Stephanie Marhefka, PhD

Stephanie Marhefka, PhD, received a BPhl in Interdisciplinary Studies from Miami University of Ohio and an MS and PhD in Clinical and Health Psychology from the University of Florida. After a year as a research scientist at New York University School of Medicine Department of Pediatric Infectious Disease, she completed a 3-year National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) T32 postdoctoral fellowship at the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University in the City of New York. In 2007, Dr. Marhefka came to USF, where she has taught courses for Masters of Public Health students and PhD students. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Community and Family Health of the College of Public Health. She also supervises doctoral students who teach an undergraduate course, has mentored undergraduate and graduate students and been a member of numerous doctoral student dissertation committees. Dr. Marhefka is currently Chair of the HIV/AIDS Section of the American Public Health Association and serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors of a local HIV/AIDS service organization. Over the past 15 years, Dr. Marhefka has conducted research primarily focused on secondary prevention of HIV, which has involved working to improve adherence to care and treatment as well as risk reduction among children, adolescents, and adults living with HIV. This work has involved both quantitative and qualitative research and has often involved working closely with community organizations and people living with HIV to complete research with “real world” implications. She is especially interested in how technologies can be applied to both improve the efficiency of services and improve the extent to which we can reach people who most need services. As Principal Investigator, Dr. Marhefka recently completed a R34 (intervention development and pilot testing) grant from the NIMH. Additionally, she works with Dr. Celia Lescano on her NIMH R01 randomized controlled trial grant testing a family-based sexual risk prevention intervention, and is an investigator on a large Office of Adolescent Health grant testing the efficacy of a positive youth development program for reducing adolescent pregnancy and other negative outcomes. She has also served as an investigator or trainee on four additional National Institute of Health R01 grants and an additional R34 study, as well as numerous smaller research projects.