Background and Professional Interests
Ruaa is a doctoral student in behavioral psychology in the Department of Applied Behavioral Science at KU, advised by Dr. Vincent Francisco. She has a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Kansas School of Medicine. A health justice-oriented individual in the public health and applied behavioral science fields, she’s interested in transforming environments and conditions to assure health for all. With five years working in hospitals and research, including public health experiences in the UK, Sudan, Kenya, and various US cities including New York, Seattle, Kansas City, and Atlanta, she’s interested in improving the quality of health at the local, national and international levels. This interest led her to serve as a Global Health Council Delegate to the World Health Organization's 70th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland in 2017, advocating for topics such as adolescent health, safe environments, and behavioral health services. Her diverse training background (in medical laboratory science and epidemiology) solidify her desire to work toward equitable, inclusive and sustainable solutions to local and global public health challenges in vulnerable communities. As a graduate research assistant, she provides technical assistance, quality assurance of data, and training for community-based organizations. Currently, she’s training for a Ph.D. in behavioral psychology to use applied behavioral methodology as a base to approach socially significant problems, with special attention to behavior-environment relationships.