Klein Buendel collaborator, Ms. Tessa Jolls, has been the President and CEO of the Center for Media Literacy (CML) in California since 1999. Currently, she is working with Dr. Barbara Walkosz, Senior Scientist at Klein Buendel, to lead a new research project funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CE003635). The aim of the project is to update and translate Beyond Blame: Challenging Violence in the Media, an evidence-based media-literacy violence prevention curriculum for middle school students, formerly delivered in person, into an interactive technology-based platform.
Created by CML, Beyond Blame, is a theory-based curriculum that underwent a rigorous long-term evaluation, in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Violence prevention programs, including school-based education programs, are recommended to address youth violence.
CML is an educational organization that provides leadership, public education, professional development and evidence-based educational resources nationally and internationally. CML is dedicated to promoting and supporting media literacy education as a framework for accessing, analyzing, evaluating, creating and participating with media content. CML helps citizens, especially the young, develop critical thinking and media production skills needed to live fully in the 21st century media culture.
Ms. Jolls’ primary focus at CML is demonstrating how media literacy works through school and community-based implementation programs. She actively contributes to the development of the media literacy field internationally through her speaking, writing and consulting, with curriculum development and research projects, and through publishing and disseminating new curricular and training materials.
Recent Honors and Awards
Received the Fulbright NATO Security Studies Award in Brussels in 2021.
Co-taught the first media literacy undergraduate course at the University of Latvia Faculty of Social Sciences in 2019.
Served as a 2019 Fulbright Specialist for a two-week assignment in Bulgaria, where she conducted workshop trainings.
Invited to attend the Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Education, WICT Senior Executive Summit in March 2018.
Served on the International Steering Committee for UNESCO’s Global MIL Alliance, and as co-chair of the Digital and Media Literacy Working Group, organized through the Children and Screens Initiative; resulted in a Pediatrics paper recommending research and policy priorities for the field.
Organized the Commit 2 MediaLit! Campaign to recognize Media Literacy Week in 2016.
Received the Global Media and Information Literacy Award, in recognition of her work in Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue, from the UNESCO-initiated GAPMIL, in cooperation with the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) in 2015.
Honored with the International Media Literacy Award by Gateway Media Literacy Partners in 2014.
Recognized with the Jesse McCanse Award for Individual Contribution to Media Literacy by the National Telemedia Council in 2013.
Collaborator Spotlight: Dr. Douglas Seals and Dr. Daniel Craighead
Two accomplished integrative physiology scientists from the University of Colorado Boulder are launching a new research project in collaboration with Dr. Kayla Nuss and the Creative Team from Klein Buendel. The project will design and assess the feasibility of the using a smartphone app to help deliver a high-resistance inspiratory muscle strength training (IMST) program for improving blood pressure and reducing cardiovascular disease risk in midlife and older adults.
Douglas Seals, PhD, is a Distinguished Professor of Integrative Physiology (Boulder Campus) and Medicine (Anschutz Medical Campus) at the University of Colorado. He is also the Director of the Integrative Physiology of Aging Laboratory. He earned his doctoral degree in Applied Exercise Physiology from the University of Wisconsin in 1981. In his 35+ years of academics and research, Dr. Seals has become an expert on lifestyle and/or pharmacological interventions to improve cardiovascular function. His areas of research interest include cardiovascular aging, such as changes in systolic blood pressure, large artery stiffness, and vascular endothelial function; biological and lifestyle factors that influence cardiovascular aging; the integrative (molecular to systemic) mechanisms that mediate cardiovascular aging and its modulation by biological and lifestyle factors; and interventions to improve adverse physiological changes with aging, including cardiovascular dysfunction, reductions in motor performance, and impairments in cognitive function. His research has been continuously funded by research grants from the National Institutes of Health, particularly the National Institute on Aging, since 1986. Dr. Seals founded an NIH Clinical Translational Research Center at the University of Colorado Boulder in 1999 as a core facility for conducting biomedical research on human subjects. It was in this lab that Dr. Seals and Dr. Daniel Craighead (see below) established the efficacy of IMST for lowering blood pressure in a traditional clinical research setting. In 2004, Dr. Seals received a 10-year MERIT Award from the National Institute on Aging to support his research on cardiovascular aging. In 2008, he was named a Professor of Distinction in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. In 2013, he was named an Edward F. Adolph Distinguished Lecturer by the American Physiological Society for his work in the physiology of aging.
