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Jennifer Unger
Jennifer Unger
Say Hello to Our New Staff Members

Jennifer Unger, CO-Principal Investigator (Cultural Expert)

Jennifer B. Unger, PhD, is a visiting professor in preventative medicine at the Keck School of Medicine. Over the last thirteen years she has been conducting research and teaching courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in epidemiology, research methods, and ethics. She serves as the co-principal investigator of the Tobacco Education and Material Lab (TEAM Lab), consulting and guidance on materials development particularly on the development of toolkits focused on targeting issues surrounding tobacco use among African American, Hispanic/Latino and Native American/American Indian communities.

Currently, she is funded through a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to study drug use among Hispanic/Latino adolescents in Southern California focusing on the effect of parent-child acculturation patterns on adolescent’s drug use behavior. With another grant from the California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP), she studies the attitudes towards commercial and sacred tobacco use among American Indian adolescents in urban and rural areas of California.

Her primary area of research has had a focus on the psychosocial and cultural predictors of substance abuse among adolescents, including acculturation, cultural values, peer influences, family influences and stressful life events.

Dr. Unger earned her B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and her PhD from the University of Southern California.

Rosa Barahona
Rosa Barahona
Rosa Barahona, Financial Analyst

As the financial analyst for the Tobacco Education and Materials Lab (TEAM Lab), Rosa Barahona manages all the budgetary and financial aspects of this project.

Previously, Rosa was the Project Manager for the Hispanos/Latinos Unidos en Casinos Por la Salud,a program funded by the California Department of Public Health, Tobacco Control Programs which evaluates a policy driven intervention to reduce secondhand smoke exposure among Hispanic/Latino (H/L) workers and patrons in American Indian owned casinos, in Riverside County. She was also the Project Specialist and Membership Coordinator for the statewide Hispanic Latino Tobacco Education Partnership for four years. She helped support the Partnership’s mission, assisted in the development and testing of innovative culturally based interventions, provided technical assistance on program planning, assisted with implementation and evaluation of culturally competent community based programs, building leadership and advocating for the propagation of tobacco-free Hispanic/Latino communities statewide with agencies and individuals committed to a tobacco-free California.

Her experiences in policy and advocacy were instrumental in the development and implementation of the Partnership’s Regale Salud, smoke-free housing choice campaign. Prior to the Partnership, Rosa worked on numerous USC based programs, including her role as a health educator with the Trans-disciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center assisting with the dissemination of tobacco use research interventions and assessment tools among Middle and High school students.

Rosa Barahona holds a B.A. in psychology and an A.A. in liberal arts from Mount Saint Mary’s College. She is currently working on her master of public health degree at University of Southern California.

Crystal Kynard-Amerson
Crystal Kynard-Amerson
Crystal Kynard-Amerson, Project Assistant

As the project assistant for Tobacco Education and Materials Lab (TEAM Lab), Crystal Kynard-Anderson works closely with prominent members of the African-American, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian communities to develop two new informational toolkits targeting issues surrounding tobacco use education. She will also play an intergral role in the materials development process with the sole responsibility of of managing the materials intake library, which helps TEAM Lab stay abreast of the materials that agencies have listed in their SOW's.

Crystal has experience as the research coordinator on a project surrounding children with spastic cerebral palsy. Her role was to interface with parents of the children participating in the study as well as being the liaison between the two participating research institutions: Tucson Medical Center and the University of Arizona.

As part of her master of public health experience, Crystal was apart of a pioneering venture with the Pima County Health Department (PCHD); conducting the county’s first ever community health assessment. Located in Tucson, Arizona, the PCHD Epidemiology department launched the community health assessment by distributing surveys at local events and at local organizations to gain a better understanding of the health needs of the residents of the community. Crystal took over the second leg of the process by coordinating and transcribing three county-wide focus groups. She was also the lead interviewer for the key informant interview process.

Crystal earned her undergraduate degree in cultural anthropology from San Francisco State University and her master of public health degree from the University of Arizona with a concentration in Family and Child Health.

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Materials Tip: Choosing Images for Print Materials

When developing an educational material, the imagery used should be relevant to the topic at hand. Print materials usually incorporate images, pictures, and word art to convey a certain message to the audience. It is important that the imagery that is used draws in the audience and ties into the central theme of the message.

For example, using images associated with tobacco such as cigarettes, smoke and pipes would be appropriate because they are universal items associated with the use of tobacco. However, using images that have little or no connection to tobacco might confuse the reader and detract from the message that is trying to be conveyed.

