Month: September 2012

Dr. Audrey Pettifor to Speak at CHIP Thursday, September 27th, 2012

On Thursday, September 27, 2012, from 12:30 – 1:30 pm, the lecture series hosts Audrey E. Pettifor, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill  who will to give a lunch-time lecture about “Young Women & HIV Risk in Sub-Sahara Africa: Moving beyond the individual to address structural drivers of the epidemic.”

The lecture will be in Video Conference Room 204 on the second floor of Ryan at 2006 Hillside Road at the University of Connecticut in Storrs.  For a map of the area, look at   It is co-sponsored by the UConn Office of the Vice President for Research.

You can also view this talk streamed live during or after the lecture at the following link:

Pettifor is an epidemiologist whose research focuses on sexual behavior and determinants of HIV/STI infection in sub-Saharan Africa with the goal of identifying modifiable risk factors and developing novel interventions to prevent new HIV infections—particularly in young women. Pettifor has worked in South Africa for over 15 years and has also conducted research in Malawi, Madagascar, Zimbabwe and the Demographic Republic of Congo.  Pettifor was co-investigator of a large nationally representative household survey of youth in South Africa, which has resulted in over 20 publications that have contributed significantly to the understanding of determinants of HIV infection, pregnancy, contraceptive use, sexual behavior, and other social consequences of HIV such as orphaning in South Africa.  Importantly, this research documented the incredibly high risk of HIV infection among young women in South Africa and the importance of factors beyond the level of individual sexual behaviors in putting young women at risk of infection. Pettifor is currently PI of an NIH R01/HPTN 068 which is a randomized controlled trial to determine the effect of providing cash transfers to young South African women and their families conditional on school attendance with the goal of reducing HIV incidence.   She has a strong interest in developing structural interventions to reduce HIV and other negative health outcomes for young people in developing countries.

CHIP Featured Employee for September

Melissa Stone is CHIP’s featured employee for the month of September. Melissa has worked at CHIP since November of 2001. To put that in perspective, she began working at CHIP during the same semester the University first began investing in CHIP to position it as a multidisciplinary center for the study of health behavior change interventions across the University of Connecticut system and beyond. (In other words, she remembers when CHIP was a part of the Psychology Department and located in the Bousfield Building!) Melissa also has given more years of service to CHIP than any other member of CHIP’s Administrative Team.

During her time at CHIP, Melissa has earned multiple promotions to reach her current position of Administrative Specialist. Her primary responsibilities include overseeing purchasing, subcontracts, and the CHIP operating budget, among other duties. A valued member of CHIP’s Administrative Team, Melissa is consistently praised by faculty, staff, and students alike for how efficient, helpful, and pleasant she is.

Thank you, Melissa!

Dr. Michael Copenhaver to Speak at CHIP Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Michael CopenhaverOn Thursday, September 13, 2012, from 12:30 – 1:30 pm, the lecture series continues with Michael Copenhaver, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Allied Health Sciences, University of Connecticut who will give our lunchtime lecture on “Adapting Evidence-based interventions for Optimal Implementation with Drug Users.”

The lecture will be in Video Conference Room 204 on the second floor of Ryan at 2006 Hillside Road at the University of Connecticut in Storrs.  For a map of the area, look at

You can also view this talk streamed live during or after the lecture at the following link:  This lecture is co-sponsored by the Department of Allied Health Sciences at UConn.

Dr. Copenhaver is an Associate Professor of Health Promotion in the Department of Allied Health Sciences and the Department of Psychology, a PI at the Center for Health, Intervention, and Prevention (CHIP), and a licensed clinical psychologist. He conducts NIH/NIDA-funded research aimed at developing and adapting evidence-based behavioral HIV prevention interventions for optimal use in clinical settings (drug treatment, prison) where high risk drug users may be more effectively reached. Dr. Copenhaver has been a PI at CHIP since 2002.  Over the past decade, he has worked at improving the design, delivery, and placement of behavioral interventions that target high risk drug users. During his post-doc training at Yale, he directed two NIDA-funded randomized controlled trials (RCT) of Holistic Health Recovery Program (HHRP) interventions. He then served as PI on a large community-based feasibility trial of an adapted behavioral intervention implemented in methadone programs in CT and served as PI on a randomized trial of an adapted intervention targeting soon-to-be-released HIV+ drug-involved prisoners throughout CT. In parallel, he was awarded a prestigious NIDA Career Development Grant that allowed him to further develop expertise as an independent PI conducting research aimed at optimizing evidence-based intervention approaches. He recently completed an R01 involving a large RCT of a novel intervention approach targeting high risk HIV- drug users and will soon initiate a large NIDA-funded RCT of an adapted evidence-based intervention targeting HIV+ drug users in treatment using an innovative non-inferiority design approach. Dr. Copenhaver has been continuously funded by NIDA to serve as either PI, Co-PI, Co-I, or Consultant on several other efforts that involve adapting evidence-based HIV risk reduction interventions for optimal use among drug-involved populations within drug treatment and criminal justice settings either locally, nationally, or internationally.