Our Staff

Michele Ybarra MPH PhD, President and Research Director.
Dr. Ybarra is a recognized researcher in technology-related health issues for young people. She has published extensively in the areas of youth violence, particularly Internet harassment and other types of online victimization, as well as sexual violence and dating abuse. She also is known for her contributions to research methodology as it relates to technology. Dr. Ybarra also has developed and tested multiple technology-based behavior change programs both domestically and internationally. Current projects include a national longitudinal survey of youth that aims to identify youth characteristics related to the emergence of sexual violence over time (R01 CE001543; R01 HD083072; U49/CE000206); the development and testing of a text messaging-based teen pregnancy prevention program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and other sexual minority teen women (TP2AH000035); and the development and pilot testing of a relapse prevention program for people with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder (R34MH108781).

Past projects include the development and testing of In This toGether, an HIV prevention program for young adults across Uganda (R34 MH109296); a multi-national survey of LGBT adults in eastern Africa to identify opportunities for technology-based HIV prevention / healthy sexuality programming (R21 MH109583); a national study of digital abuse, funded by Facebook; the development and pilot testing of BullyDown, a text messaging-based bullying prevention program for middle schools students, funded by HopeLab; the development and testing of Guy2Guy, a text messaging-based HIV prevention program for gay, bisexual, and queer teen men in the United States (R01MH096660); a survey of low income students in Cape Town, South Africa to identify opportunities to deliver technology-based HIV prevention programming (R03MH094238 ); CyberSenga, an Internet-based HIV prevention program for adolescents in Mbarara, Uganda (R01 MH080662); a national survey that endeavored to better understand the positive and negative experiences of LGBT and non-LGBT youth online via a national survey (R01HD057191); and the development and testing of StopMySmoking, a text messaging-based smoking cessation program among young adults in the United States (R21CA135669) and adult smokers in Turkey (R01TW007918).

Dr. Ybarra holds a doctorate in child mental health services research and evaluation from the department of mental health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she currently is Adjunct Assistant Professor. As a pre-doctoral fellow, she was an NIH National Research Service Award fellow, and a joint fellow of the American Schools of Public Health / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Joseph R. Schwab, CEO and Director of Technology.
With over twenty years of professional experience in Interactive Design, Development and Advertising, Mr. Schwab has been at the forefront of online advertising and website development since the Internet gained prominence in the late 1990’s. Mr. Schwab has accumulated invaluable experience with world class brands including: Apple, Sony Playstation, MTV, Pepsi One, Nissan, Infiniti, Acura, Samsung, Olympus America, Experian, Kyocera, Namco, working with top advertising agencies including: TBWA/Chiat/Day, The Designory, Deutsch LA, Genex, Truth Agency.

Michael Kidushim, Senior PHP Developer.
Mr. Kidushim is a software developer who received training at LearningFuze Web Development Code School in Irvine, CA. For the past 5 years, he gained invaluable experience while working at an application development agency where his primary focus was helping businesses integrate with technology to meet each organization’s personalized goals. He also worked as a freelance developer helping a number of small businesses implement web solutions and has worked on several open source projects in the past. Mr. Kidushim leads the development of new tools to aid with data collection, outreach as well as maintenance and management of existing technology infrastructure .

Lauren Jackson BSc, MPhil, Research Associate II. 
Ms. Jackson has a joint honors bachelors of science in Psychology and Criminology which lead her to get her Master’s degree in Criminological Research at the University of Cambridge.

Both Ms. Jackson’s undergraduate and graduate dissertations were focused on the effects of all-male peer groups in higher education institutions and their implications for an increased risk of violence against women specifically sexual assault of university woman. Ms. Jackson’s graduate dissertation was an ethnographic case study of all male drinking societies at the University of Cambridge and their implication for DeKeseredy’s Male Peer Support theory.  During her fieldwork, she took on the role of participant as observer during their social gatherings and conducted qualitative interviews covering topics of sexual assault, violence, drug and alcohol use, and criminal behavior with participants recruited from exclusive all-male groups (all-male drinking societies) within a UK university.

