Center for Behavioral Health Research and Training

UCF School of Social Work

The Center for Behavioral Health Research and Training (CBHRT), established in spring 2017, is the first center established in the School of Social Work and the newest center established in the College of Health Professions and Sciences at the University of Central Florida.


The Center for Behavioral Health Research and Training does foster collaborative partnerships and cross-fertilization of mental health professionals, health care providers and behavioral health researchers whose united expertise creates cutting-edge solutions for improving the health and well-being of diverse populations. Patients and mental health consumers are often faced with a broad range of complex clinical and behavioral health problems, compounded by health disparities.


The Center for Behavioral Health Research and Training expands expertise and scientific discovery in evidence-based prevention and clinical- and population-based research to improve best practices and behavioral health outcomes for local, national and global communities.


Provide direct training and core support for professional training in behavioral health topics

Support services providers in program evaluation and in conducting practice research by teaching how to internally assess their own functioning outcomes

Provide service providers information on research evidence to apply to their local practices

Provide education on research, data collection and analysis, and access to evidence-based programs and practices

Grants and Training Areas

Faculty members associated with the CBHRT conduct training and research in a variety of behavioral health topics aligned with Florida’s State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP) for 2017-2021.

Past Award Recipients

  • Assessing needs for an engagement intervention in the emergency department for young adults in the early stages of mental illness
    Dr. Eunji Nam (PI) and Dr. Lindsay Taliaferro (Co-PI), $5,000
  • Implementation of a school-based Fitbit intervention to increase physical activity in youth with ASD
    Dr. Jeanette Garcia (PI), Dr. Shawn Lawerence, Dr. Lauren Reinerman, and Susan Quelly (Co-PIs), $4, 697
  • A qualitative assessment of QOL among testicular cancer survivors
    Dr. Michael Rovito (PI), Dr. Derek Falk, Dr. Eunkyung Lee, Dr. Humberto Lopez-Castillo, and Dr. Lindsay Taliaferro (Co-PIs), $5,000
  • Comprehensive needs assessment for deaf survivors of IPV seeking emergency crisis and shelter services in FL
    Dr. Reshawna Chapple (PI), Dr. Olga Molina, and Dr. Desiree Diaz (Co-Pis), $5,000
  • The mental health of migrant populations from Venezuela who arrive in Central Florida: Generating suggestions for public policy
    Dr. Tracy Wharton (PI), Dr. Andres Cubillo-Novella, Dr. Bernardo Ramirez, Dr. Heather Peralta, Dr. Christian King, and Denisse Lamas (Co-Pis), $2,000
  • The lived experience of mental illness among older Chinese immigrants in Central Florida
    Dr. Sharon Wang (PI) and Dr. Michael Valenti (Co-PI), $5,000


  • Health Equity
    • Health Policy & Literacy
    • Cancer Disparities
  • Maternal & Child Health
    • Pediatric Health & Mental Health
  • Injury, Safety & Violence
    • Violence Prevention
    • Trauma-Informed Care
    • Secondary Traumatic Stress
  • Chronic Diseases & Conditions
    • End of Life Care
    • Chronic Illness in Children
    • Dementia
  • Behavioral Health
    • Substance Abuse Prevention & Intervention
    • Suicide Prevention, Intervention &Postvention
    • Evidence-Based Practices (TF-CBT, MI)
    • Solution-Focused Practices
    • Culturally Sensitive Practices for Diverse Population(LGBTQ+, Disability, Latino, Deaf & Hard of Hearing)
    • Loss, Grief & Bereavement
    • Aging
  • Sexually Transmitted & Infectious Diseases
    • Sexual Health
  • Healthy Weight, Nutrition & Physical Activity
    • Obesity, Stigma

Get Involved

The Center is a collaborative workspace and is here to support faculty, students, and community partners. We work with students and researchers from all disciplines to find synergies and advance behavioral health.  If you are interested in joining our team, please contact us.

Current Research Assistants


Paola Luigi
Graduate Assistant
MSW program
since January 2020


Marissa McNeil
Graduate Assistant
Clinical Mental Health Counseling
since September 2019


Holly Bertholf
Health Sciences Major
since January 2020


Michael Cosare
Health Science Major
since May 2019


Cleopatra Elshiekh
Biomedical Sciences Major
since January 2020


Emily Ferguson
Sports & Exercise Science Major
since August 2019


Tirzah Fernandez
Psychology Major
since May 2019


Marie Hamel
Burnett Honors College
since January 2020


Fatima Hussain
Interdisciplinary Studies Major
since August 2019


Aartie Pooani
Health Sciences Major (Pre-Clinical)
since January 2019


Marissa Smith
Psychology Major, Biomedical Science and History Minor
since August 2019

Interested in Grants or Trainings?

If you are interested in collaborating on a grant or hosting a training for your organization, please fill out this form and we will respond to your inquiry in a timely manner.


Kimberley Gryglewicz's profile picture at UCF

Kimberley Gryglewicz, Ph.D., MSW

Associate Professor, Center Co-Director
Center for Behavioral Health Research and Training, Social Work
Location: HS I Room: 249
Phone: 407-823-2954
Susanny Beltran's profile picture at UCF

Susanny Beltran, Ph.D., MSW

Assistant Professor, Center Co-Director
Center for Behavioral Health Research and Training, Social Work
Location: HS I Room: 244
Phone: 407-823-4662

Subscribe to the CHPS newsletter

Be the first to hear about new things happening in the college!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.