top of page

Research Team

2018 headshot #2.JPG

Kathryn L. Hale, Ph.D.

Katie Hale is a medical anthropologist by training and a current NRSA AHRQ postdoctoral fellow at the Cecil G. Sheps Center. Her work broadly centers on global mental health and how doctor-patient communication affects the treatment process and treatment progress. More details on her current projects are available here: In her spare time, she loves to sing, cook, make art or crafts, play boardgames, and explore off-the-beaten path sights. 

Contact information:

CGPH Profile photo 2.jpg

Esther Chung, M.S.

Esther Chung is a Ph.D. student in Epidemiology and hails from Southern California. Her Master’s training was at UC Berkeley, where she conducted research in global nutrition and child development. She is interested in understanding how social factors affect child health, growth, and development, and evaluating interventions that aim to improve these outcomes. In her spare time, Esther enjoys hiking, backpacking, climbing, and photography.

Contact information:


Katherine H. LeMasters, MPH

Kate LeMasters is a first-year Ph.D. student in the department of Epidemiology at UNC-Chapel Hill and a pre-doctoral trainee at the Carolina Population Center. She completed her MPH in maternal and child health at UNC in 2018. She is interested in the intersection of reproductive and social epidemiology, primarily how peoples’ socio-cultural environments interact with health during the perinatal period. Through her doctoral training in Epidemiology, she hopes to gain the skills with which to conceptualize the intersection of social context and health inequities, to understand and reduce such inequities, and to interpret and scale-up such studies for the benefit of marginalized populations.

Contact information:


Ashley K. Hagaman, PhD, MPH

Ashley is a mixed-methodologist, she bridges public health and medical anthropology to improve the implementation of health interventions across cultures and contexts. Her research focuses on how social, cultural, and structural factors influence mental health in low-income settings around the world. She uses these findings to develop and test innovative strategies to address disparities in access to mental health care. Her epidemiologic work has focused on identifying modifiable risk factors for suicide and depression, and the transmissive effects of mental distress on families. Her intervention-focused work develops and tests systems-level interventions to improve maternal and mental health outcomes. She has emerging projects exploring biocultural mechanisms related to mental distress and utilizing biosensing data to enhance LMIC mental health interventions. Congratulations to Ashley for her new Assistant Professor position at Yale!

Contact information: 

Elissa Scherer, B.S.

Elissa is a research assistant on Dr. Maselko's team. She graduated in 2019 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with degrees in Psychology and Global Studies with a concentration in Global Health. She is interested in how social context influences health disparities, especially those related to mental health, and is pursuing a career in the Global Mental Health field. In her free time, Elissa enjoys reading, spending time outdoors, and cheering on the Tar Heels. 

Contact information:

staley_brooke-2 (2).JPG

Brooke Staley, MPH

Brooke Staley is a Ph.D. student in Epidemiology.  She is interested in understanding the impacts of childhood adversity on mental health and exploring the impacts of interactions between the social and genetic environments on the health of historically underrepresented populations. Beyond scholarship, Brooke enjoys volunteering at her church's farm, cooking, traveling and dancing.

Contact information:

bottom of page