Previous Lab Members

Although they are no longer at the Empower lab, our previous lab members' contributions have enhanced the lab's mission to advocate for victims of gender-based violence.


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Debbie Schwartz

Associate Director of Research and Research Assistant; B.A in Jewish Studies and Pre-Med from University of Pennsylvania

Teams: PSOT, MST, Male IPV

I joined the lab because I wanted to fuse my passion for women's issues and science. I am excited to see myself have a career as a physician who is involved in patient care as well as clinical research.

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Ydelsie Vasquez

Research Assistant, Team Leader for TET, NYU Undergraduate in Pre-med and Psychology

Teams: TET, IPV

I was looking for a research lab that was investigating topics I cared about and found equally interesting and important. When I stumbled upon the Empower Lab, I was excited to learn more about research revolving around gender based violence to make a difference.

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Jayne Caron

Assistant Director of Research, Medical Student, NYU

Teams: MST, PSOT, IPV, EMPOWER Clinic

I became interested in working with survivors of intimate partner violence before medical school. I’ve become interested in ab/gyn and reproductive health justice. Empower was the perfect lab to continue those interests.

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Stephanie Wu

Research Assistant, Medical Student, NYU; BA in Visual Arts, Duke University

Teams: CTSI/TET, EMPOWER Clinic

I am interested in trauma studies, mental health, and women’s health. Having conducted research on the media and visual culture of trauma back in college, I joined the Empower Lab to further explore my interest in the field.

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Jenny Yang

Research Assistant, Teacher @ The Young Women’s Leadership School of Brooklyn, Bachelors in Neural Science @ NYU CAS, Masters in Middle Childhood Education @ Brooklyn College

Teams: MST, Male IPV

Working at an all girls school, I see many obstacles that affect young women of color from pursuing careers in the science. I hope to share the knowledge gained from this experience to inspire and empower my students to study global issues about women’s health and enter STEM career fields where they can become the new generation of advocates.

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Emily Rabinowitz

Assistant Director of Research, Undergraduate Applied Psychology and Global Public Health

Teams: IPV and Advocacy

I have always been passionate about women’s health and wanted to advocate for victims of sexual assault, trauma, and violence. As a public health major and supporter of the UN’s SDGs, I am passionate to accomplish the goals of good health and well-being, as well as gender equality. I hope to work with an internationally involved non-profit or the WHO to help coordinate women’s health projects in the areas where women cannot easily access quality healthcare.

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Stephanie Serafino

Associate Director of Research, Master of Public Health at NYU-Community and International Health, Part-time Research Assistant at Planned Parenthood

Teams: EMPOWER Clinic, EMPOWER Music Study, Internship project, Sexual Violence PTSD and unintended pregnancy

I joined Empower because I am passionate about women's health, specifically sexual and reproductive health and the lab is an incredible opportunity to learn and contribute to the research community here in New York.

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Grace Kim

Research Assistant, Master of Public Health in Global Health Leadership

Teams: IPV and Advocacy

I have always been passionate about women’s health and wanted to advocate for victims of sexual assault, trauma, and violence. As a public health major and supporter of the UN’s SDGs, I am passionate to accomplish the goals of good health and well-being, as well as gender equality. I hope to work with an internationally involved non-profit or the WHO to help coordinate women’s health projects in the areas where women cannot easily access quality healthcare.

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Nicole Parada

Research Assistant, Research Project Coordinator in Clinical Research Oncology

Teams: IPV, MST, Advocacy

I joined the lab to continue exploring the healthcare field. I want to learn more about Public Health and engage in more community outreach projects. My hope is to pursue a PhD in Public Health. My dream is to develop community clinics in Latin America that focus primarily on health outreach and education.

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Adam Kirschner

Research Assistant, Team Leader for Advocacy, NYU Undergraduate in Global Public Health and Media Culture and Communications

Teams: Advocacy, IPV, CPP

For the past few years, I have gotten more and more involved in volunteering and interning with organizations that fight gender based violence and advocate for survivors. It is work that I find very rewarding and I would like to continue it in my future professional career.

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Shaella Morales

Associate Director of Research, MPH, Immigration Specialist at Mercy Center

Teams: Male IPV

I have a strong passion for the topic of immigrant health and many immigrants are victim of sexual assault. The EMPOWER Lab allows me to focus on my passion while advancing research on important topics involving sexual trauma, reproductive health, and women empowerment. I look

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Connor Smith

Research Assistant, NYU College of Arts and Science, Biology/Spanish Major

Teams: EMPOWER Clinic

I have worked with Spanish speaking populations in a healthcare setting as well as survivors of sexual assault. Joining the Empower lab seemed like the best way to integrate those activities. I am excited to work as a physician with disadvantaged communities in urban environments.

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Ryan Griffin

Research Assistant, English Degree from NYU

Teams: MST, Male IPV

I feel the EMPOWER Lab allows me to observe/aid at-risk minority populations from all angles, down to the telomeres on DNA. The lab is an amazing community where everyone strived to prop each other up and lend a helping hand to see them succeed. I hope to achieve a M.D or D.O and apply that to deeper scientific knowledge towards helping at risk populations.

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Dominiq Williams

Research Assistant, Nursing, BSN

Teams: Advocacy, PSOT

I joined the lab because of my desire to help in making health care more accessible to vulnerable populations. I went to nursing school hoping to care for patients in a way that increased their agency. Being a member of the Empower Lab provides me with an opportunity to help bring issues of women’s health to greater prominence and learn to address health disparities from a public health and solutions standpoint.

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Anna Nathanson

Research Assistant, Team Leader for Male IPV, First year student for Masters in Social Work at NYU

Teams: PSOT and Male IPV

As a social worker, I will use research-based modalities to work with clients, and I wanted to become more involved in how that research comes to life. As a graduate student at a big research institution like NYU, I was excited that work in research was available to me. I am inspired by the work the lab does and I am looking forward to my work here!

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Brian Goddard

Research Assistant, Team Leader EMPOWER Clinic Team, Medical Student, NYU

Teams: EMPOWER Clinic, PSOT

I plan to go into Obstetrics & Gynecology and am really interested in public and global health so doing research in the Empower Lab is the perfect intersection of these interests. I hope to use the skills that I have learned in the lab to understand how issues of SGBV affect women’s daily lives and apply that knowledge to my future practice as an Ob/Gyn.

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Savannah Pearson

Research Assistant, Medical Student ,NYU

Teams: TET, EMPOWER Clinic, Healthcare Access, CPP

While working as an interpreter in a women’s health clinic for survivors of domestic violence, I began to see the importance of trauma informed care in medical practice. The EMPOWER lab offered me the opportunity to build upon these experiences to make a difference in the care of these populations through research.

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Pournami Rajeev

Research Assistant, Medical Student, NYU

Teams: EMPOWER Clinic, TET, PSOT

I have always been passionate about women’s rights and issues related to Ob/Gyn care. I am really happy to have joined EMPOWER because it combines my experiences in DV research with my passion for furthering women’s rights. I am hoping to go into Ob/Gyn and EMPOWER has really shaped how I view my practice.