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Faculty and Staff Resources

Student Researchers

We strongly encourage students to use Survey of the Health of Wisconsin data. In the past, students have used SHOW data for MPH capstone projects, theses, dissertations and to explore interesting topics that might lead to publication.


Information about Survey of the Health of Wisconsin questionnaires, biological specimen program and SHOW documentation is available to any researcher, student or otherwise, interested in using Survey of the Health of Wisconsin data. The codebooks available include basic frequency output for all variables collected by SHOW.


Register here to explore SHOW’s questionnaires, codebooks and other documentation. No commitment to use SHOW data is necessary.


Ready to start a research project with SHOW?


1. Find a SHOW mentor. Students working with SHOW data must have a SHOW mentor. This mentor will provide guidance on Survey of the Health of Wisconsin protocols and analytic methodology required when using SHOW data. If students need assistance matching their interests with a SHOW mentor, they should contact the SHOW Data Coordinating Center at for suggestions.


2. Fill out a Letter of Intent (LOI) indicating the following items:

  • Name, educational program and department (i.e., MPH, PhD, etc.)
  • Program advisor
  • Working title/topic
  • Background research and brief literature review
  • Research aims and timeline
  • Letter of Intent (LOI) template (docx)

The purpose of the LOI is to facilitate multiple students who may want to work on similar topics, and to ensure that you have sufficiently thought about your research idea. Once filled out, email the LOI to


3. Make a Data Request: Once your LOI is approved, a data request form (doc) must be completed. Your SHOW mentor will need to sign off on this data request.


We are always happy to talk with students about working with SHOW! Please do not hesitate to ask questions. Contact with questions, or call us at (888) 433-7469.




The Survey of the Health of Wisconsin benefits from having motivated students work with us on a number of projects from quality control to publication support. If you are interested in working for SHOW, please email Tammy LeCaire,, to find out about research and work opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.


Students at the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin


Pravleen Bajwa, Epidemiology PhD Student


Pravleen Bajwa

I am a PhD student in Epidemiology with an interest in epidemiology methods, chronic disease epidemiology, health disparities, spatial epidemiology, and GIS. I graduated with a BS in Biology from UW-Madison in 2012 and an MPH from Washington University in St. Louis in 2014. Before starting my doctorate, I worked in the Public Health field for a year focusing on projects in health disparities, community based participatory research, and program evaluation.


SHOW project: Data requests, county health reports, codebook production, quality control


Rachel Bergmans, MPH, PhD Candidate


Rachel Bergmans

Rachel Bergmans is an epidemiology PhD candidate at UW-Madison. She received her master of public health from the University of Michigan with a concentration in epidemiology, environmental health and global health. She is interested in taking a systems approach to the intersection between food systems, socio-environmental factors, and health disparities.


SHOW project: Her research interests through SHOW include the health impacts of food security status, participation in food aid programs, and neighborhood deprivation and isolation.

Shannah Eggers, PhD Student


Shannah Eggers

I am a PhD student in population health. I received my BS in microbiology from UW-Madison, and spent many years as a food safety scientist before starting graduate school. My research interests include built and physical environments, health behaviors, health prevention and the microbiome.


SHOW project: Previous projects include investigating the relationship between urbanicity and bicycle helmet use, and working in conjunction with the Obesity Prevention Initiative to report on obesity prevalence and comorbidities in Wisconsin.


I currently work on the WARRIOR project, an ancillary SHOW study, examining the relationship between diet, the gut microbiome, and colonization by multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs).

Jessica Gorzelitz, MS


Jessica GorzelitzI am a master's student in the Department of Population Health Sciences. I completed my undergraduate studies at UW-Madison in kinesiology with a certificate in global health. My research interests include physical activity monitoring at the population level and studying physical activity as a modifiable determinant of health.


Previously, I worked in the kinesiology epidemiology lab to study the effect of physical activity and colorectal cancers in mice. Also, through that lab, I've worked on a randomized controlled trial studying lung cancer patients and their primary support person in a physical activity intervention, looking at changes in physical biomarkers and improvements in quality of life. My interests and hobbies, outside of academia, include exercising, spending time with my dog Dug, fishing, and enjoying the great outdoors of Wisconsin.


SHOW project: Congruence of self-report verses objectively gathered physical activity (via accelerometer) by levels of health literacy.

Unnur Gudnadottir, MS, PhD Candidate


Unnur Gudnadottir

I am a PhD student in the Department of Population Health Sciences. Prior to becoming a PhD student, I completed a MS degree in social psychology from University of Iceland. My previous research has focused on subjective well-being, materialistic values and body dissatisfaction.


My interests include how social and environmental factors impact individuals and population health, as well as the making of questionnaires and survey methodology.


SHOW project: Interview quality control, codebook production, data requests, county-level reports.

