with Latino populations. Her research focuses on the development and testing of culturally and linguistically appropriate interventions to reduce HIV sexual risk among Mexican and Latino youth. Dr. Villarruel has been the PI and Co-I of several NIH and CDC funded studies. She is widely published in national and international peer reviewed journals as well as in book chapters. Recognized for ability to blend scholarship with community practice, Dr. Villarruel has assumed leadership roles in many national and local organizations. She is the past president and founding member of the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nursing Associations and past president of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses. She has served on the HRSA/CDC HIV/STD Advisory Council and as a charter member of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Advisory Council on Minority Health and Health Disparities. She has received numerous honors and awards including induction into the Michigan Nurses Hall of Fame, and the Trailblazer Award from the National Black Nurses Association. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine and a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.
Dr. Konstance McCaffree, Ph.D., CSE
Dr. Konstance McCaffree is a certified sexuality educator and adjunct professor in the Center for Education Human Sexuality Program at Widener University in Chester, PA. As a classroom teacher in the public schools, Dr. McCaffree has taught human sexuality to both elementary and secondary students for over 35 years. In addition to her professional association work, serving on the Board of Directors of the Sexuality Information and Education of the U.S., as President of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS) and as an officer in the American Association of Sexuality Education, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT), she conducts workshops nationwide to help educators improve their skills in teaching sexuality education. She also conducts programs for parents, churches, and community organizations to enhance their knowledge and skills in dealing with the sexuality of children and teenagers. In recent years she has developed curricula and implemented training programs for educators and other health professionals in South Africa, Zambia, Nigeria and the Philippines. For the past ten years she has trained teachers and professors to implement a curriculum that she developed in coordination with local educators, throughout the country of Nigeria. She has used her expertise to develop training for curricula to prevent HIV/AIDS, unplanned pregnancy, and other health and social issues among children, teenagers and adults.
Dr. Deborah Koniak-Griffin, RN, EdD, FAAN
Dr. Deborah Koniak-Griffin is Professor and Audrienne H. Moseley Endowed Chair in Women’s Health Research, and Director of the Center for Vulnerable Populations Research at the School of Nursing, University of California at Los Angeles, and a nurse-practitioner in women’s health. Her research, spanning more than 2 decades, is focused on understanding risk behaviors in adolescents, particularly pregnant and parenting teens, and designing interventions to promote their health. She has worked extensively with adolescents from Latino and African American backgrounds. Her numerous publications address issues in maternal-child health, adolescent pregnancy, and AIDS prevention. She has been the principal investigator on three large adolescent pregnancy studies funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research.Dr. Koniak-Griffin’s extensive speaking experience includes government and other invitational presentations, clinical and research papers, and visiting professorships.
Lynette Guiets, MHS
Lynette serves as the Intervention and Training Manager for the Center of Health Behavior and Communication Research, under the direction of Drs. John and Loretta Jemmott. Ms. Gueits has expertise regarding human sexuality, HIV and STDs, program development, designing educational exercises, games, and small group activities for African American, Spanish and English-speaking Latino, and Xhosa-speaking South African adolescents, African American women, Xhosa-speaking South African men, Spanish-speaking Mexican adolescents and their parents, and African American men who have sex with men. In addition, she has conducted numerous trainings on Select Media’s evidence-based curricula for non-governmental organizations, universities, school districts, community based organizations and clinics, both nationally and internationally. Click here to watch Master Trainer, Lynette Guiets give a presentation on HIV Transmission Basics for Health Educators.
Monique Howard, EdD, MPH
Monique Howard is the Executive Director of the New Jersey Women and AIDS Network (NJWAN), the only female specific AIDS service organization in NJ. This organization provides HIV/AIDS education, prevention, advocacy, health/wellness and treatment adherence programs to women who are infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS. During her tenure at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Howard worked directly with Dr. Loretta Sweet Jemmott and acted as Intervention Specialist and Coordinator for the initial HIV/Pregnancy health education/risk reduction curricula which is currently know as Be Proud! Be Responsible!, Making A Difference!, Making Proud Choices! and Sister To Sister. Since that time, Dr. Howard has traveled across the US and the Virgin Islands training facilitators and increasing staff capacity to utilize the curricula that were accepted by the CDC as programs that work. Sitting on the Governor’s Advisory Council for TB, HIV and Bloodborne Pathogens and the Governor’s Advisory to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Dr. Howard is committed to providing programming and services that increase the quality of life for women and children.
