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Meet the Team

Dr.  Luis Torres
Dr. Luis R. Torres is Associate Professor at UH GCSW and a Research Scientist in the Center for Drug and Social Policy Rese arch. He will be responsible for the administrative and scientific leadership of the primary study. As PI/Project Director, Dr. Torres will be responsible for all aspects of the development and implementation of SMART Cougars, including: staffing; conducting the needs assessments on campus and in the surrounding communities; analyzing data from the needs assessments and developing the strategic plan; securing SAMHSA approval of the strategic plan; securing IRB approval; constituting the Advisory Board; implementing all SMART Cougar activities (e.g., HIV CTR; HIV/AIDS and substance abuse prevention interventions) in compliance with all ethical and legal guidelines; and reporting on project implementation and outcomes. Dr. Torres will also lead data analyses and interpretation efforts and ensure dissemination efforts via a steady stream of presentations and publications.


Dr. Patrick Bordnick
Dr. Bordnick is the Associate Dean of Research for the Graduate College of Social Work and is also the Evaluator on the SMART Cougars team. Dr. Bordnick has over seventeen years’ experience in clinical and laboratory research on cocaine, marijuana, alcohol, amphetamine, and nicotine addiction, including with minority populations. Bordnick will work closely with Dr. Torres to examine performance indicators pertaining to SMART Cougars. Using his expertise in addiction and empirical program evaluation, Dr. Bordnick will provide support to SMART Cougars and oversee performance assessment methodologies.

Maria Wilson
Ms. Wilson is the Project Coordinator for the SMART Cougars team. She will supervise the daily operations of the proposed project and oversee all related activities. The Project Coordinator will assist in all logistical aspects related to CTR and prevention sessions, including securing space, scheduling, etc. In addition to planning, the coordinator will evaluate, prioritize and review demands for the project. The Project Coordinator will seek appropriate support and guidance when required from the principal investigator (Dr. Torres). Ms. Wilson will supervise the proper implementation of the collection of all data. He/she will establish a relationship with the project’s CBO partner (HACS) and with local CBOs to sustain continuity of the project’s recruiting efforts. The person will prepare monthly reports about the status of the project and submit to the PI. She will assist the PI with study reports and related publications.

Evelio Salinas Escamilla
Mr. Escamilla is the Research Administrator for the Graduate College of Social Work and assists the SMART Cougars team with the evaluation and program development.

Meet the Funders

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP)

Funding Announcement Title:  Minority Serving Institutions (MSI), Partnerships with Community-Based Organizations (CBO); Short Title: MSI/CBO

Project Period: 09/30/2013 – 09/29/2016

Grant Number: 1H79SP020184