Her work at CiPHR includes coordinating the Growing up with Media study, a longitudinal survey study examining the emergence of various forms of violence in adolescence. In her role as a Research Associate II, she also assists with survey development, participant outreach, study progress tracking, and cohort retention efforts for CiPHR’s Growing up with Media study. Ms. Jackson is passionate about research that works to engage men and boys in gender equality and ending violence against woman around the globe.

Ida Frugård Strøm PhD, Post-Doctoral Researcher.
Dr. Strøm started her career in the field of Public Health at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2008. Upon the completion of her Masters in Sociology she worked as a Junior Researcher at the Center for Training, Evaluation and Research of the Pacific (CTERP). Here she worked on research focusing on health, stress, and resilience of the indigenous people of Hawaii, funded by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

This work inspired her to pursue a PhD in Epidemiology which she completed at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Oslo, Norway in 2014. Her thesis focused on youth violence and its long-term consequences, involving advanced statistical methods of linking youth health survey data to Norwegian registry data to understand the associations between youth violence and later marginalization from work and education. Her research also focused on the influence of contextual factors, such as school climate, social support, and social networks in relation to the etiology of violence and its consequences. Dr. Strøm’s PhD work was carried out at the Norwegian Center of Violence and Traumatic Studies (NKVTS) which is one of the few national trauma centers in the world. During the last year of her PHD she was a visiting scholar at the Center for School-Based Youth Development at the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara.

After completing her PhD, she continued working for NKVTS as a Senior Researcher where she examined the long-term consequences of childhood violence, looking specifically at the risk of revictimization, negative physical and psychological health outcomes, social relationship problems, and substance abuse in young adulthood. In this project, she acted as Principal Investigator for one of the follow-up studies. Dr. Strøm has also conducted research on the Utøya massacre in Norway, examining the victims’ school performance after the massacre, highlighting the importance of school follow-up following trauma exposure. Dr. Strøm has also served as an expert advisor on violence-related issues for the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nation Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Dr. Strøm is a post-doctoral researcher at CiPHR working on the Growing up with Media study, a longitudinal survey study examining the etiology of sexual violence perpetration in adolescence and in young adulthood. She participates in a diverse array of research activities, including project-related activities (e.g., supporting the launch of data collection), authoring and co-authoring manuscripts, conducting analysis of existing data, and collaborating on ongoing projects.

Adriana Maldonado-Espino, BA, MPH, CHES, Research Assistant.
Ms. Maldonado-Espino earned her MPH from CSUF, her BA in Sociology and International Development Studies from UCLA, and is also qualified as a Certified Health Education Specialist. She hopes to use her education and experiences to improve health outcomes for the underserved.

While working on her Master’s thesis, Ms. Maldonado-Espino partnered with Susan G. Komen to conduct qualitative research to better understand patient navigation services and quality of care for breast cancer patients in Orange County, CA. Ms. Maldonado-Espino spearheaded the recruitment of patient navigators and breast cancer patients as well as conducted interviews and focus groups with English and Spanish-speaking participants. She later presented this project at the Annual Orange County Women’s Health Summit and the 2018 American Public Health Association Conference.

Her work at CiPHR includes working on the Growing up with Media study by promoting study participation and retention, tracking survey progress, and originating and managing content on project-related social media pages. Ms. Maldonado-Espino aims to improve the quality of life of individuals and communities by addressing the importance of healthy choices and behaviors and focusing on research that targets disease prevention and health promotion.

Dania Felix, BS, BA, Research Assistant
Ms. Felix graduated from UC Irvine with a B.S in Public Health Sciences and a B.A. in Public Health Policy with a minor in Civic and Community Engagement. She is interested in how technology can fill the gaps in resources for underserved communities and have a positive impact on public health.

As a Research Assistant at CiPHR, Ms. Felix has worked on the Growing up with Media study and the G2G study. For these studies she has been involved in recruitment activities, participant retention, outreach, and survey development and testing.

Allison Salter, BS, Research Assistant
Ms. Salter received a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Psychology from UC San Diego, where she completed an honors thesis on predictors of physical and sexual violence revictimization among incarcerated youth. She is interested in the impacts of childhood violence victimization on health outcomes and in how these impacts can be addressed both in clinical settings and educational programs.

At CiPHR, Ms. Salter has contributed to the Girl2Girl and Growing up with Media Projects through participant recruitment and retention efforts as well as survey programming and testing. She also edits manuscripts for publication.