University of Connecticut Health Psychologists

DrRickGibbonsDr. Rick Gibbons
Dr. Rick Gibbons is a health-social psychologist. He was a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Iowa State University before moving to the Psychology Department and Cancer Control Program at Dartmouth College. He has been at the University of Connecticut since 2012, where he is currently a Professor of Psychology, with an Investigator appointment at the Center for Health Intervention and Prevention. He is currently the Principal Investigator on two NIH research grants that concern adolescent and young adult health behavior, and co-Investigator on two other health promotion NIH grants. He has received almost 30 million dollars in NIH-funded research over the last 25 years, and has published more than 200 research articles, mostly on health behavior. Dr. Gibbons has also been a consultant on multiple preventive-interventions. He has been working with Dr. Gerrard on health research for almost 35 years.

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DrMegGerrardDr. Meg Gerrard
Dr. Meg Gerrard is a research professor at the Center for Health Intervention and Prevention and the Department of Psychology at the University of Connecticut. Prior to joining the UConn faculty in 2012, she was a full professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Dartmouth Medical School and served as the Co-director of the Cancer Control Research Program at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth, a National Cancer Institute designated comprehensive cancer center. She has been the Principal Investigator on 4 National Institutes of Health grants on developmental trajectories of health risk behaviors, and co-investigator on 3 other grants relevant to the initiation and consequences of these behaviors. She has led two large-scale intervention studies, one on adolescent alcohol use, and one on UV protection. She and Dr. Gibbons have published numerous research papers on sun protection, smoking cessation, and substance use. The ultimate goal of their research is to improve health risk prevention behaviors.

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SpringEselgrothSpring Eselgroth
Spring Eselgroth is a non-profit manager. Her most recent role was as the Web & Membership director of the Society of Business Editors and Writers (SABEW). She received a master’s degree from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in May 2011. Spring has interned with RIESTER, an advertising agency with offices in Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and Phoenix as well as with the Phoenix New Times where she wrote for Jackalope Ranch and Chow Bella. In addition, she contributed to the ideation and development of SmartPhx, a mobile application helping people find locations and events in downtown Phoenix.

Since graduating, Spring has pursued her love of visual storytelling as the Director of Photography on an independent short film and other short video pieces.

RaffyErmacRaffy Ermac
Raffy Ermac is a writer and reporter based in the Los Angeles. He received a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in May 2014, where he studied print & digital journalism and special events planning. He is currently an editorial assistant at The Advocate magazine, one of the nation’s oldest news and politics publications, where he writes features and profiles. His passions include all things art, design, and multimedia, and he hopes to use his voice to tell stories and help people.


Jessica Mounessa
Jessica Mounessa is a research fellow in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Colorado, Denver and a medical student at the SUNY-Stony Brook School of Medicine.

After graduating Magna Cum Laude from Cornell University, she served as an Academic Associate in the Department of Emergency Medicine of the North Shore-LIJ Health System in New York. As a medical student, she went on to conduct research on treatments for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis in the Inflammatory Diseases Section of the Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, NY.

Ms. Mounessa joins the Defeat Melanoma team with experiences in advocacy, outreach, and research in the field of dermatology. She presently co-chairs the Colorado Skin Cancer Task Force, helps conduct several on-going clinical trials, and has authored numerous publications on skin-related topics.