Ellie Holzhausen, PhD Candidate


Ellie Holzhausen 

I am a PhD student in Epidemiology. I received my BS in Mathematics, with a certificate in Computer Science from UW-Madison in 2012. Prior to beginning graduate school, I worked in technical support for EHR software


SHOW project: I currently work as a project assistant for the Obesity Prevention Initiative. My focus is on collaborating with the Survey of Health of Wisconsin to create state-wide estimates of health- and obesity-related measures.

Liz Hovel, MD-MPH Candidate


Liz Hovel Liz Hovel is an MD-MPH student at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. She received bachelor's degrees in biology and Spanish as well as a certificate in global health from UW-Madison. She has experience in community health and nutrition, and is interested in the epidemiology of chronic disease.


SHOW project: Liz is investigating the relationship between neighborhood-level socioeconomic factors and cardiovascular health.

Amy Schultz, PhD Student


Amy SchultzI have always been a "big ideas" kind of person. I enjoy understanding the complexity of global problems and problems that face communities or larger populations. I have also always been interested in many different fields and how they interconnect.


I chose to study the interdisciplinary field of geography as a undergraduate and researched particulate matter, the determinants and its effect on population health. Afterward, I worked for the Bureau of Land Management performing recreational duties and field work, but I also provided geographic information systems (GIS) support to the departments of engineering, biology, recreation, forestry and real estate. I loved the diversity of the projects and the varying types of analysis I performed.


After about 3 years with the BLM, I joined Teach for America and taught high school math in the Mississippi Delta. While living in the Delta my interest in public health grew as I not only witnessed the education disparity, but also health disparity. I realized how much I loved statistical analysis, math and solving environmental/health problems. I then discovered epidemiology and population health at UW-Madison and found it to be a great fit.


At SHOW, I am able to utilize GIS to study the barriers and perceptions among private well water testing in Wisconsin and health effects associated with increased levels of chronic ambient air pollution among those living in Wisconsin.

Former Survey of the Health of Wisconsin Students


Kaitlyn Booske, MS Candidate


Kaitlyn BooskeI was a master’s student in epidemiology. Building off of my background in psychology (in which I have a BA from Northwestern University and completed two years of a social psychology PhD program at the University of Virginia before deciding to switch fields), I am interested in the associations between psychosocial factors (including stress, social relationships/support, community environment, and individual factors like SES and behaviors) and overall wellbeing, including both mental and physical health outcomes. I am also particularly interested in statistical analysis methods.


SHOW project: Various projects in quality control of SHOW data (including assessment of interviewer performance from audio recordings), and longitudinal data analysis for a Center for Demography of Health and Aging (CDHA) pilot project (led by Drs. Alberto Palloni and Javier Nieto), “The Impact of the Economic Recession on the Health and Wellbeing of Elderly Adults.”

Erin Bergman, MS Candidate


Erin BergmanI was a master’s student, and have been at SHOW for 3 years. I managed data collection for the Wisconsin Assessment of the Social and Built Environment (WASABE) in the summer of 2011, and aided in development of the final dataset. I was involved in sampling frame development and GIS spatial analyses.


My interests are in the health impacts (specifically impacts on quality of life and physical activity) of the built and social environment in which people live, as well as correlations between objective and perceived data on the built environment, and which is more predictive of health outcomes. I also have a long standing interest in women’s health, although I have not been heavily involved in that research at SHOW.


SHOW project: Using Tax Parcel Data to Compare Geocoding Accuracy of Urban and Non-Urban Addresses in Wisconsin. 45th Annual Meeting of the Society for Epidemiologic Research, Minneapolis, MN, June 2012. Bergman E, Nieto FJ, Bersch A, Buckingham W, Malecki KC.

Madison Carey, MPH Candidate


Madison CareyI was a master of public health student in the School of Medicine and Public Health, and worked at SHOW for over a year. Prior to pursuing an MPH, I received my BA in psychology from the College of Wooster, where my thesis focused on the neuropsychological outcomes following severe traumatic brain injury. I am particularly interested in health policy and management, with a secondary interest in bioethics.


SHOW project: I worked under the advisement of Dr. Kristen Malecki and Matt Moehr on the project “Using Technology to Improve Dissemination and Translation of Survey of the Health of Wisconsin Data to Public Health Officials and Stakeholders across Wisconsin,” which aims to bring together stakeholders and begin a process to identify the needs, benefits, and scope of work for dissemination. Through bringing together stakeholders from across the state of Wisconsin, SHOW data will be more easily accessed and provided in a way that supports efforts of statewide and local decision-making.

Jamie Cummings


Jamie Cummings

I was a master of public health student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a BA in psychology. Then I spent 2 completing an internship with the Rural and Urban Scholars in Community Health (RUSCH). Previously, I worked with a large managed care company to identify the perceived barriers to influenza immunization in order to increase compliance among their health care personnel.


