CBIRP Affiliated Faculty

Wendy Auslander, PhD

Wendy AuslanderWendy Auslander is the Barbara A. Bailey Professor of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis whose broad interests are in health behavior research and health promotion. Specifically she is interested in mental health and health disparities among vulnerable populations, such as adolescents with exposure to abuse and violence, and minority populations. Her passion is adapting and implementing interventions to reduce health and mental health disparities. Recent research involved a trauma treatment study for girls in child welfare funded by CDC, and studies on the mechanisms by which childhood trauma impacts behavioral, mental health, and sexual and drug-related risk behaviors among child welfare-involved youth. Previously, she conducted an RCT targeting dietary changes in obese African American women at risk for diabetes. Previously she has served in leadership roles for several NIH-funded centers at Washington University funded by NIDA, NIMH, and NIDDK, as well as Director of the Ph.D. program.


Meghan M. Gillen, PhD

Meghan M. GillenMeghan M. Gillen, Associate Professor of Psychology at Penn State Abington, is a developmental psychologist who studies body image and physical appearance issues. Some recent research projects have focused on body image and sexuality, women’s body image in the postpartum period, tanning behavior, and positive body image. The common thread through these projects is to understand how we can improve body image and ultimately contribute to greater health and well-being. Her research reflects the CBIRP’s mission to foster better body image for all. She frequently collaborates with Dr. Ramseyer Winter and is excited to be a part of this team.


Shanna K. Kattari, PhD, MEd, CSE, ACS

Shanna Kattari Shanna K. Kattari, PhD, MEd, CSE, ACS (she/her/hers) is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work, and the Department of Women’s Studies (by courtesy). A queer, White, Jewish, cisgender, disabled, chronically ill Femme, her practice and community background is as a board certified sexologist, certified sexuality educator, and social justice advocate. Dr. Kattari’s extant research focuses on understanding how power, privilege and oppression systematically marginalize, exclude, and discriminate against people regarding their identities/expressions through negative attitudes, policies reinforcing oppression, oppressive actions and isolation. Her work centers on disability and ableism, and transgender/nonbinary (TNB) identities and transphobia, using an intersectional lens. Recently, she has focused on the health disparities among TNB communities, across physical and behavioral health, as well as working with the community through community based participatory research to better understand how the lack of inclusive providers has increased these disparities. She is also interested in examining sexuality in marginalized communities, particularly disabled adults and LGBTQIA2S+ individuals. In her work, Dr. Kattari strongly values translational research that benefits the communities being researched, and strongly believes in making research accessible to not only academics but also to society at large. She is also committed to engaging, innovative education and pedagogy, multi-level mentorship models, and supporting individuals from a variety of marginalized identities in entering, navigating, and succeeding in the Academy.


Jane McElroy, PhD

Jane McElroyJane McElroy wants people to maintain good health, especially as they age. She understands that by making smart lifestyle choices, people can stay healthy and help prevent many chronic diseases from developing. Among the many choices people make, her focus is on healthy weight, physical activity, and smoking cessation. Her expertise relies on survey construction, study designs, and enrollment/retention of study participants. In her research, she is studying environmental exposures, particularly metals, health outcomes (eg, cancer etiology, hypertension), and patient-centered care within the cancer continuum to improve health, especially among SGM and African American individuals.


Kristen Morris, PhD

Kristen MorrisKristen Morris, Assistant Professor of Textile and Apparel Management at the University of Missouri, specializes in apparel design and product development. Her interest within this area is to specifically address problems and provide apparel-based solutions that enhance the ability, body image, health, and well-being of the wearer. She addresses this research aim through three strategies:

  • Advance the apparel design process through a user-centered approach. User-Centered Design considers the wearer, or user, as an integral part of the design process.
  • Focus on underserved target markets. Many groups of users are often unnoticed by mainstream apparel producers, overlooking populations of apparel users that would benefit from added functional and aesthetic features in their apparel.
  • Enhance the functional performance of apparel through the application of innovative technologies. The technologies I work with include 3D scanning, 3D visualization and flattening, 2D patternmaking computer-aided design, laser cutting, and digital textile printing.

Overall, it is important to consider the potential impacts of design, process, and technology on individual apparel consumers. This tripart approach contributes to a comprehensive understanding of how apparel-based products can improve the quality of life for all users.


Elizabeth O’Neill, PhD

Elizabeth O'NeillElizabeth O’Neill is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Washburn University, and has a PhD in Social Work from the University of Kansas. She is a health disparities researcher focused on the promotion of health equity and personal, social, and economic well-being. Her research stresses inter-relationships among different areas of health, and has focused specifically on relationships between body image and health, as well as on the physical health of adults with serious mental illness. In addition to her academic and research experience, Dr. O’Neill has worked directly with foster youth, adults with HIV/AIDS and serious mental illness, and in hospital settings. Her practice experience drives her research and her passion for recognizing and understanding the inter-related and complex nature of an individual’s health and well-being.