Daniel Craighead, PhD, is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado Boulder. He earned his doctoral degree in Kinesiology from Penn State University in 2017, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Integrative Physiology of Aging Laboratory at the University of Colorado Boulder in 2020. Dr. Craighead is a specialist in the study of IMST for lowering blood pressure. Dr. Craighead conducted the initial R21-supported clinical trial on IMST, upon which the new research project with Klein Buendel is based. The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I study is supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and will design and assess the feasibility of a smartphone app for delivering an IMST program and improving blood pressure in midlife and older adults. The program will provide instruction and promote adherence to the IMST intervention. Ultimately, the app will provide for widespread dissemination and adoption of an innovative tool to easily lower blood pressure and reduce cardiovascular disease risk. Dr. Craighead also has been the Principal Investigator on a study assessing the efficacy of nicotinamide riboside, a dietary supplement, for lowering blood pressure and improving vascular function in older adults, among other research projects.
Robert Saltz, Ph.D. is a Senior Research Scientist at the Prevention Research Center within the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) in Berkeley, California. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts. His research explores ways in which drinking context may influence the risk of subsequent injury or death. He has extensive experience researching “responsible beverage service” programs aimed at having bar and restaurant personnel intervene with patrons to reduce the risk of intoxication or driving while impaired.
Dr. Saltz collaborated with Dr. W. Gill Woodall and Dr. David Buller from Klein Buendel on the development, evaluation, and commercialization of the WayToServe®responsible beverage service training program in English (AA014982; W. Gill Woodall, Principal Investigator) and Spanish (MD010405; Dr. W. Gill Woodall, Principal Investigator), and the TrainToTend® responsible cannabis vendor training program (DA038933; Dr. David Buller, Principal Investigator).
Currently, Dr. Saltz is working with Dr. Buller and Dr. Woodall on two research projects. One is a PIRE project to assess the impact of California’s new mandatory responsible beverage service (RBS) training law intended to prevent alcohol-involved motor vehicle crashes and other harms. The research is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (Dr. Robert Saltz, Principal Investigator). The study is examining whether there is a significant reduction in single nighttime motor vehicle injury crashes after implementation of the mandatory responsible beverage service training law, controlling for other factors in California that may influence this outcome, and the national trend in fatal alcohol-involved motor vehicle crashes. The training program that will be implemented is the WayToServe® online RBS training program developed and evaluated by PIRE, Klein Buendel, and the University of New Mexico.
The other is a Klein Buendel project developing and testing an in-service professional development component for alcohol servers trained by WayToServe to enhance its effectiveness. WayToServe Plus is intended to motivate servers to implement the responsible beverage service skills in the face of common barriers, provide support for responsible beverage service actions from a “community” of alcohol servers, and prevent natural degradation of skills over time. The in-service training is delivered through the WayToServe Facebook page that currently is followed by over 20,000 alcohol servers trained by WayToServe. This project is funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (AA029364; Dr. W. Gill Woodall and Dr. David Buller, Multiple Principal Investigators).
Andrew Sussman, Ph.D., MCRP, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of New Mexico (UNM) and the Associate Director of the Office of Community Outreach and Engagement at the UNM Cancer Center. He received his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico.
Dr. Sussman focuses his research efforts on primary health and cancer care delivery research and patient-provider counseling dynamics among health disparity populations in New Mexico. He also has research interests in clinical decision making, health service delivery, community-based participatory research, and health disparities in community settings. He also has expertise in qualitative and mixed method research, formative assessment, and process evaluation.
Currently, Dr. Sussman is serving as a Multiple Principal Investigator along with Klein Buendel’s Dr. David Buller on the study, #4Corners4Health: A Social Media Cancer Prevention Program for Rural Emerging Adults (CA268037). This study aims to aid rural emerging adults (aged 18-26 years) in making informed decisions that reduce cancer risk factors and prevent cancer later in life and help emerging adults evaluate and resist misinformation and marketing that promote cancer risk behaviors. This will be accomplished using a social media campaign designed with community advisors for diverse young adults living in rural counties in the Four Corners states (AZ, CO, NM, and UT). Social media may reach emerging adults more than interventions through other community channels (for example, clinics, schools, and workplaces) and for lower cost in the geographically-dispersed, underserved rural communities in the Mountain West.
Wendy Hadley, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Counseling Psychology and Human Services in the College of Education at the University of Oregon. She is also the Julie and Keith Thomson Faculty Chair and HEDCO Clinic Director at the University of Oregon.
