The Enhanced Mentoring Scheme
During the first year of the Scholarship scheme, participating Scholars were paired up with an expert Mentor who helped them focus their projects, assisted with methodology, gave valuable support and advice, and helped ensure that results obtained were accurate, valid and meaningful. The Mentors came from all over the world from a variety of professional backgrounds and brought a range of expertise and experience. This included world renowned academics from various disciplines, smoking cessation experts, media, public relations and IT experts, mental health and social care practitioners, educators and consumers.
This year, building on the Mentor cohort from last year, we have developed a core cadre of expert Scholarship Mentors with a wide range of expertise covering all areas likely to feature in Scholarship projects, including the addition of a film maker.
Mentors will be involved in the Scholarship selection process and will, where possible, be available to meet with Scholars at the GFN conference in Warsaw to begin the Mentoring process. Mentors will be allocated according to the focus of the individual Scholarship projects.
Meet The Mentors
Professor Rajesh Sharan – India
Rajesh N. Sharan, Ph.D., is a Professor at the Department of Biochemistry and Director of the Design Innovation Center at North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU) at Shillong (India). He is currently participating in an international clinical CRP funded by IAEA, Vienna (2017-21). His research interest lies in the domain of cancer and radiation molecular biology with special interest in molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis of betel (Areca) nut, radiation induced DNA damage and biomarker discovery for cancer and radiation damage assessment for their clinical applications, with a keen interest in the field of tobacco related human cancer and harm reduction in India.
Professor Kevin McGirr – USA
Kevin McGirr, Clinical Professor of Nursing, University of California San Francisco, has taught in schools of medicine, social work and public health, and was a Nehru-Fulbright Scholar in Pondicherry India, 2013-2014. He has over 40 years of experience in providing and managing behavioral health services. He holds a master’s degrees in public health, psychiatric nursing and an all but dissertation doctorate in public health. Kevin has an interest in the utilization of harm reduction specifically for tobacco interventions for persons with serious mental illness. He has been a recipient of Screening, Brief intervention and Treatment (SBIRT) and Tobacco Harm Reduction grant awards. Publications include advocacy and client empowerment, medication adherence and community tenure for chronically mentally ill clients.
Professor Marewa Glover – New Zealand
Marewa Glover is Director of the Centre of Research Excellence: Indigenous Sovereignty and Smoking, an international programme aimed at reducing smoking-related harms among indigenous people. Marewa is a Māori (New Zealand indigenous) behavioural scientist with over 25 years’ experience in tobacco control and over 100 scientific papers. She is recognized internationally for her advocacy on tobacco harm reduction and received the Outstanding Advocate Award from the International Network of Nicotine Consumer Organisations (INNCO) at the Global Forum on Nicotine in Warsaw. She is an INNCO scientific advisor and an associate member of the New Nicotine Alliance UK. Previously Marewa was a Professor of Public Health at Massey University and she recently completed a term as Chair of End Smoking NZ. In 2017, she was a Finalist in the 2017 Women of Influence Awards in New Zealand. Marewa is on Twitter as @MarewaGlover.
Helen Redmond - USA
Helen Redmond is an expert in substance use with over a decade of experience working with drug users and people with mental health problems in medical and mental health settings and in community supportive housing. Her current focus is on helping vulnerable and stigmatized populations transition to e-cigarettes. She is an independent journalist and writes about vaping, mental health and drug policy. Helen is a filmmaker and made a short documentary about people with serious mental health problems and smoking. She provides tobacco harm reduction training via her consulting firm, Nicotine Harm Reduction Consultants. She is adjunct faculty at New York University - Silver School of Social Work.
Dr Axel Klein – UK
Axel Klein is a social anthropologist with a special interest in mind and mood altering substances. For twenty years Axel has been studying the production, distribution and consumption of licit and illicit drugs, working with farmers, consumers and policy makers. Working at the University of Kent, the UK NGO DrugScope, and for the European Commission, UNODC, DfID and GIZ, his work has always been driven by two objectives: to deconstruct myths and to promote practices that reduce harm. In the context of different projects Axel has conducted field works in various locations, including Afghanistan, Jamaica and Nigeria.
Aaron Biebert – USA
Aaron Biebert, Director & Executive Producer of "A Billion Lives", won top honours for his documentary, including the Supreme Jury Prize and Best Director at the July 2016 Melbourne Documentary Film Festival in Australia, a Remi Award at the Worldfest International Film Festival in Houston, and the Dorn Award from the Global Forum on Nicotine. Aaron’s production company, Attention Era Media, is one of the most successful video production and digital social media companies in the Midwest of the USA. Producing commercials and short films for clients such as Applebee’s, IndyCar, the NCAA, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and inner-city education initiatives, Attention Era balances the firm’s client load between for-profit and passion projects. Originally from Milwaukee, Aaron studied at Milwaukee’s Wisconsin Lutheran College, where he earned a degree in Business Administration with a minor in Art.
Louise Ross – UK
Louise Ross is a freelance clinical consultant for the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training in England. Until April 2018 she had managed the Leicester City stop smoking service for 14 years. During her leadership of the service, she introduced the concept of an e-cigarette-friendly approach to helping people switch from smoked tobacco to a much safer alternative. She emphasises that these are stop smoking services, not stop nicotine services, and is quick to pull up anyone who asserts that the ultimate goal has to be to stop all nicotine use altogether, as she believes clean nicotine use is no one else's business if the user enjoys it, and that it can be the key to prevent relapse to smoking. She continues to be an active advocate in this field, and is a trustee of the New Nicotine Alliance UK.
Andy Morrison – UK
Ex Royal Air Force, and now a self-employed IT specialist living in Scotland, Andy Morrison now works mainly in the whisky industry. Andy was a pack-a-day smoker for 40 years and of the mindset that nobody would ever get him to stop smoking. He accidentally switched to vaping in December 2011 and never looked back. On hearing about possible impending bans and listening to some of the junk science which seemed to be fueling the proposed regulations, Andy decided that it was time for him to try to do something about it. Andy assisted with various studies in central Scotland surrounding vaping. He is currently involved in four separate UK projects, all dedicated to e-cigarettes and harm reduction. He is also an associate of the New Nicotine Alliance UK.
Dr Grzegorz Krol – Poland
Grzegorz Król, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, and assistant professor at the Faculty of Management, University of Warsaw. Grzegorz is the author of monographs and chapters on data analysis, and several papers in peer-reviewed journals. He is also a developer of data-centric IT solutions for e-learning, event management, and online acquisition of quantitative data. Between 2003 and 2011 Grzegorz managed European projects and organised several international conferences in the area of drugs and harm reduction. Since 2012 his focus shifted towards nicotine harm reduction.
Kevin Molloy (Global Tobacco Harm Reduction Programme Manager) – UK
Kevin has worked in Substance Misuse for over 30 years. He has worked in all settings, including residential rehabilitation, crisis intervention, harm reduction services, recovery oriented services, detoxification services, social enterprise development, and prison and other criminal justice services. He was Director of Operations at Addaction and at the KCA, and was Drug Action Team Co-ordinator for the Medway Towns in the UK. He was a board member of Kent Probation Area, Coca, BUBIC, the Princedale Trust and the Conference Consortium. He was also a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Drugs, Alcohol and Criminal Justice chaired by Lord Ramsbotham. Prior to working in the field he was a service user himself for many years. More recently he was involved in developing veterans’ substance misuse services with Combat Stress, piloting case management models in nine areas across England and Scotland. He is Vice Chair of the NNA (The New Nicotine Alliance) and is a consultant for KAC. He is also an ex-smoker and current vaper.