38th Annual Year in Review Celebration

On June 11, 2021, the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies within the Brown University School of Public Health held its Year in Review Celebration. The 38th Annual Year in Review celebrated the graduation of departing second- and third-year postdoctoral fellows, highlighted the milestones of those continuing with the Center, announced the Senior Postdoctoral Fellow for the 2021-2022 Year, and welcomed incoming first-year postdoctoral fellows. 


Each year, the fellows nominate and award the Sharon Chauncey Award and Mark Wood Mentoring Award.


Angela Stevens
Angela Stevens, PhD

The Sharon Chauncey Award was established to recognize the postdoctoral fellow who shows strong dedication to the training program and specifically to their peers in honor of the first Postdoctoral Training Program Coordinator. This year, the Sharon Chauncey Award was awarded to Angela Stevens, PhD, third-year NIDA - T32 postdoctoral fellow. Dr. Steven's research interests include the interplay of impulsivity, impaired control, and problematic alcohol and cannabis use in young adults.

Christopher Kahler
Chris Kahler, PhD


The Mark Wood Mentoring Award honors a faculty member in recognition of their excellence in mentorship. Dr. Christopher Kahler was awarded the Mark Wood Mentoring Award in recognition of his unwavering support of the postdoctoral fellows career goals, commitment to building their professional skills, and his consistent, timely, and constructive feedback. As a mentor, Dr. Kahler’s attention and commitment to issues around equity, diversity, and inclusion was an important highlight of his mentees.



Each year, the postdoctoral fellows nominate a Senior Fellow to take a leadership role in the fellowship program.


David Zelaya
David Zelaya, PhD

First-year postdoctoral fellow, David Zelaya, PhD, was awarded Senior Fellow for the upcoming 2021-2022 academic year. He will serve on the postdoctoral training committee, assist the training director and program coordinator, and support postdoctoral fellows in their ongoing training. Dr. Zelaya's research interests focus on examining health disparities in mental health and substance use from an intersectionality and minority stress lens among marginalized populations (i.e., sexual and gender minorities and racial/ethnic communities).




This years’ graduating fellows are Melissa Pielech, PhD, Robert Rosales, PhD, and Natasha Sokol, ScD.


Melissa Pielech
Melissa Pielech, PhD

Melissa Pielech, PhD joined the fellowship in 2019 supported by funding through a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) F32 award. Throughout her fellowship, Dr. Pielech gained first-hand experience with partnering with local community clinics, conducting qualitative research, and engaging in dissemination and implementation science. In addition to these efforts, Dr. Pielech joined the RI Family Task Force, received the Society of Pediatric Psychology’s International Collaboration Award, submitted a K23 proposal, served as Senior Fellow, and had numerous additional impressive accomplishments. Dr. Pielech will continue to work with the Brown University team as she joins the Center’s faculty as an Assistant Professor.


Robert Rosales
Robert Rosales, PhD

Robert Rosales, PhD joined the fellowship in 2018 funded through the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) T32. Throughout his time in the fellowship, Dr. Rosales gained expertise in research on the assessment and treatment of alcohol and other substance use disorders, learned how to analyze randomized control trial data, and gained considerable training and experience writing NIH grant applications. Additionally, Dr. Rosales received a K08 and Loan Repayment Program Award from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), published many impactful papers, presented at various substance use and health disparities conferences, and taught courses in Spanish at Boston College. Dr. Rosales will continue to collaborate with the Brown University team as he joins the Center’s faculty as an Assistant Professor.


Natasha Sokol
Natasha Sokol, ScD

Natasha Sokol, ScD joined the fellowship in 2018 funded by the NIAAA T32. Throughout her tenure in the postdoctoral fellowship program, Dr. Sokol gained expertise in researching the impacts of substance use during pregnancy, received extensive training in biomarkers and longitudinal human research studies, and developed a K proposal that centers on modifiable factors that produce disparities and inequities in substance use, treatment, and consequences across the life course that recently received a near-perfect score. On the national level, Dr. Sokol presented at various conferences and was sought out by leading journals for her expertise in manuscript review. Dr. Sokol will be joining the faculty at the Center for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine.


After honoring the graduating fellows, the Center welcomed the three incoming fellows for Fall 2021 and acknowledged the continuing fellows entering their second and third years. Visit the Postdoctoral Training Program page to learn more about our current and incoming fellows. We congratulate all the fellows and training faculty on another successful year and are excited to see the accomplishments to come in the next year.