Biobehavioral Health Alumni Profile: Miesha Marzell, Ph.D.

Photo of Miesha Marzell


1997 B.A. Psychology, Georgetown University
2002 Master of Social Work, University of Southern California
2011 Ph.D. Biobehavioral Health, The Pennsylvania State University

On the Ph.D. program, in her words:

“I strongly believe an interdisciplinary approach to research is imperative. Therefore, I am grateful for the amazing training and experiences I had in the Department of Biobehavioral Health. Because of meaningful connections with faculty and students, my research philosophy is deeply rooted in the importance of understanding the interactions of biological, behavioral and social influences on health. I am fortunate to bring my multifaceted training not only to my research endeavors, but back to the classroom as well. I hope to continue utilizing this strength and make significant contributions to scientific, academic, local, and global communities for many years to come.”

Current areas of professional interest are:

My broad research interests are the etiology and prevention of alcohol and drug misuse among adolescent and young adult populations. My specific interests include the study of environmental and policy factors that can influence these behaviors. I also study the relationship between sports participation and substance abuse to inform prevention efforts.

Current Position:

Assistant Professor
Department of Community and Behavioral Health, College of Public Health
The University of Iowa


"Reducing High-Risk College Drinking: Examining the Consumption of Alcohol-Energy Drink Cocktails among College Students"

Brief description: My dissertation research explored the combined use of alcohol and energy drinks among college students in an effort to inform college drinking prevention strategies. I conducted a study examining why students might be choosing to participate in this high-risk drinking practice and whether these factors changed over time. Results revealed that the association between alcohol-energy drink cocktail use and decision-making/drinking outcomes was mediated by several psychosocial constructs (e.g., expectancies) and that these relationships remained stable over time. Findings hopefully provided information to prevention programs aimed at reducing excessive alcohol use and related problems among college students.

Ph.D. Advisor:

Rob Turrisi, Ph.D.