General Tips:

  • The imagery used should be impactful yet consistent
  • The imagery should tell a story.
  • The imagery should draw the reader in.
  • The imagery should be simple.
  • The imagery should be appropriate for the general audience.
  • The imagery should not depict violence or use foul language.

Below are examples of potential images.

No Smoking

No Smoking

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Did You Know CTCP Now Has Social Media Guidelines?

Based on TEAM Lab’s 2011 Needs Assessment findings, we know that 51% of the 111 survey respondents answered “probably” or “definitely will” when asked if they will use social network sites such as Facebook or Twitter. We also learned from a social media pre-training assessment we administered in March 2011, that people want to learn more about best practices for using social media. That is why we wanted to help spread the word about the Social Media Guidelines that CTCP just recently posted on Partners during the week of 6/9/2011 (you can find a link to the guidelines below). This is a great resource. These guidelines can help you use social media effectively to educate and inform your local communities on tobacco control activities. Social media is fast moving, it requires your messages to be engaging to quickly capture your audience. Some of the basic points made were to post succinct and direct messages regularly, and to quickly respond to questions and comments. Other tips provided are links to outside resources (such as another website, or your own website) and to use short internet addresses. A very important note made is to remember to tailor your message to the audience that you are speaking to. Take a look!

Here is a link to these guidelines:
CTCP Social Media Guidelines

Don’t forget if you need additional resources, training, and/or technical assistance on social media, you can contact our friend Amelia Silbert-Geiger with the California Youth Advocacy Network at (916) 339-3424 x23 or at Amelia@cyanonline.org.

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TEAM Lab All Stars: New Logo and New Editions to the Group

TEAM Lab All Stars are all the projects and agencies that have submitted tobacco education materials to TEAM Lab. We understand and appreciate all the hard work and time that goes into developing an educational material and have acknowledged these projects here on our website and in our e-newlsetters. Within the next few months, all TEAM Lab All Stars will receive a small token of our appreciation in the mail. So, if you are a TEAM Lab All Star expect some goodies from TEAM Lab.

As part of this effort, we have developed a logo for the TEAM Lab All Stars Logo:


Here are the recent editions to this special group of agencies:
  • California Health Collaborative (Chico)
  • Colusa County Health and Human Services
  • Kern County Public Health Services Department
  • Project UNIFORM
  • Santa Barbara County Public Health Department
  • SUNSET Russian Tobacco Education Project

TEAM Lab would like to thank you, your team, staff, and agency for all your hard work. Thank you so much for your materials submission!

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New Materials in the Online Tobacco Education Clearinghouse of California (TECC)’s Catalog Thanks to TEAM Lab All Stars

Thanks to the efforts and submissions from TEAM Lab All Stars, TECC’s online catalog features 3 brand new materials. These materials can be used for countering tobacco industry sponsorship, a universal no-smoking sign and much, much more.

Ride Tough Without Tobacco (Poster)
Developing Agency: BUCK Tobacco

Breath of Fresh Air (Poster shown and Table Tent)
Developing Agency: Sutter County Human Services Department (Public Health Division)

To purchase these materials visit the Tobacco Education Clearinghouse of California.

All credit goes to TEAM Lab All Stars, who continue to submit innovative and passionate tobacco education materials! More information on TEAM Lab All Stars.

Thank you for your continued support!

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Use Our New Template for Your Smoke-free Outdoor Area Campaigns!

Based on the Needs Assessment Results, 71% of respondents wanted more materials for reducing secondhand smoke. As a response to this, TEAM Lab recently created a template for you to use in your local communities.

Download this Microsoft Publisher template to promote smoke-free outdoors in your local community.

These templates can be used in whatever way you would like; however, here is a sample of how TEAM Lab would use this template. This version shows TEAM Lab's contact information.

This version has TEAM Lab's QR code. Once you scan this QR code with your smart phone, you will be directed to the TEAM Lab website.

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USC Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research
1000 South Fremont Avenue, Unit 8, Building A-4, Room 4223, Alhambra, CA 91803

URL: teamlab.usc.edu
Like us on Facebook facebook.com/pages/USC-Tobacco-Education-and-Materials-Lab-TEAM-Lab/198043220230844
E-mail: teamlab@usc.edu
Phone: (626) 457-6610
Fax: (626) 457-4280

Developing tobacco educational materials? Need help? Unsure of how to submit material? TEAM Lab is here to help. Please e-mail us at teamlab@usc.edu so we can help answer any of your questions.