As a social psychologist, I’m fascinated by the roles we all play in each other’s lives and well-being, and how technology influences those roles– for better and for worse. My research has explored questions such as:
What are the benefits of social media use and how can social media help us improve our health behaviors?
How do young people’s social environments, both online and offline, influence their use of tobacco products (e.g., vaping)?
To what extent do we compare ourselves to others on social media, and how do those comparisons affect us?
While working on my PhD at the University of Toledo, I focused primarily on how we compare ourselves to idealized versions of other people on social media. With a long-standing interest in health promotion and disease prevention, I shifted my research focus to understanding and preventing tobacco use and other substance use among young people. I am especially invested in supporting health equity for the LGBTQ+ community, which has been targeted by the tobacco industry for decades. My research has found that depictions of tobacco use on social media can encourage young people to use tobacco, and that social media can help empower young people to quit using tobacco. I am optimistic about the possibilities that digital health tools can offer.
I am now a tenure-track Assistant Professor at the Health Promotion Research Center and Department of Pediatrics of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. My primary research interests include youth tobacco use, social media and digital health, and tobacco use disparities in the LGBTQ+ community. I completed a postdoctoral fellowship at UCSF and Stanford and worked at the University of Southern California before beginning my faculty position in August 2022.
Outside of the lab, I love cooking, hiking, writing, spending time with family and friends, and getting to know Oklahoma City!