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Photo of Steven Branstetter, Ph.D.
Steven Branstetter, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
sab57@psu.edu

Steven Branstetter, Ph.D.

Dr. Steven Branstetter is an Assistant Professor of Biobeahvioral Health. Dr. Branstetter earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Child Psychology at the University of Denver and conducted his clinical internships at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Harvard Medical School / Cambridge Hospital. Dr. Branstetter joined the Department of Biobehavioral Health at Penn State University, with a dual appointment at the Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute. Dr. Branstetter is currently the Co-Leader of the Cancer Control Program at the Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute. Dr. Branstetter’s primary research focus is in the area of youth tobacco use, tobacco cessation and tobacco control. Additionally, Dr. Branstetter is interested in the influence of family, peers and social context in adolescent behavior. Dr. Branstetter has a strong commitment to teaching and mentoring, and has taught courses in research methodology, statistics, abnormal behavior, behavior therapy, and health promotion and intervention.

Graduate Students

Photo of Melissa Mercincavage
Melissa Mercincavage
Graduate Student
mercincavage@psu.edu

Melissa Mercincavage

Melissa is a fifth year Biobehavioral Health doctoral candidate and a Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science pre-doctoral trainee. She received her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in 2008 and her M.S. in Biobehavioral Health from Penn State in 2012. Melissa's research interests focus on identifying biological and behavioral factors related to the development and maintenance of nicotine dependence, as well as how these factors may be targeted to improve cessation outcomes. Melissa is currently conducting her dissertation study which aims to examine the influence of nicotine content on reward ratings and smoking behaviors.

Photo of Andrea Stroup
Andrea Stroup, MPH
Graduate Student
ams5818@psu.edu

Andrea Stroup, MPH

Andrea is a first year Biobehavioral Health pre-doctoral student and a Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science pre-doctoral fellow. She received her B.S. in Biobehavioral Health, with a minor in Psychology, from Penn State University in 2012. She went on to receive her MPH in community and behavioral health from Penn State Hershey Medical Center in 2014. During her MPH program, Andrea held an internship in the Health and Wellness Unit at Capital BlueCross and conducted her thesis project on factors influencing hookah use among college students. Andrea’s research interests focus on behavioral and psychological factors related to the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems and traditional hookahs, in addition to their associated health outcomes.

Photo of Russell Nye
Russell Nye
Graduate Student
rtn111@psu.edu

Russell Nye

Russell is a first year Biobehavioral Health pre-doctoral student. He received his B.S. in Kinesiology from Penn State University in 2012. Upon graduation from Penn State, Russell spent two years working as a Health and Wellness Assistant at Minitab Inc., where he helped conduct comprehensive health programs for employees. Russell’s research broadly focuses on the influence of behavioral factors, specifically physical activity, on nicotine dependence and health outcomes associated with smoking (i.e., lung function).

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Photo of Amanda Lacue
Amanda Lacue
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Amanda Lacue

Amanda is a senior in the Eberly College of Science pursuing a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Global Health. She has worked in the Smoking and Health Behavior Research Laboratory since the fall of 2013. Upon graduation, she will be attending medical school.

Photo of Sarah Ghattas
Sarah Ghattas
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Sarah Ghattas

Sarah is a senior working to complete a B.S. in Biobehavioral Health, with a minor in Human Development and Family Studies. She has been working in the Smoking and Health Behavior Research Laboratory since the fall of 2013. Upon graduation, she plans to attend medical school.

Sebastian Tapia

Sebastian is a senior pursuing a B.S. in Neuroscience. He has been working in the Smoking and Health Behavior Research Laboratory since fall 2013. After graduating, he plans to attend medical school in an M.D.-Ph.D. program.

Photo of Naeem Murray
Naeem Murray
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Naeem Murray

Naeem is a senior working to complete his B.S. in Biobehavioral Health with a minor in Health Policy and Administration. He has worked with Dr. Branstetter in the Smoking and Health Behavior Research Laboratory since the fall of 2014. Upon graduation, he plans to attend physician’s assistant school.

Joseph Sipko

Joseph is a junior pursuing a B.S. in Biobehavioral Health. He joined Dr. Branstetter’s Smoking and Health Behavior Research Laboratory in the spring of 2015. Upon graduation, he plans to attend medical school.