Sonya R. Combs, MS
Ms. Combs currently serves as the Intervention and Training Specialist at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Health Behavior and Communication Research. Under the direct supervision of Dr. Loretta Jemmott and Dr. John Jemmott, Ms. Combs’ chief responsibilities include contributing to the development of Life Skills, Health Promotion and Risk Reduction interventions, coordination and development of all activities and project‐related materials for implementation and evaluation, and assisting in the preparation of final versions of intervention manuals for dissemination and training. Ms. Combs also provides supervision for project facilitators and staff, ensuring fidelity while also providing technical assistance. In addition, over the past 6-years Ms. Combs has served as a Master Facilitator and Trainer for the Jemmott evidenced based risk reduction and abstinence based interventions. She conducts numerous trainings for educators, healthcare providers, community outreach workers and facilitators in various settings, both domestically and internationally. Projects include Making Proud Choices, Making A Difference, Be Proud! Be Responsible!, Sister-to-Sister, Promoting Health Among Teens- Abstinence Only Intervention and other Jemmott evidenced-‐based risk reduction interventions.
Janet Hsu serves as the Data & Recruitment/Retention Manger and Project Director for the Center for Health Behavior and Communication Research at the University of Pennsylvania, under the direction of Drs. John and Loretta Jemmott. She has been working at the Center for over a decade and was directly involved in the studies that evaluated Be Proud! Be Responsible, Making a Difference!, Making Proud Choices!, Promoting Health Among Teens!, and Sister to Sister. She is currently overseeing the evaluation components of several domestic and international research grants at the Center and is Project Director of one of the Center’s federally funded projects in collaboration with the University of Botswana to build the capacity of conducting HIV prevention research studies with adolescents in Botswana. She has conducted numerous evaluation trainings on Select Media’s evidence-based curricula for non-governmental organizations, universities, school districts, and community based organizations.
Robin Stevens. Ph.D.
Robin Stevens is a public health researcher committed to using media and technology to improve health outcomes among minority youth. She has a decade of experience conducting research on adolescent health and sexuality. Under the mentorship of Martin Fishbein, Ph.D., Robert Hornik, Ph.D. and John Jemmott, Ph.D., Robin has gained extensive experience in behavioral theory, survey development, quantitative statistical methods, and evaluation. Robin is a graduate of Harvard College, University of Michigan School of Public Health, and the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.
Recently, Dr. Stevens has used her training in health communication, health disparities and behavioral science to examine the intended and unintended effects of media messages on sexual risk-related behavior among African American adolescents. Dr. Stevens is currently working on projects that utilize mobile technology and mass media to deliver HIV/STI prevention messages to at-risk adolescents as Senior Research Associate and Project Director at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in the Center for Health Behavior and Communication Research. Currently she is a faculty member and Assistant Professor in the Department of Childhood Studies, Rutgers University-Camden.
Arman is a Consultant with JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. and has many years of experience carrying out interviews, focus groups, and delivering programs in English and Spanish. His expertise includes conducting needs assessments in various public health issues including pregnancy prevention, family planning, sexually transmitted infections, HIV, and AIDS. He has experience targeting a great variety of populations such as youth, men having sex with other men of all ages, adult male and female heterosexuals, and people living with HIV and their partners. His expertise also includes assisting agencies in developing culturally competent marketing strategies, outreach, selecting and adapting effective behavioral programs, facilitation and retention activities, conducting cultural awareness training and other supporting training events, as well as coordinating collaboration between health departments, faith and community-based organization.
Arman has created and provided a training course on effective ideas to develop a strategy for recruitment and retention activities for community-based organizations implementing HIV and unplanned pregnancy prevention programs. Arman is also one of the national trainers selected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to train facilitators of programs for youth promoting abstinence and HIV/pregnancy prevention. In addition, Arman has worked closely with the Principal Investigators of Project AIM and of Cuídate! to become one of the Master Trainers of these two programs for youth.