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Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health

Jenna Riis, PhD '15

Graduation Year: 2015
Focus in Program: Child and Adolescent Health and Development; Neurodevelopment, Behavior, and Health.
Current Position: Assistant Professor at the University of California, Irvine.

Jenna Riis

What was your favorite academic experience? 

Working with my mentors and fellow classmates on Special Studies projects and, eventually, to collect data for my dissertation helped me grow and learn in active and exciting ways.  These projects helped me learn how to work collaboratively with a team and translate what I was learning in my courses to real-world projects and issues.

What was the topic of your Thesis? 

The biological embedding of early-life adversity: The minimally-invasive measurement of neuroendocrine-immune relations in young children and their moderation by maternal psychological well-being.

How has your Doctoral Degree contributed to your current line of work? 

My time at Hopkins prepared me with the skills and confidence to pursue my interests across different sectors and disciplines.  I worked for the New York City (NYC) Department of Health and Mental Hygiene after graduating, and the lessons I learned at Hopkins about collaboration and evidence-based policy and program design were essential to my work in NYC.  Also, the faculty I worked with at Hopkins continue to be a source of support and mentorship.  I am currently working with one of my Hopkins mentors at UCI where I am advancing the research I started at Hopkins.