Fellows Class of 2018
Renée Umstattd Meyer, PhD, MCHES
Dr. Renée Umstattd Meyer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health at Baylor University in Waco, TX, where she also serves as the Graduate Program Director. She is recognized nationally and internationally for her work with diverse underserved and rural communities. The aim of her research is to better understand and promote physical activity and reduce sedentary behavior for all people across the lifespan, specifically acknowledging the importance of and interrelationships among behavioral, environmental, cultural, and policy factors. The community-based efforts she is engaged in incorporate mixed method approaches, instrument development, and evaluation. Her research prioritizes diverse underserved and rural communities and addresses active living and creative solutions to increase active play and physical activity opportunities for all. Dr. Umstattd Meyer’s work has been funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the United States Department of Education (USDOE). She currently co-leads the rural physical activity working group of the CDC-funded Physical Activity and Policy Research Network + (PAPRN+) https://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/center-for-adolescent-health/academic-research/paprn/ and is one of eight researchers from five leading universities that constitute the RWJF funded Physical Activity Research Center (PARC) https://paresearchcenter.org/. The aim of PARC is to build the evidence base for policy changes that will help make physical activity an everyday experience for all children. Dr. Umstattd Meyer began attending the American Academy of Health Behavior annual scientific meetings as a first-year master’s student in Santa Fe, NM (2000), where she presented findings from her undergraduate honor’s thesis. She continues to feel at home in the Academy, challenged and inspired by fellow AAHB members, and encourages as many students and colleagues as she can to invest in this amazing organization.
Ashley L. Merianos, PhD
University of Cincinnati
Dr. Ashley L. Merianos is an Assistant Professor in the School of Human Services at the University of Cincinnati and an Affiliate Member of the Division of Emergency Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
Dr. Merianos is a health services researcher with extensive training and experience in the epidemiology and prevention of substance use, quantitative methodology, and clinical research in the pediatric healthcare setting. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist and Tobacco Treatment Specialist.
Dr. Merianos’ research has been successfully funded as a Principal Investigator by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Her current project will identify the health and economic burden of child tobacco smoke exposure on the acute healthcare setting and create an implementation plan to reduce tobacco smoke exposure in a future trial. Additionally, she serves as a Co-Investigator on several NIH grants that focus on parental tobacco cessation and child tobacco smoke exposure reduction in the acute healthcare setting.
Dr. Merianos has co-authored over 90 peer-reviewed publications in scholarly journals and has delivered over 75 professional presentations. She has garnered national and international media attention for her research on child secondhand and thirdhand smoke exposure. Her work has been featured in online and print media outlets including The New York Times, ABC News, and USA Today. In recognition of her research endeavors, Dr. Merianos has received early career awards from professional organizations and the University of Cincinnati.