Dr. Hadley received her doctoral degree in clinical child psychology and behavioral medicine from the University of Memphis in 2003. She went on to complete a postdoctoral fellowship with the Brown University Clinical Consortium. Dr. Hadley has worked with many pediatric patients and their families, including those affected by cancer, HIV, feeding disorders, cardiac issues, and obesity.
In addition to her clinical work, Dr Hadley conducts research on adolescent health issues such as obesity, substance use, and risky sexual behaviors. Her recent work has focused on the development and evaluation of interventions focusing on parent-child communication, parental monitoring, and adolescent emotion regulation skills. Some of her work uses web-based technology to deliver and enhance the interventions.
Dr. Hadley is currently working as a Co-Investigator on a collaborative web-based project with Dr. Christopher Houck (Principal Investigator) from Rhode Island Hospital and its parent organization Lifespan Health Systems. The program is called iTRAC, which stands for “Talking about Risk and Adolescent Choices.” The research is funded by an STTR Fast-Track grant to Klein Buendel from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (Dr. Christopher Houck, Principal Investigator; HD110333). The goal of the project is to convert the previously existing TRAC program to a web app format while integrating emotional regulation and sexual health education. The program targets young adolescents (ages 12-14 years) at a crucial time of development in order to provide them with evidence-based approaches to manage emotional situations and risky behavior. Additional Co-Investigators include Dr. David Barker from Rhode Island Hospital and Ms. Julia Berteletti from Klein Buendel.
Alexandra Morshed, Ph.D., is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Behavioral, Social and Health Education Services at Emory University. She is also a Co-Investigator with the Emory Prevention Research Center. Dr. Morshed received her Master of Science degree from Wageningen University in the Netherlands and her Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis.
Dr. Morshed is an implementation scientist with more than ten years of experience in public health research and practice. Her primary areas of interest include implementing interventions in vulnerable populations, chronic disease prevention, public health nutrition, and capacity building and knowledge expansion in dissemination and implementation science.
Dr. Morshed is currently collaborating with Dr. David Buller from Klein Buendel on a research study titled “Go Sun Smart at Work: A Sun Safety Program for Underserved Outdoor Workers” (Dr. Morshed and Dr. Buller, Multiple Principal Investigators). This CDC-funded study builds upon Klein Buendel’s evidence-based comprehensive occupational skin cancer prevention intervention, Go Sun Smart at Work, and aims to reduce UV exposure and prevent skin cancer among underserved outdoor workers in Georgia. Hispanic and African American adults have been overlooked in skin cancer prevention efforts, due to their lower incidence of skin cancer. However, among Hispanic and African Americans, skin cancer is diagnosed at more advanced stages, leading to higher mortality rates than non-Hispanic whites. The Emory University study aims to develop an intervention and implementation strategies to increase policies and practices to support sun safety among outdoor workers in Georgia.
Susan Breitenstein, PhD, RN, FNAP, FAAN, is an Associate Professor, Assistant Dean for Research and Innovation, and Senior Director of the Community Outreach and Engagement & CHW Training Program at The Ohio State University College of Nursing. She received her PhD from Rush University. Her clinical training is as a child and adolescent psychiatric nurse. Working clinically with children, adolescents, and families with mental health issues led Dr. Breitenstein to focus her research efforts on mental health promotion and prevention through implementation and dissemination of evidence-based parenting interventions. Her other research interests include fatherhood interventions and intervention fidelity. In addition to research, Dr. Breitenstein serves as Secretary of the Global Implementation Society.
Currently, Dr. Breitenstein is collaborating with Ms. Julia Berteletti from Klein Buendel on a research study entitled, “Parent Training for Parents of Toddlers Born Very Premature: A Factorial Design to Test Web Delivery and Telephone Coaching” (HD104072; Dr. Breitenstein, Principal Investigator). This study is an adaptation of the Chicago Parent Program and will focus on parenting children who were born very premature, or before 32 weeks gestational age. The Chicago Parent Program is a 12-session parenting program designed to reduce behavioral issues in young children, ages 2-5 years, through strengthening parenting skills. Children who are born very premature have higher risks and vulnerabilities for developing behavioral problems. This study aims to test digital delivery of parent training plus coaching calls for parents of toddlers who were born very premature.
