UPenn PRC Staff

Jade Avelis, PhD
Jade Avelis, PhD

Research Program Manager

Jade is a research project manager for CHBR, where she helps conduct research on preventive health topics and oversee center operations. She earned her PhD in sociology from the University of Notre Dame, where she studied gender, family, and social psychology. When not at work, Jade spends time with her family exploring Philadelphia.

Claudia Caponi
Claudia Caponi

Program Coordinator

Claudia is a Program Coordinator with the Center for Health Behavior Research. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising with a parallel concentration in Psychology from the University of Miami. She has studied Health Coaching and also completed a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training. Outside of work, Claudia enjoys spending time in nature, reading, and learning about somatic movement.

Annie Chung
Annie Chung

Senior Research Coordinator

Annie Chung is a Senior Research Coordinator on the UPenn PRC The Healthy Weigh Study and at the Center for Health Behavior Research (CHBR). She also works with the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (CPCRN) and the Prostate Cancer Community Engagement, Evaluation, and Dissemination Core (Pro-CEED Core).

Chung majored in Health and Societies and received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania. She has ten years of health research experience, including research in prostate cancer, bone health, and internet data mining.

Yolande Goncalves, PhD
Yolande Goncalves, PhD

Research Coordinator

Yolande is currently involved with the Community Outreach and Engagement component of the Abramson Cancer Center, and the Healthy Retail Solutions 2 Study. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Manchester, U.K., and a Bachelor of Science in Oral Health from the University of Lisbon, Portugal. Her research interests include community health, health promotion and education, and disease prevention. Yolande also enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and working out.

Betsy Kaage
Betsy Kaage

Communication Coordinator

Betsy has over 10 years of experience in communication and marketing for manufacturing, small businesses, and tourism. After receiving a BFA in Set Design from DePaul University Theater School in Chicago, IL, Betsy worked nationally as a freelance artist and designer in theater, interior design, and textile design. She used the skills gained by marketing herself and her work for twenty years to make the move into communication and marketing for various industries. Betsy enjoys exploring Philadelphia and the Mid-Atlantic coast with her family, after a move from the Midwest in 2016. Betsy is also the communication coordinator at the Ortner Center on Violence & Abuse in the School of Social Policy & Practice at Penn.

Pui (Flora) Kwong, MPH
Pui (Flora) Kwong, MPH

Statistical Analyst

Flora is currently involved with the PRC Healthy Weigh Study, the Healthy Retail Solutions Study, and the Real-time Incentives for Fruits and Vegetables. Flora earned a Bachelor’s degree in Medicine from Jinan University in China, and a Master’s degree in Public Health in Epidemiology from Indiana University. With over 14 years’ experience as a professional data analyst in health outcome research at the UPenn Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CCEB), her research involved projects with veterans with lower extremity amputation, veterans post-stroke rehabilitation, and aging populations with or without disabilities. Living with her husband and two home-away college boys, her leisure time is spent on Ikebana flower arrangement, volunteering in the community, hiking, reading, and traveling around the world with family.

Samantha Marks, RD
Samantha Marks, RD

Research Assistant

Sam is a Research Assistant with the Center for Health Behavior Research. She is currently assisting with the Healthy Retail Solutions 2 study and other ongoing projects. Sam is a Registered Dietitian with a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from the University of Delaware and has experience in outpatient healthcare as well as community nutrition and public health. Sam enjoys traveling, yoga, and spending time in nature. 

Krista Scheffey, MPH, MSW
Krista Scheffey, MPH, MSW

Senior Research Coordinator

Krista supports community engagement activities across CHBR research projects. Previously, she was a Peace Corps Community Health volunteer in Madagascar and a clinical research coordinator in Washington, DC. Krista holds a BA in Anthropology from the University of Chicago and an MPH and MSW from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.