Team Members

Want to get involved with the BEACH Lab?

If you are interested in assisting with new or existing projects (as a research assistant, donor, partner, etc.), please do not hesitate to contact us. Read on to learn more about the current team members in the BEACH Lab or check out our student recruitment page. If you are a current team member looking for BEACH Lab Resources, please click here.


Andrew Kaczynski, PhD

Dr. Kaczynski is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior within the Arnold School of Public Health and is also affiliated with USC’s Prevention Research Center. Prior to joining the University of South Carolina in 2012, he was a faculty member in the Department of Kinesiology and Co-Director of the Physical Activity and Public Health Laboratory at Kansas State University. Andy’s research focuses on the impact of community environments and policies on physical activity and obesity, with a particular emphasis on the role of parks in promoting active living and health among children and adults. His educational and professional background is in the field of parks and recreation management and he has collaborated and consulted widely with agencies in Canada and the United States on projects related to planning and health. In his free time, Andy enjoys playing a wide variety of sports with his three daughters.

email: atkaczyn@mailbox.sc.edu


Kara Davis, M.Ed

Kara is a third-year doctoral student in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Industrial Psychology from Northwest Missouri State University and Master of Education, Student Affairs Administration from Clemson University. She currently works in the Institute for the Advancement for Community Health (IACH) at Furman University in Greenville SC. As a team member of the IACH, she serves as the evaluation coordinator for the Medical Legal Partnership in the Upstate, a collaboration between Prisma Health, South Carolina Legal Services, and Furman University. Outside of work and studies, Kara enjoys running, cycling, cooking/eating all the delicious food, and enjoying time with her husband, two dogs: Ellie and Cora, and spoiled rotten cat, Leo.

email: kara.davis@furman.edu


Shirelle Hallum, MPH

Shirelle is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Public Health at the University of Texas and Master of Public Health from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. While earning her masters, she focused her studies on active transportation, and studied how to collaborate with city planners and policy makers to create a built environment that encourages physical activity. She currently serves as a graduate research assistant for numerous projects within the BEACH Lab. Shirelle enjoys hiking, eating good food, and going on as many adventures as possible. On a day off, you’ll find her walking to a local coffee shop with her husband and perfect baby girl, Nora.

email: shallum@email.sc.edu


Kelsey Thomas, BA

Kelsey is a graduate student in the Department of Health Promotion, Education and Behavior at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Experimental Psychology at the University of South Carolina in May of 2021. Kelsey’s research interests stem from her experiences working with disadvantaged youth and observing health disparities in marginalized communities. She currently serves as a graduate research assistant for various projects in the BEACH Lab. In her free time, you are likely to find Kelsey reading, playing video games, or cooking up a big dinner.

email: kmt10@email.sc.edu


Erin Looney, BS

Erin is a first-year graduate student in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry at Oklahoma State University. Erin is passionate about the interaction between public health, health behavior, and the environment. In her free time, Erin prefers to spend her time outside hiking, golfing, or scuba diving. Indoors, Erin loves to read science fiction and play with her beloved cat, Zola!

email: looneye@email.sc.edu


Anna Chupak, BA

Anna is a first-year doctoral student in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. She earned her Bachelor of Science in neuroscience with a minor in nutrition at the University of Vermont in May 2019. Anna’s research interests stem from her experience as a research assistant at the Yale School of Medicine, coordinating clinical treatment trials for patients with Alzheimer’s disease from July 2019 to 2022. Anna is passionate about the role of the built environment in physical activity, nutrition, and health behaviors among populations with neurodegenerative conditions. She currently serves as a graduate research assistant for various projects in the BEACH Lab. Outside of work and studies, Anna enjoys hiking, skiing, listening to podcasts, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.   

email: alchupak@email.sc.edu 


Eleanor Witherspoon

Eleanor is a senior Public Health major at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. She is also a Medical Humanities and Culture minor. Eleanor will be graduating in May 2023 and is planning on taking a gap year before going to medical school. Eleanor is passionate about social determinants of health and health disparities. In her free time, Eleanor enjoys reading, hiking, and trying new restaurants with her friends.   

email: ecw9@email.sc.edu