2011 Fellows

Robert J. Durán, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Sociology
University of Tennessee Knoxville

IRTI Mentor: Avelardo Valdez, PhD

Robert J. Durán is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Tennessee. He earned his doctorate in sociology from the University of Colorado. His research concerns racism in the post-civil rights era and community resistance, from gang evolution and border surveillance to disproportionate minority contact and officer involved shootings. As an urban ethnographer he has conducted interviews and observations of gangs, and the public response to marginalized groups, in Colorado, New Mexico, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah. Dr. Durán’s 2013 book, Gang Life in Two Cities: An Insider’s Journey was published by Columbia University Press and received an Honorable Mention Book Award from the Association for Humanist Sociology. He is the recipient of the 2010 Hispanic Faculty and Staff Caucus Junior Faculty of the Year Award and the 2011 New Scholar Award from the American Society of Criminology Division on People of Color and Crime. His second book, tentatively titled The Gang Paradox: Inequalities and Miracles on the U.S.-Mexico Border, is also under contract with Columbia University Press.

Selected Publications:
Durán, Robert J
. and Jason A. Campos. (2020). “Gangs, Gangsters, and the Impact of Settler Colonialism on the Latina/o Experience.” Sociology Compass 14, no. 3: 1-15.

Durán, Robert J. (2018). “Latinos and the Police: A Critical Analysis of Officer Involved Shootings.” Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, Dossier on Latinos and the Law, edited by Alfredo Mirandé, 43, no. 2: 167-182.

Durán, R. J., & Posadas, C. E. (2016). The Policing of Youth on the US–Mexico Border: A Law Enforcement Perception of Leniency. Race and justice, 6(1), 57-83.

Felisa Gonzales, PhD, MPH, MPhil

Cancer Prevention Fellow, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences
National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute

IRTI Mentor: Marcela Raffaelli, PhD

Felisa Gonzales is a native of the San Luis Valley in Colorado.  Dr. Gonzales earned a BA in Neuroscience from The Colorado College in 2001, a PhD in Applied Social Psychology from the George Washington University in 2013, and an MPH in Epidemiology from the University of California Berkeley in 2014. Currently, she is a Cancer Prevention Fellow in the Health Systems and Interventions Research Branch of the Healthcare Delivery Research Program at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Gonzales’ research interests focus on the structural and psychosocial influences that contribute to health disparities in vulnerable populations. Over the past five years, Dr. Gonzales has been involved in research projects investigating the impact of trauma and loss on Latina immigrants and contextual factors influencing sexual risk behaviors among Latino men who have sex with men. Her master’s thesis explored the impact of acculturation and social support on Latina birth outcomes and her NIH-funded dissertation project focused on sexual and substance use risk among Latino adolescents.  At the National Cancer Institute, Dr. Gonzales is conducting research on environmental, social, and psychological factors that influence primary, secondary, and tertiary cancer prevention. She is particularly interested in breast and viral cancers. Health services and health policy research are two emerging areas of interest.  Dr. Gonzales intends to engage in independent and collaborative research efforts that contribute to the reduction of physical and mental health disparities among underserved and vulnerable populations.

Selected Publications:

Gonzales, F.A., Taplin, S.H., Breen, N., Yu, M., & Cronin, K.A. (2016). Receipt of mammography recommendations among White and non-White women before and after the 2009 United States Preventive Service Task Force recommendation change. Cancer Causes & Control, 27, 977-987. doi :10.1007/s10552-016-0775-9.

Gonzales, F.A., Jones, R.R., Deardorff, J., Windham, G.C., Hiatt, R.A., & Kushi, L.H. (2016). Neighborhood deprivation, race/ethnicity, and urinary metal concentrations among young girls in California. Environment International, 91, 29-39. doi:10.1016/j.envint.2016.02.004

Kaltman, S., Hurtado, A., Serrano, A.M, & Gonzales, F.A. (2016). A mental health intervention strategy for low-income, trauma-exposed Latina immigrants in primary care: A preliminary study. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/ort0000157

Tyson Volkmann, PhD, MPH

Associate Director for Science, Center for Global Health, Caribbean Regional Office, Division of Global HIV/AIDS
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

IRTI Mentor: Danielle Ompad, PhD

Tyson Volkmann is the Associate Director for Science and an Epidemiologist on the Strategic Information Team at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Caribbean Regional Office in Barbados. Under the direction of CDC’s Division of Global HIV/AIDS within the Center for Global Health, and via the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), his work consists of conducting HIV programmatic research and providing technical assistance for HIV programming to 12 countries within the English-speaking Caribbean region. Dr. Volkmann joined CDC in 2013 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer assigned by the US Public Health Service (USPHS) to the Division of TB Elimination’s International Research and Programs Branch, where he worked in Kenya, Vietnam, and India on TB operational research and pediatric TB research. He currently holds the rank of Lieutenant in the Commissioned Corps of the USPHS. Tyson was an IRTI fellow from 2011-2013, prior to which he earned his PhD from the Joint Doctoral Program in Global Public Health at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and San Diego State University. His dissertation was a quantitative examination of drug-related HIV risk behaviors among HIV-susceptible populations in Baja California. Throughout his doctoral program, he was supported by a NIDA-funded T32 training grant (DA023356; PI: S. Strathdee) on substance abuse and HIV among vulnerable populations. He holds an MPH degree in epidemiology and international health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Selected Publications:

Volkmann, Tyson. (2019). Status of HIV Case-Based Surveillance Implementation — 39 U.S. PEPFAR-Supported Countries, May–July 2019. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report. 68. 1089–1095. 10.15585/mmwr.mm6847a2.

Volkmann, Tyson & Chase, Martine & Lockard, Ann & Henningham, Deborah & Albalak, Rachel. (2018). Lessons Learned From the Implementation of HIV Biological-Behavioral Surveys of Key Populations in the Caribbean. AIDS Education and Prevention. 30. 528-541. 10.1521/aeap.2018.30.6.528.

Mitruka K, Volkmann T, Pratt R, Kammerer S. Disparities in TB Treatment Completion by Incarceration Status, U.S., 1999–2011. American Journal of Preventive Medicine; 2016. PMID: 28012812.

NIDA. T32. Pre-Doctoral Fellowship Training Grant.