Motivated researcher with over five years of experience working at the intersection of HIV and technology. Interests include human-centered design and interaction for chronic care management and health communication.
B.A, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ’13 Chapel Hill, NC
Journalism and Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations
Public Policy with a concentration in Global Health
Social/Clinical Research Specialist
Behavior and Technology Lab at UNC
Chapel Hill, NC
August 2014 – Present
- Managed three federally-funded social-behavioral research studies around mobile phone applications and websites for HIV+ youth and young adults
- Conducted usability tests of apps and websites, looked for feasibility and acceptability from the technology’s target population
- Worked closely with software development teams to make sure research goals and evaluation standards were met
- Developed focus group guides, usability scripts, consents and screening questions for app and website evaluations
- Programmed and tested surveys to collect quantitative data on functionality and uptake of technologies
- Trained and supervised research assistants on how to conduct usability sessions and how to introduce participants into technology research
- Presented research findings to team members and colleagues at yearly conferences
Social Clinical Research Assistant
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – School of Medicine
Chapel Hill, NC
Feb 2014 – August 2014
- Wrote and programmed content and resources for healthMpowerment, a study website created to increase health literacy and promote safe sex practices for young black men and transwomen who had sex with men in North Carolina
- Enrolled study participants into their first technology-based research study
- Created novel recruitment materials that were distributed via gay dating apps and websites to advertise study enrollment
- Connected with local LGBTQ groups across North Carolina to promote the study as a resource to their clients
- Organized and presented the data from healthMpowerment into useable and easily analyzable formats
- Acted as point-of-contact for all study related questions or concerns from participants, community members and outside researchers
CHIPR @ Duke University
May 2012 – January 2013
- Designed, recruited and conducted focus groups with young gay men across Durham, North Carolina to test the acceptability of a mobile phone-based gaming app for medication adherence
- Presented findings of focus group data at the 2012 Youth, Technology and Health Conference in San Francisco, California
Honors and awards
Awarded for work with WXYC Chapel Hill 89.3FM
Granted to the graduating senior who has made the most outstanding contribution to the University through his or her work as a member of an officially recognized student organization. The recipient will have demonstrated consistent leadership, dedication, and innovation within the organization, contributed to the organization’s strength, vitality, and longevity, and assisted the organization in supporting the overall mission of the University.
- Hurt, C., Soni, K., Miller, W., Hightow-Weidman, L. (2016) Human Immunodeficiency Virus Testing Practices and Interest in Self-Testing Options Among Young, Black Men Who Have Sex With Men in North Carolina.Sex Transm Dis. 43(9):587-93 [PubMed]
- LeGrand, S., Muessig, K., McNulty, T., Soni, K., Knudtson, K., Lemann, A., Nwoko, N., Hightow-Weidman, LB. (2016) Epic Allies: Development of a Gaming App to Improve Antiretroviral Therapy Adherence Among Young HIV-Positive Men Who Have Sex With Men.JMIR Serious Games. 13;4(1):e6.[PubMed]
- Muessig, K., LeGrand, S., Shah N., Soni,K., Platt, A., Hightow-Weidman, L. “Yes, I’m Ready and I’m Taking Them!” HIV-infected Young Men Who Have Sex with Men and Transgender Women Evaluate Epic Allied Gamified Smartphone App for Improving Antiretroviral Uptake and Adherence. Presented at the 2017 International Association of Providers of AIDS Care Conference.
- Knudtson, K., Soni, K., Muessig, K., Larsen, M., Traum, D., Dong, W., Conserve, D., Hightow-Weidman, L. “Tough Talks”: Developing a Virtual Reality Application to Support HIV Status Disclosure among Young MSM. Poster presentation at the 2016 International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa.
- Hightow-Weidman, L., LeGrand, S., Soni, K., Kirschke-Schwartz, H., Choi, S., Muessig, K. Technology-Related Predictors of Social Isolation among Young Black Men Who Have Sex with Men. Poster presentation at the 2016 International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa.
- Hightow-Weidman, L., Muessig, K., Kirschke-Schwartz, H., Soni, K., Choi, S., LeGrand, S. Beyond Behavior: The Role of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Attraction in the HIV Interventions for Young Black MSM and Transgender Women. Poster presentation at the 2016 International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa.
- LeGrand, S., Muessig, K., Choi, S., Soni, K., Kirschke-Schwartz, H., Hightow-Weidman, L. Associations Between Multiple Types of Stigma and Discrimination and Sexual Risk Behavior Among Young Black Men Who Have Sex with Men and Transgendered Women in the United States. Poster presentation at the 2016 International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa.
- Choi, S., LeGrand, S., Muessig, K., Soni, K., Kirschke-Schwartz, H., Hightow-Weidman, L. How Do Safer Sex Intentions Impact HIV Sexual Risk Behavior in Young Black Men Who Have Sex with Men? A Mediation Analysis. Poster presentation at the 2016 International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa.
- Soni, K., Kirschke-Schwartz, H., Pike, E., Hightow-Weidman, L., Muessig, K., LeGrand, S. (2015). Trending Topics: Effectively Maintaining an Online Intervention for High-Risk and HIV+ Young Black MSM and Transgendered Women (abstract ID 1961). Oral presentation at the 2015 CDC National HIV Prevention Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Soni, K., Hightow-Weidman, L. Online, Digital and Anonymous: Transformative Storytelling Led by HIV+ and HIV- Young Men Who Have Sex With Men and Transgendered Women. Oral presentation presented at the 2015 Youth, Technology and Health Conference in San Francisco, California.
- Soni, K., Bridger, S., LeGrand, S. Development of a Cell Phone App for Young Men Who Have Sex with Men for Adherence to PrEP Treatment. Poster presentation at the 2013 Youth, Technology and Health Conference in San Francisco, California.
Available upon request.