The Living Free Lab Team

Rachel W. Goode, PhD, MPH, LCSW

Assistant Professor
Lab Director and Principal Investigator, Living F.R.E.E. Lab

Dr. Goode is an Assistant Professor at the School of Social Work, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill). She received her PhD, MPH, and MSW from the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests include developing, implementing, and evaluating interventions to address racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in obesity and eating disorders. Her research has been funded by the NIH, National Eating Disorders Association, Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, Magee Womens Research Institute, and the University Research Council at UNC-Chapel Hill.  Additionally, Dr. Goode is a licensed clinical social worker, and has practice experience with the treatment of eating disorders and obesity among clients in university counseling centers, and community-based mental health agencies. She has been fortunate to be the recipient of various awards, including the Oprah Civic Leadership Award, National Health, Lung, Blood Institute (NIH) Research Service Award, and the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Society of Behavioral Medicine. She is currently the principal investigator of an NIH/NIDDK Career Development Award (K23) to design a culturally-relevant digital health intervention to treat binge eating and obesity in Black women.

Ramine Alexander, PhD, MPH

Research Project Manager, Living F.R.E.E. Lab

Dr. Alexander received her Ph.D. Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise and MPH in Health Education, from Virginia Tech. As an intervention scientist, her research interest includes utilizing Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) to improve lifestyle risk factors (i.e., diet and physical activity) that have a direct relevance to obesity and chronic disease. Through CBPR approaches a primary goal of her work is to involve the voice of the community in the research process to promote intervention sustainability. Dr. Alexander has a passion for building health equity, conducting research on the social determinants of health, and using innovative approaches to communicate science.

The Lab Team

Sarah Godoy, MSW

Project Coordinator

Sarah Godoy is a doctoral student, graduate research assistant, and Royster Fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) School of Social Work. She is particularly interested in using community engaged strategies to bolster the health and rights of marginalized populations and center their voices through qualitative methods. Her area of research focuses on youth and young adults impacted by commercial sexual exploitation in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems and their intersection with healthcare, social services, and technology. Sarah was the Project Coordinator of the UCLA Commercial Sexual Exploitation Research Lab and the Co-Investigator of an intervention research study focused on reproductive education and sexual health rights of youth in foster care with histories of commercial sexual exploitation. Sarah was a Lecturer in the Department of Social Welfare at UCLA in 2018 and 2020. Sarah earned her master’s degree in Social Welfare at UCLA.  

Tyisha Harper, MBA

Project Coordinator

Tyisha Harper joined UNC Nutrition Research Institute in December 2021 as a Project Coordinator in the Goode Lab. She is originally for Milwaukee, WI and relocated to the Charlotte area with her new husband. While in Milwaukee, WI Tyisha worked as a Research Program Coordinator and Community Engagement Coordinator at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She is excited to learn and develop her research career here. Tyisha is motivated by spiritual affirmations and her favorite one is Psalms 46:5, “God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.”

Hannah Wolfe

Graduate Research Assistant

Hannah is a second-year graduate student in UNC Chapel Hill’s 2-year Master’s in Social Work program. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 2020 with a major in Psychology and minor in Health & Wellbeing. Hannah has worked in two research labs prior to the Living F.R.E.E. Lab, one conducting research on eyewitness identification and the other on the sexual beliefs, experiences, and health practices of Black women. She spent the past year working at an eating disorder treatment center, facilitating meals and group therapy with clients. Hannah is passionate about changing our cultural understanding of and attitudes towards eating disorders and hopes to pursue a career in which she can help people of all identities feel at peace with their bodies and with food.

Abby Mueller

Research Assistant

Abby is thrilled to be a senior at UNC Chapel Hill. She is majoring in History and minoring in Chemistry and Health and Society. After graduation, she plans to attend medical school and is particularly interested in forming long-term relationships with her patients in a primary care specialty. She is grateful to work in a lab that takes a person-centered approach to research and that intersects with her passion for understanding and minimizing health disparities. She is looking forward to working with her empowering lab mates as well as learning more about the role of diet culture in promoting disordered eating behaviors and perpetuating stereotypes about eating disorders. 

Katie Olson

Graduate Research assistant

Katie is a second-year graduate student at UNC Chapel Hill’s School of Social Work. She graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 2021 with a BA in Psychology and minors in Education and Health & Society. Katie has worked in two eating disorder focused research labs prior to the Living F.R.E.E. Lab and is looking forward to further developing her research skills and building expertise as a social work researcher. She is passionate about reducing stigmatization in eating disorder diagnosis and treatment. Upon graduation, Katie plans on getting her LCSW and becoming a child and adolescent clinician specializing in the treatment of eating disorders.  

Jaspreet Bhutani

Research assistant

Jaspreet is currently working as an EMT and volunteering as a doula. She hopes to go to medical school and pursue women’s health. She is passionate about health equity, specifically serving marginalized groups. Jaspreet is very excited to be involved in research, especially with a lab that prioritizes minority health. She is looking forward to gaining skills and working with this population. She is so grateful and excited for this experience. 

Sophia Berg

Research assistant

Sophia is a senior at UNC Chapel Hill and is majoring in Psychology and Management & Society. After graduation, she is hoping to pursue a master’s in Social Work or a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. Sophia is passionate about mental health and plans to work with teens and adults struggling with anxiety, depression, and disordered eating in the future. She is so excited to be working with the Living F.R.E.E. Lab. 

Yiwen Xu

Research assistant

Yiwen is a senior studying Statistics and Economics with a minor in Information Science at UNC Chapel Hill. Being an international student, she is interested in exploring how cultural, social, and racial disparities could influence eating disorders. After graduation, she plans on earning a master’s degree related to Human-Computer Interactions with a focus on Psychology. Yiwen is looking forward to working with the lab and diving deeper into the study of eating disorders.

Leslie McClellan

Research Assistant

Leslie joined Dr. Rachel Goode’s lab in December 2021, after a significant time away from research. Most of her past research experience has been in the area of children’s health and nutrition. In recent years, Leslie’s interest in human health and well-being has drawn her to work connecting people to the natural world within their local communities – neighborhoods, schools and churches. As a part of the Living F.R.E.E. Lab, Leslie has been supporting the development of appetite awareness research in the Satisfy Study. 

Arsema Temesgen

Research Assistant

Arsema is a second year at UNC Chapel Hill majoring in Human Development and Family Science. She is passionate about public health and working between the intersection of health and public service. Her long-term interests include working in community health education and advocacy for underserved populations, such as immigrants and refugees. She is also interested in learning how certain populations are vulnerable to diseases in relation to nutrition and food access. Arsema is excited to be working in a research lab where she will have the opportunity to learn more about disparities that exacerbate eating disorders and obesity among underserved populations and gain research skills that can she apply for both her future studies and her career. 

Julian Robles

Research Assistant

Julian is a senior at UNC Chapel Hill majoring in Biology and Religious Studies. He joined the Living F.R.E.E Lab in May 2022 and worked at the UNC Nutrition Research Institute in Kannapolis NC for the Summer. He is continuing his role as a research assistant in Chapel Hill. As a Chancellor Science Scholar, Julian is committed to pursuing research to increase diversity in research and bring awareness to research underrepresented populations. He is interested in bridging health disparities between the medical field, policymakers, and underserved populations since he is interested in entering the medical field. He is grateful for his opportunity at the Living F.R.E.E. Lab to work on the SATISFY study and get the opportunity to work on other projects that focus on helping underserved populations.