My interests are in identifying solutions to the growing disparities in mental health care among the underserved populations of Wisconsin.


SHOW project: I investigated the characteristics and determinants of non-response in eligible SHOW follow-up study participants.

Amanda Delaney, MD Candidate


Amanda Delaney

I am a medical student. I worked at SHOW one summer through the Shapiro Research Program. Before medical school, I completed a Master's of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Minnesota. Previously, I have worked at the Minnesota Vaccines for Children Program and a clinical virology research program. My interests include heart disease, nutrition, and infectious disease.


SHOW project: I investigated the association between barriers to dental care and cardiovascular outcomes.

Megan Elderbrook, MPH Candidate


Megan Elderbrook

My interests include HIV and chronic disease epidemiology. While at SHOW, I did quality control on SHOW interviews and survey instruments, and created codebooks in order for other researchers to use and understand the data. While in my position, I used my writing, presentation and SAS skills.


SHOW publications/presentations: Elderbrook M., Bersch A.J., Nieto F.J., Malecki K. Prevalence Comparisons of Overweight and Obesity among Wisconsin Adults Ages 21-74, 2010. University of Wisconsin Department of Population Health Sciences Student Symposium, Madison,WI, April 2012.

Sierra Fischer


Sierra Fischer

Sierra was an intern at the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin through the Concentration in Analysis and Research (CAR) program at UW-Madison. She completed her undergraduate degree, majoring in Community and Environmental Sociology and Political Science with certificates in Environmental Studies and Global Health. She began her graduate degree through an accelerated program at UW-Madison's La Follette School of Public Affairs.  Her interest in public health research was sparked during a study abroad trip to Texcoco, Mexico focused on linking agriculture and nutrition.


SHOW project: Transform Wisconsin data analysis and support

Karissa Ryan, MPH Student


Karissa Ryan I am a master of public health student in the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. I received my BS in psychology from UW-Green Bay. I am currently completing my MPH field experience at SHOW. My interests include prevention and intervention services along with quality improvement.


SHOW project: Indicators for state obesity prevention and intervention programs.

Jung-Im Shin, PhD Student, Epidemiology


Jung-Im Shin

I am a physician from South Korea and a PhD student. I worked for SHOW for 3 years. My main research interests include cardiovascular disease prevention, subclinical cardiovascular disease, biomarkers and cardiovascular imaging. Outside of work, I like running and hiking.


SHOW publications/presentations: Food Insecurity, Fat Intake, and Dyslipidemia: The Survey of the Health of Wisconsin (SHOW), 2008-2010. 140th APHA Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, October 2012. Shin J, Walsh M, Malecki K, Bautista L, Nieto FJ.

Hilary Joyner, MS Candidate


Hilary Joyner

I was a master’s student in population health sciences. My interests include statistical modeling and SAS programming. I hope to use my background in psychology and family and human development to investigate the interactions between social support, stress, resilience, and health from a population health perspective. I am also interested in maternal and infant health and breastfeeding behaviors.


SHOW project: Using County Health Rankings and Survey of the Health of Wisconsin data to investigate the relationship between county-level characteristics and individual health outcomes.

Maliya Lor, McNair Scholar


Maliya Lor

I was an undergraduate in the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program. I studied microbiology and global health. My research goal is to better understand environmental barriers to desirable health outcomes in low-income minority populations. My broader research interests are health disparities, food environments, and in particular sustainable food systems in urban settings.


SHOW project: My project focuses on fast food consumption in Wisconsin and how food consumption may be influenced by various factors of the neighborhood. This project also aims to better understand the association of fast food consumption and fruit and vegetable intake.

Erman Wei, BA Candidate

Program: CAR (Concentrate in Analysis and Research) program in sociology department


Erman Wei

I'm was an undergrad major in sociology and statistics. For sociology, I was in a program concentrated in analysis and research. I'm interested in how older people identify their health status and what aspects affect such identification.


SHOW project: Quality control about health survey audio recording to the target population.

Hannah Wente, MPH Candidate


Hannah WenteHannah Wente has a graduate certificate in health communication from the University of Sydney School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


She pursued a master of public health (MPH) degree at UW-Madison to increase her knowledge of health education, gain experience with chronic disease prevention, and explore global health issues such as the double burden of chronic and communicable diseases. Her work experience at health non-profits includes the National Kidney Foundation, American Parkinson Disease Association, and Cancer Council Australia.


SHOW project: Her SHOW work involved writing a report for the Community Transformation Grant project and disseminating the findings of the mini-SHOW to the six communities who received a transformation grant.

Student Researchers

Last updated: 01/12/2017
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