Dr. Derek Griffith is a Founding Co-Director of the Racial Justice Institute, the Founder and Director of the Center for Men’s Health Equity, a Professor of Health Systems Administration and Oncology, and a Member of the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He earned his Ph.D. from DePaul University in 2002 and completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health in 2004.
Dr. Griffith’s research focuses on strategies to improve African American men’s health, such as precision lifestyle medicine interventions to prevent and control obesity and other chronic diseases. Specifically, he studies the “links between notions of masculinity or manhood and health among men of color; the role of stress and coping processes in men’s health disparities; and how gender intersects with race, ethnicity, SES and other variables to shape men’s physical and mental health behavior and health outcomes.”
In a current research project, Dr. Griffith is a Co-Investigator with Dr. Robert Newton from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana and Dr. David Buller from Klein Buendel on a study to develop and evaluate a smartphone app to increase and maintain physical activity in African American. The app is called FitBrothers and will include personalization, chronic disease health information, dietary information, competition activities, and incentives to promote and sustain physical activity. The study is being funded by a Small Business Technology Transfer grant to Klein Buendel from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (MD014947; Dr. Robert Newton and Dr. David Buller, Multiple Principal Investigators).
Dr. Griffith has received research grants as the Principal Investigator from the American Cancer Society, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and several institutes within the National Institutes of Health. He has authored over 140 peer-reviewed manuscripts and serves on the editorial boards of several public health and men’s health journals.
Dr. Griffith has received multiple distinguished awards and honors throughout his career, including:
The Tom Bruce Award from the Community-Based Public Health Caucus of the American Public Health Association in recognition of his research on eliminating health disparities that vary by race, ethnicity and gender;
Recognition as a Fellow of the American Academy of Health Behavior for his significant contributions to the field of health behavior research; and
Designation as one of 1,000 Inspiring Black Scientists in America by the Cell Mentor’s Community of Scholars.
Yelena Wu, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Utah and a Research Investigator at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. She received a BA in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MA and PhD in Clinical Child Psychology from the University of Kansas. She is also a licensed pediatric and clinical child psychologist.
Dr. Wu’s research and clinical practice center on promoting better health outcomes for children, adolescents, and young adults who have a history of cancer or who are at risk for developing cancer. A specific area of research interest is the prevention of skin cancer by improving adherence to preventive behavior recommendations among children and adolescents at increased risk for developing skin cancer.
Dr. Wu is currently the Principal Investigator on a 5-year project funded by National Cancer Institute (CA244674) to test a school-based program designed to increase adolescents’ use of sun protection and decrease participation in intentional tanning. Dr. David Buller, director of Research at Klein Buendel, collaborates as a Co-Investigator on the project.
In addition to her research, Dr. Wu provides consultations and therapeutic services to medical teams, patients, and caregivers to facilitate communication and aid in the management of cancer through the Family Cancer Assessment Clinic at the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
Dr. Carolyn J. Heckman is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Co-Leader of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. She received a BA in Psychology from Brown University and PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Iowa. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in health psychology and addictions at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is also a licensed psychologist.
Dr. Heckman has published more than 100 research papers and presented at many national and international conferences. Much of her work focuses on skin cancer prevention and detection. Her other interests include online interventions and tobacco use and cessation. She has been funded numerous times by the National Cancer Institute and has also received funding from the American Cancer Society and Pfizer, Inc.
In addition to her research, Dr. Heckman is a member of the NIH Community Level Health Promotion study section and she is on the Editorial Board of the journal Translational Behavioral Medicine. She is the Founder/Leader of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey’s Dissemination and Implementation Science Working Group. Dr. Heckman has served on several steering and advisory, grant review, search committee, training, and other committees and community groups. For example, she served as the National Chair of the Don’t Fry Day skin cancer prevention awareness campaign sponsored by the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention.
Currently, Dr. Heckman is a Co-Investigator on a five-year R01 study called “A Multi-Level Investigation of U.S. Indoor Tanning Policy Enactment, Implementation, Compliance, Impact, and Economics” with Klein Buendel’s Dr. David Buller. The goals of this research project are to complete three specific aims: 1) conduct a comparative case study to elucidate the indoor tanning legislation adoption process; 2) use a pseudo-patron (confederate) assessment, national survey, and archival data to investigate indoor tanning legislation implementation, as well as indoor tanning and sunburn outcomes among adolescents and young adults; and 3) integrate data from the first two aims and external data to assess economic effects relevant to policy sustainability of indoor tanning stringency, enforcement, and compliance.