Melissa Laitner, M.S.

BiographyLaitner

Melissa Laitner, M.S. is a doctoral candidate at the University of Florida in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology. Melissa graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Carolina in 2011 with a major in Experimental Psychology and a minor in Spanish Language. During her time in South Carolina, Melissa worked as an undergraduate assistant on several grants focused on obesity and health behaviors in underserved and minority populations. Since her transition to UF, Melissa has worked as a graduate research assistant under the mentorship of Dr. Michael Perri. She is concurrently working on a master’s degree in public health. Through her public health program, Melissa is interning as a research assistant on a community-based participatory research USDA multisite grant through Food Sciences and Human Nutrition under the leadership of Dr. Anne Mathews.

Melissa’s dissertation research focuses on prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and prediabetes in rural versus nonrural areas. Primary areas of interest broadly include weight management, health disparities, and health policy. Melissa is also interested in primary care psychology, and will begin her doctoral internship in July 2016 with a focus on primary care in underserved populations and emergency room overutilizers. Melissa is on course to receive her MPH in August 2016 and her PhD in August 2017. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors with her two dogs.

Publications

Laitner, M.H., Minski, S.A., & Perri, M.G. (In Press, 2016). The role of self-monitoring in the maintenance of weight loss success. Eating Behaviors (available online).

Perri, M.G, Laitner, M.H., & Ariel, A.H. (In Press, 2016). Obesity. In S. Richards & L. Cohen (Eds.), The

Wiley Encyclopedia of Health Psychology, Volume III: Clinical Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine. Oxford, UK: John Wiley and Sons.

Dutton, G.R., Laitner, M.H., & Perri, M.G. (2014). Lifestyle interventions for cardiovascular disease risk reduction: A systematic review of the effects of diet composition, food provision, and treatment modality on weight loss. Current Atherosclerosis Reports, 16(10), 442-456.

Recent Posters & Presentations

Laitner, M.H., Mathews, A., Colby, S., Olfert, M.D., Kattelmann, K., Brown, O., Kidd, T., Horacek, T., White, A., Zhou, W., Greene, G., Riggsbee, K., Morell, J., & Shelnutt, K. (2016). Prevalence of food insecurity and associated health behaviors among college freshmen. Poster submitted to the 2016 Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo, Boston, MA.

Laitner, M.H., Minski, S.A., Degener, R.T., Ariel, A.H., Warren, E.L., & Perri, M.G. (2015). The Effect of Treatment Dose on Blood Lipids in Behavioral Weight Loss Treatment. Poster submitted to the 2016 University of Florida Public Health & Health Professions Graduate Student Research Day.

Laitner, M.H., Minski, S.A., Ariel, A.H., Warren, E.L., & Perri, M.G. (2015). The Effect of Treatment Dose on Blood Lipids in Behavioral Weight Loss Treatment. Poster presented at the 2015 Society of Behavioral Medicine meeting, San Antonio, Texas. **Obesity & Eating Disorders Special Interest Group Best Graduate Student Research Abstract Award

Laitner, M.H., Minski, S.A., & Perri, M.G. (2014). Accuracy of Self-Reported Height and Weight among an Obese, Rural Population. Poster presented at the University of Florida 2014 Graduate Student Research Day.

Laitner, M.H., Lespinasse, D.M., Maurer, S.N., Minski, S.A., Alabduljabbar, M, Degener, R.T., Ariel, A.H., & Perri, M.G (2014). The role of self-monitoring in the maintenance of weight loss success. Poster presented at the 2014 University of Florida Public Health & Health Professions Graduate Student Research Day. **Outstanding Research Award

Laitner, M.H., Lespinasse, D.M., Maurer, S.N., Minski, S.A., Alabduljabbar, M, Degener, R.T., Ariel, A.H., & Perri, M.G (2014). Self-Monitoring as a Mechanism for Success Following Behavioral Weight Loss Treatment. Poster presented at the 2014 Society of Behavioral Medicine meeting, Philadelphia, PA. **Obesity & Eating Disorders Special Interest Group Best Graduate Student Research Abstract Award

Awards & Memberships

Society of Behavioral Medicine Obesity & Eating Disorders Special Interest Group Best Graduate Student Abstract Award (2015)

Research Travel Award, Office of Research, University of Florida (2015)

Research Travel Award, Graduate Student Council, University of Florida (2015)

American Public Health Association (2015 – present)

Society of Behavioral Medicine Obesity & Eating Disorders Special Interest Group Best Graduate Student Abstract Award (2014)

PHHP Research Day Grant, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida (2014)

Research Travel Award, Office of Research, University of Florida (2014)

Research Travel Award, Graduate Student Council, University of Florida (2014)

American Psychological Association (APA), Division 38 (2013 – present)

PHHP Research Day Grant, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida (2013)

Research Travel Award, Office of Research, University of Florida (2013)

Research Travel Award, Graduate Student Council, University of Florida (2013)

Society for Behavioral Medicine (SBM) (2012 – present)

Leadership

Student Representative, Public Health & Health Professions Diversity Committee (2015 – present)

Student Coordinator, Clinical & Health Psychology Women’s Leadership group (2015 – present)

Clinical Intakes Coordinator, Free Therapy Night (2014 – present)

Student Committee Member, Multidisciplinary Academic-Community Obesity Disparities Research Team (2014 – 2016)