Abigail Mariani, M.P.H.

Abigail Mariani, M.P.H.

Department: Division of Epidemiology

Prior Degree(s)


Semester Of Graduation



Lu, Juan

Capstone Title

Parental, peer, and school-related factors associated wth perceived risk of harm in monthly cannabis use among US adolescents: 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health

Internship Site/Organization

Richmond Behavioral Health Authority

Awards Recieved/Special Achievements

  • School of Medicine C. C. Clayton Award, 2019
  • Oral presentation, 2019 American Public Health Association Annual Meeting
  • APHA Travel Scholarship
  • MPH Program Ambassador
  • Served on MPH Curriculum Committee
  • Best Service-Learning Presentation, 2020
  • Worked full-time while completing her MPH degree

Post-graduation destination

Continuing in position as Research Coordinator for the Informal Caregiver Burden Study: Economic and Health Outcomes at VCU while applying to PhD programs in clinical psychology with a focus on adolescent substance use

Abby graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2014. As an undergraduate at VCU, she developed a strong background in the research field mainly focusing on counseling children with mental illnesses and mindful meditation. Through her undergraduate experience, Abby found that she was more interested in programs and resources that addressed the social and mental problems involved with addiction and substance use. Therefore, she transferred her employment to VCU’s Department of Health Behavior and Policy, where the definition of public health became clear to her. abby says, "Although I currently work with family caregivers of cancer patients, my current position as a Research Coordinator is teaching me how to collect and interpret quantitative and qualitative data. This information is living evidence and proof that stakeholders, policy makers, and government officials can use to hopefully improve caregivers and their loved one’s lives. I earned my Master’s in Public Health because I aim to use both my research and educational experiences to understand the complex epidemiology of addiction to provide better support for addicts and their loved ones."

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