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Shannon Monnat

Shannon Monnat

Professor, Sociology Department

Lerner Chair in Public Health Promotion and Population Health, Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion and Population Health

Director and Senior Research Associate, Center for Policy Research

426 Eggers Hall
315.443.2692 |

Shannon Monnat is the Lerner Chair for Public Health Promotion and Population Health and director of the Center for Policy Research. She is also a professor of sociology. Monnat is a rural demographer and population health scholar who conducts research on demographic and geographic trends and differences in heath and mortality, with a specific interest in rural health and health disparities.

She is a leading national expert on structural and spatial determinants of drug overdose. Her most recent research has focused on geographic differences in COVID-19 experiences and impacts. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed academic journal articles, book chapters, research briefs and reports, and has presented her research to numerous public, academic and policy audiences, including the United Nations, the National Institutes of Health, the National Academy of Sciences, the Aspen Institute, the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy and at congressional briefings.

Monnat has been the PI or co-Investigator on over $10 million in external research funding, including from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Justice, United States Department of Agriculture, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Institute for New Economic Thinking. 

As Lerner Chair, Monnat oversees the center’s research mission and directs related activities.

Alexandra Punch headshot

Alexandra Punch

Director, Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion and Population Health

426 Eggers Hall
315.443.9343 |

Alexandra Punch is the director of the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion and Population Health. She received an M.P.A. from Northeastern University in 2012; where she also received a doctorate in law and public policy in 2024.

As Lerner Center director, Punch handles day-to-day operations and oversees the center's health promotion programming. Her interdisciplinary research interests are centered on applied approaches to criminal justice reform, substance use disorders and behaviors, maternal health, and harm reduction policy. 

Prior to working at Syracuse University, she served as the director of drug user health at ACR Health. There, she focused on innovative treatment practices and community collaborations for addressing opioid dependence using the Harm Reduction model of care. She also worked at the Onondaga County Health Department as a research technician in the Bureau of Disease Control. 

She is a member of the Onondaga County Drug Task Force and the Regional Advisory Committee for the State Opioid Response (SOR) Network, and a board member for the nonprofit organization Child Care Solutions.

Emily Graham

Emily Graham

Assistant Director, Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion and Population Health

315.443.4526 |

Emily Graham received her master of public health from Syracuse University. Prior to working for Syracuse University, she served six years in the United States Navy as a hospital corpsman, stationed at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Naval Medical Center San Diego. During her time in the Navy, she promoted health and wellness programs such as the Baby-Friendly Initiative and the Heart Healthy Cardiac Rehabilitation program. As the Unit Practice Council co-chair, she introduced new safety initiatives such as the “Good Catch Award," an award recognizing nurses for catching medical errors before they occur. During her time as an undergraduate at Syracuse University, Graham worked as a peer educator on campus, educating students on harm reduction strategies regarding substance use. She also interned with Barnes Center at The Arch Health Promotion, where she chaired the “Take Back the Night” planning committee and grew the University’s Orange Recovery Community, a program for students in recovery from substance use disorder.

Casey Collins

Casey Collins

Digital/Social Media Specialist, Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion and Population Health

426 Eggers Hall
315.443.3114 |

Casey Collins holds a B.S. in business administration from SUNY Brockport and a certification in web design and development from MCC. With a background in digital marketing and graphic and web design, Casey brings a fresh perspective to the ever-evolving digital landscape. Her enthusiasm lies in crafting compelling brand strategies, increasing brand awareness, and executing innovative marketing campaigns. Casey will be writing, editing, and updating digital information and platforms that support The Monday Campaigns and Lerner Center programing and research initiatives.

Vicente Cuevas Headshot

Vicente Cuevas

Undergraduate Student Engagement Manager, Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion and Population Health

426 Eggers Hall

Vicente Cuevas oversees the design, planning, implementation and evaluation of campus-specific engagement programs. He will organize impactful events, such as the annual social impact investigation competition (Shark Tank) with SU Blackstone Launchpad, and collaborate with faculty, campus centers and field experts on undergraduate class presentations. Additionally, Vicente will manage the organization and execution of a professional seminar series in the Maxwell School and develop and execute summer course programming.

Alyssa Kirk headshot

Alyssa Kirk

Communications Specialist, Center for Policy Research

Communications Specialist, Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion and Population Health

426 Eggers Hall
315.443.9929 |

Alyssa oversees digital communications for CPR and the Lerner Center. She also manages the two centers’ brief series and copyedits faculty publications. She develops CPR’s annual newsletter and Lerner’s monthly newsletter. Alyssa also coordinates the CPR Seminar Series and the What’s at Stake Panel Series.
Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion and Population Health