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Galen Health Fellows

Meet Our Team

Meet the staff dedicated to your success.


David Simmons

Faculty Principal

Dr. David Simmons is the Faculty Principal of the Galen Health Fellows Living and Learning Community and holds joint appointments in anthropology and health promotion, education and behavior.

David received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University and completed a three-year National Science Foundation Postdoc at Harvard Medical School’s Program in Infectious Disease and Social Change in the Department of Social Medicine. Originally from Chicago, David has lived all around the world—Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and the Dominican Republic—and has lived in South Carolina for the past 13 years with his wife, Kimberly (also on faculty at USC), their three children, and a pet Chihuahua, Mocha.

David’s research interests focus on tropical medicine and infectious diseases (especially HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa -- see his book Modernizing Medicine in Zimbabwe: HIV/AIDS and Traditional Healers) -- as well as health inequalities. He teaches in the areas of medical anthropology, global health, ethics, medicine and spirituality, and culture. David has the distinction of having had some of the tropical diseases he teaches and writes about, namely malaria, Chikungunya, dysentery, and a botfly larvae infestation (ask him about it sometime).

David is an avid tennis player (USTA 4.0) who is passionate about travel and adventure. In Zimbabwe, he once paddled down the Zambezi River, a crocodile and hippo-infested waterway,  on a three-day canoe trip where he got up close and personal with lion, rhinoceroses, zebra, giraffes and wildebeests. David loves to mentor undergraduate students (he’s mentored many Magellan awardees) and was awarded the Mungo Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2009. He also loves broadening students’ understandings of health and helping them to be their best selves!



Cassandra Pope

Assistant Faculty Principal

Cassandra Pope received her bachelor's degree from the Darla Moore School of Business at USC-Columbia in 2009. She completed her master's degree in Healthcare Information Technology at USC in 2015.

While completing her master's degree, Cassandra developed a deep interest in the provision and quality of more patient-centered, efficient healthcare. Her desire to be involved in the manner in which students think about healthcare led her to the Galen Health Fellows program.

Cassandra has worked at USC for over 8 years, serving as the Assistant Director for Campus Visits in the USC Visitor Center during that time. She is originally from Aiken, SC. Cassandra enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends.


Nicole LeBlanc

Business Manager

Nicole LeBlanc is your go-to person for anything, and if she doesn't know the answer she will get you connected to the person who does. Nicole has been with the University of South Carolina for almost 2 years, and she began by working in the Student Health Services Counseling and Psychiatry Department.

Nicole received her Associate Degree in Administrative Office Technology from Midlands Technical College along with certificates in Pre-Nursing, Office Support Specialist and Medical Office Administrative Assisting. She has nine years of experience in a variety pf administrative roles. Silly, fun fact: She used to work as a TSA agent in the Columbia Metro Airport. That's right! Checking for bombs, weapons, and super dangerous scissors.

She loves photography and co-owns a photography business. She also loves to read romantic English literature, travel, visit the mountains and the beach.  She also believes herself to be a connoisseur of tacos.


 Kevin Martinez 

Assistant Residence Life Coordinator | Patterson Hall

Kevin Martinez serves as the Assistant Residence Life Coordinator (ARLC) for Patterson Hall. He co-supervises with Samantha Lewandowski the 16 Resident Mentor staff for both the Galen Health Fellows and Visual & Performing Arts Living Learning Communities. He is also a live in staff member. He previously served as the ARLC for Patterson Hall in the fall of 2017 and then entered an interim position of Residence Life Coordinator for the Carolina Men’s Community in the spring of 2018.  Kevin is a second-year graduate student at the University of South Carolina in the Masters of Higher Education and Student Affairs Program.

Kevin completed his undergraduate degree at Mississippi State University, attaining a Bachelor of Science in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Counseling (Hail State!). A Puerto Rican native from Ponce, Puerto Rico, he also calls Pascagoula, Mississippi, home.  

Kevin loves going to the movies to watch new premieres. A few of his favorite movies include Back To the Future and Jurassic Park! He also enjoys watching a variety of tv shows like Master Chef, Last Chance U, and Grey’s Anatomy (Netflix & Hulu are great friends of his!). His sports interest aside from the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Carolina Gamecocks, include the New York Yankees!

Jacob Moore

Jacob Moore

Graduate Assistant, Service Project Coordinator

Jacob Moore Graduated from Charleston Southern University with a Bachelors in Kinesiology with a Health Promotion minor in 2017 and is currently studying towards a masters in Exercise Science at USC.

During Undergrad Jacob was a student athlete at Charleston Southern competing against USC often in Track & Field.  

Jacob enjoys being active as well as relaxing. Powerlifting and power-napping are both wonderful pastimes in his eyes