Health Behavior Student Organizations

Departmental, university and other organizations in which Health Behavior students provide leadership or participate.

Departmental Organizations

Health Behavior MPH students attend a Durham Bulls baseball game

Health Behavior MPH students attend a Durham Bulls baseball game.

HB Global Health Roundtable

The Global Health Roundtable is a forum for Health Behavior students and faculty with an interest in global health to come together to share ideas, experiences and skill sets. The Roundtable is intended to complement other global health groups within the school by focusing specifically on the application of HB core skills to a variety of global health problems. Activities include roundtable discussions with speakers; social events that bring together students, alumni and faculty; short training sessions in skill sets related to international work; and a book club. The group’s faculty advisors are Clare Barrington, Suzanne Maman, Vivian Go, and Kate Muessig. To find out more about GHRT, contact co-chairs Rebecca Hershow and Mike DeFranco.

HB Professional Development Committee

The Professional Development Committee (PDC) within the health behavior department is meant to compliment the Professional Development Seminar taught in the first year. Often, students seek more in depth information or technical assistance on certain topics, such as health communications, job searches, or resume workshops, which is offered through the PDC workshops. Usually in an informal setting, these additional learning opportunities are held about every 6 weeks during the school year and allow students to design, choose, and facilitate workshops that all HB students can benefit from.

HB Working Group on Gender, Migration and Health

The Working Group brings together professors, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students from UNC Chapel Hill and Duke University who work on issues of gender, migration, and health. The group facilitates discussions and activities around overall conditions affecting the health of migrant women and men across the Americas. Events include bi monthly seminars, guest speakers, and community outreach events. The group’s faculty advisors are Clare Barrington, Raúl Necochea, and Krista Perreira. To find out more about the Working Group, contact Dirk Davis.

HB Social Committee

The Health Behavior Social Committee brings together students who have a desire to plan events throughout the school year that include not only students, but faculty, staff, and local alumni. Members of the Social Committee plan regular HB events, an end-of-year party, and the Annual Holiday Party.

University Organizations

Minority Student Caucus

The Minority Student Caucus of Gillings School of Global Public Health is a student run organization whose mission is to collectively represent all students of color in the School on professional, social, and community issues that are of interest to them within the public health school, university, and larger community.

Charla Hodges and Maryka LIer chaired the 35th Annual Minority Health Conference in 2014

Charla Hodges and Maryka LIer chaired the 35th Annual Minority Health Conference in 2014

Minority Health Conference

Many HB students work on the the Minority Health Conference, which is the largest and longest running student-led health conference in the country. The conference aims to raise awareness around health disparities and mobilize students, academics, and community members to take action for change. Started in 1977 by the Minority Student Caucus, the conference is nationally recognized and respected, attracting more than 500 attendees each year and hundreds more who view it via webcast.The Minority Health Conference is usually held in late February at the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Research in Chapel Hill. Learn more at the Minority Health Conference website.

 Graduate Research and Intervention in the South (GRITS)

GRITS is an HB-founded, interdisciplinary organization that encourages and fosters conversations about the unique strengths and challenges of health promotion work in the American South. GRITS hosts events like lectures, panels, and film screenings to explore and highlight best practices in improving Southern health. We also lead monthly journal clubs to discuss current issues in health research and practice in the American South. To get involved in GRITS, email for more information.

 UNC Refugee Health Initiative (RHI)

The RHI is a student organization funded by SHAC. Student volunteers are paired together based on skill level (people with more experience in refugee work are matched with those with less experience). Each pair is matched with a refugee family who they visit once a week for about an hour throughout the semester. During this time, the volunteers use the RHI Handbook to go over the importance and how to practice preventative health measures (going to a primary care physician regularly, brushing teeth, exercising, etc.) and how to navigate the American healthcare system. Each pair arranges for an interpreter to join them (if necessary) and is reimbursed by SHAC for this expense. Case notes are written for each visit, and volunteers are required to go through a criminal background check and orientation before beginning. If you’re interested in volunteering with RHI or finding out more, please email