Jacob E. Thomas
Jacob is a Ph.D. student in Health Behavior and Health Education at The University of Texas at Austin. Prior to coming to UT, he earned a B.S. in Psychology from The University of Texas at Dallas in 2014, and then an M.A. in Psychology from Columbia University in 2016 with a concentration in Research Methods. He is interested in how sociodemographic and environmental factors influence substance use and behaviors that precede or co-occur with mental illness. His methodological approach intersects at the nexus of epidemiology, psychological science, and social justice. Outside of work, he spends his time participating in political activism and volunteering for local schools and community organizations to improve the lives of youth. He enjoys spending time with his wife and pets, reading philosophy and critical theory, watching science fiction movies, and weight training.
Daniel is a 4th year doctoral student in Health Behavior and Health Education. He holds a Master’s of Science in the same degree (earned in 2016) and both a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology and Art Practices from Portland State University where he graduated in 2012. Daniel has been with the lab since June 2014 and has primarily worked on point-of-sale tobacco marketing surveillance and tobacco regulation in general. In addition to his work at PRL, Daniel enjoys spending time with his son Elliott (born 2018), wife Amber, and dogs. He also enjoys art, philosophy, working out, and recently started training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu!
Sarah is a first year Health Behavior and Health Education M.S. student at UT Austin. Before coming to UT, she earned a B.A. in Psychology with a Minor in Sociology from Baylor University. In general, Sarah’s research focus is on advertising and alcohol use prevention in adolescents. Her other interests include health disparities, media’s influence on health outcomes, and childhood prevention of allostatic load. When not in the lab, Sarah enjoys hiking, coffee and breakfast tacos, friends, and snuggling her cat.
Phoebe Ruggles is a second year master’s student in Health Behavior and Health Education. Before coming to UT, she completed her B.A. in Health and Societies with Minors in History and South Asia Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests center in childhood obesity prevention, with particular focus on the influence of food and beverage marketing on youth, as well as the targeting of food and beverage marketing toward certain demographics (e.g. low-income). In addition to marketing, Phoebe has a growing interest in food and nutrition policy, including topics such as sugar-sweetened beverage taxes and food marketing regulation. In her free time, Phoebe enjoys birdwatching, gardening, and trying out new recipes!
Rachel is a third year undergraduate student at The University of Texas at Austin pursuing a B.A. in Psychology and an interdisciplinary certificate in Children & Society. Her research interests center around adolescent development. She is interested in risk factors for adolescent-age substance use, the role of intersectionality in adolescent wellness, and substance use prevention in adolescents. Her other interests include harm reduction and mental health. In her free time, Rachel enjoys reading, riding her OneWheel around Austin, and playing laser tag with her cat.
Daniel is a third-year undergraduate student at The University of Texas at Austin pursing a B.S. in biochemistry. He is from Flower Mound, Texas. Daniel’s broad research interest is psychiatric disorders and specific interest is substance use disorders. In his free time, Daniel enjoys karaoke, and playing soccer and basketball.