Megan Paceley, PhD

Megan PaceleyMegan Paceley is an Assistant Professor at the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare. Her scholarship addresses the relationship between the social environment and sexual and gender minority (SGM) youth’s health and well-being. She has a particular interest in the role of communities and how they enable or mitigate stigma and marginalization to affect the well-being of SGM youth. Currently, she is collaborating with scholars at the CBIRP to establish greater understanding of the connections between transgender youth’s social environments (family, school, and community) and their body image or disordered eating behaviors. Dr. Paceley’s goal is to implement and evaluate prevention or early intervention strategies to promote more accepting social environments and reduce the incidence of health disparities among SGM youth.


Sarah Pilgrim, PhD

Sarah PiligramSarah Piligram is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Body image research is an integral piece of the overall health and wellbeing of adolescents. Sarah Pilgrim’s scholarship primarily focuses on the sexual health and decision making of adolescents residing in foster care. More recently, her focus has broadened to include body image as a potential protective factor for adolescents residing in foster care. Adolescents residing in foster care have a considerable number of risk factors that could potentially lead to poor outcomes in the future; however, the inclusion of body image and other strengths related protective factors show promise in potentially reducing certain risk factors.


Erin Robinson, PhD

Erin RobinsonErin Robinson is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Missouri and identifies as a public health social worker and gerontologist. Robinson’s primary research focus is on older adult health. Specifically, she has conducted research on HIV prevention among older adults. Through her research, Dr. Robinson has identified that intentional conversations with older adult patients about issues related to HIV/AIDS and sexual health is associated with increasing one’s knowledge of the disease, their perceived susceptibility, and their likelihood of talking with their sexual partners about prevention. In addition, Dr. Robinson has also conducted research on disaster preparedness among older adults living in rural areas. Dr. Robinson will contribute her expertise in older adult health to the Center for Body Image Research & Policy’s vision of improving body image, health, and wellness for individuals, families, and communities.


Lindsay Rae Ruhr , PhD

Lindsay Rae RuhrLindsay Rae Ruhr is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She holds a master’s degree in social work (MSW) from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. She also holds a master’s degree in public policy administration (MPPA) from the University of Missouri – St. Louis. Dr. Ruhr earned her PhD in social work from the University of Missouri in 2016. Her scholarship focuses on sexual and reproductive health as it relates to body image. She is particularly interested in contraceptive choice, fear of weight gain, menstruation stigma, and abortion stigma.


Justin Sigoloff

Justin SigoloffJustin Sigoloff is the Co-Director of Adroit Studios as well as a Doctoral Candidate studying Serious Games in the School of Information Sciences and Learning Technologies at the University of Missouri, Columbia. He received his Masters in Media Literacy from Webster University. His research interests include not just how best to design and develop games with learning outcomes, but also how such games can change how players view themselves, their ability to perform in any given situation and the world around them. He has spent the last five years serving as the Creative Director for a serious game named Mission HydroSci, an I3 and IES funded serious game for middle-school students that teach water science and scientific argumentation.


Michelle Teti, PhD

Michelle TetiMichelle Teti is an Associate Professor of Health Sciences in the School of Health Professions at the University of Missouri. She is the director of the Bachelor of Health Science in Public Health Program, and a Program Affiliate in the Black Studies Program. Dr. Michelle Teti’s educational accomplishments include a Master of Public Health (MPH) and a Doctorate in Community Health and Prevention (DrPH) from Drexel University in Philadelphia. She has also completed Visiting Professorships at the Center for AIDS Prevention at the University of California, San Francisco, in 2010-12 and 2015. The premise of her work is that sick and disenfranchised people matter and know best what is needed to solve their complex health problems. She focuses on inquiries of how health disparities and social vulnerabilities (poverty, racism, stigma, homophobia, sexism, etc.) affect individuals’ health decisions. She is an expert in participatory research and in using qualitative and visual patient-driven methods to allow the experiences of people to inform innovative public health questions and solutions. Dr. Teti’s work has been disseminated in over 50 peer-reviewed publications and numerous national and international conferences.


Fang Wang , PhD

Fang WangFang Wang is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Information Technology / Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at the College of Engineering at the University of Missouri. Her research interests include simulation software development, Virtual Reality applications, mobile app development and image processing. She is actively involved in utilizing innovative technology as an intervention and education means to improve the understanding of body image and its implication in the health and well beings of a person. Before joining MU, she worked in Motorola, Freescale and Ansys as research and development engineer.