UT Tobacco Research and Evaluation Team logo

About Us

Tobacco Research and Evaluation Team

University of Texas at Austin

College of Education
Department of Kinesiology & Health Education
2109 San Jacinto Blvd., Mail Stop D3700
Austin, Texas 78712


See Former Team Members

Staff Biographies

Alexandra Loukas, Ph.D., Principle InvestigatorAlexandra Loukas, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator

Alex is a Professor and Program Director of Health Behavior and Health Education in the Department of Kinesiology & Health Education at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses on adolescent and young adult health, particularly adolescent aggression and tobacco use and cessation in disparate populations. Alex has a special interest in examining how factors from multiple ecological levels (e.g., family, school, culture) interact to protect adolescents and young adults from negative health outcomes. In addition to the projects described on the website, she has served as Principal Investigator on studies funded by the National Cancer Institute to examine the associations between stress, depressive symptoms and tobacco use in vocational school students and to test the feasibility of a web-based smoking cessation program for this population.

Shelley Karn, EdD., Program DirectorShelley Karn, EdD.
Program Director

Shelley is the Project Director for the Tobacco Research & Evaluation Team with the University of Texas at Austin, Kinesiology and Health Education Department. The projects include community coalition evaluation as well as clinical interventions for systems change for tobacco cessation. Shelley also directs the development and implementation for a statewide college initiative focused on reducing life-long initiation for tobacco use. She has more than 15 years of experience in prevention initiatives including tobacco cessation, cancer control initiatives, comprehensive pregnancy prevention programs, nutrition education, and school health projects. Shelley is a Certified Healthcare Reform Specialist and works to incorporate simple solutions to adhere to the requirements of the new reform policy.  

Sherman Chow M.P.H., M.A Senior Program CoordinatorSherman Chow M.P.H., M.A
Senior Research Coordinator

Sherman is the Sr. Research Coordinator for the NIH-funded research study, Tobacco Marketing and Alternative Tobacco Use among College Students. He joined the Tobacco Research & Evaluation Team in January 2014. Before joining the team, Sherman coordinated numerous research studies on childhood obesity in Central Texas. Sherman specializes in qualitative methods and mixed-methods research.

Lara Latimer, Ph.D.
Senior Research Coordinator/Lecturer

Lara is the Senior Research Coordinator on the College Tobacco Initiative with the Tobacco Research & Evaluation Team at the University of Texas at Austin. Lara also teaches Child, Adolescent, and Adult Health, a core undergraduate course in the Department of Kinesiology & Health Education. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Health Education from The University of Texas at Austin, and her B.S. in Exercise and Sport Science from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX. Lara has experience with examining nutrition-related behaviors and associated factors among elementary- and middle-school age youth, tobacco surveillance and other health behaviors among college students, and weight-loss with lower-income, postpartum women. 

Ann Marie Newman, B.A., Senior Project CoordinatorAnn Marie Newman, B.A.
Senior Outreach Coordinator

Ann Marie is a Sr. Outreach Coordinator with the Tobacco Research & Evaluation Team at the University of Texas at Austin. Her primary focus is to coordinate with health care systems across Texas in implementing the eTobacco Protocol. Her responsibilities include community outreach, training and demonstrating the value of the eTobacco Protocol, working with electronic medical records companies, and collaborating with other statewide entities who have an interest in tobacco cessation. Ann Marie’s background is in diversity and inclusion that includes work experience with the American Cancer Society, UNICEF-Mexico, and Kingston Legal Aid Clinic.


Trina Robertson, M.A., Senior Project CoordinatorTrina Robertson, M.A.
Senior Outreach Coordinator

Trina is a Sr. Outreach Coordinator across projects for the Tobacco Research & Evaluation Team. She has worked in a variety of research and evaluation programs focused on health promotion and educational since 1991, including tobacco control, breast cancer screening outreach, health disparities, comprehensive cancer control, school-based pregnancy and parenting education, literacy, and violence prevention programs. Much of her work has involved coordinating collaboration projects between educational institutions, social service agencies, and state and/or federal agencies.

Lou Ann Grossberg, M.A., Senior Program Coordinator

Daniele White, B.S.
Outreach Coordinator

Daniele is the Outreach Coordinator on the College Tobacco Initiative (Peers Against Tobacco) with the Tobacco Research & Evaluation Team at the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to becoming the Outreach Coodinator, she worked as an undergraduate research assistant for Peers Against Tobacco. Daniele received her B.S. in Health Promotion and Behavioral Science and is planning on pursuing an M.S. in social work. Her goal is to provide mental health and substance abuse counseling to incarcerated individuals.