Alumni Greetings

MCH_alumni-facutly_2010WELCOME MCH ALUMNI

UNC’s Maternal and Child Health alumni serve the health needs of women, children, and families at the local, state, national, and international levels. We in the department are very proud of the accomplishments of our alumni and the important contributions you make to public health across the globe. We thank you for the support you provide the department through your service and your gifts.

We invite you to explore our web site, follow us on Facebook and Twitter and give us your feedback. If there is information you would like to see here, please let us know. We would love to hear from you!

Healthfully Yours! 
Jonathan Kotch, MPH, 1977    ** See 2013 MCH Family Reunion **

Alumni resources

Alumni Updates
  • Sharon Epstein, MPH (MCH ’82) returned to Chapel Hill from Afghanistan, retired from the Foreign Service and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).  Her email address is epsteinse@gmail.com.  During a 42-year career with the U.N., USAID and private sector organizations, she designed, managed or evaluated maternal and child health, family planning and communicable disease assistance programs in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Europe.  She will continue doing consultancy work.
  • Nellie Placencia, MSW, MSPH (MCH ’13) is an independent living specialist in the Youth program at the Alliance of Disability Advocates in Raleigh and is working on  independent living skills/advocacy training for high school students with disabilities, as well as healthy relationship classes and other youth group activities. 
  • Rachel Davis, MPH (MCH ’13) is working with WIC at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control in Hartsville, Chesterfield and Marlboro Counties as a dietitian and lactation consultant.
  • Hannah Spector, MPH (MCH ’11) published an abstract, “New view of contraceptive continuation rates: preliminary results from a partially randomized patient preference trial”, in Contraception 2013;88(Sept):436
  • Karishma Oza, MPH (MCH ’13) is now a Division Research Analyst at University of California, San Francisco.
  • Naheed Qutub Siddiqui, MSPH (MCH ’11) has a new position as a clinical research assistant with TearScience, Inc.
  • Amy Handler, MPH (MCH ’13) is working as a consultant for MEASURE Evaluation.
  • Millie J. Jones, MPH (MCH ’82) has been elected president of the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs’ board of directors. [Read more]
  • Fernanda Queiros, PhD (MCH ’12) starts a post-doc position in neuromodulation/development of executive functions in children in July at Federal University of Bahia, Brazil.
  • Brittney Martin, MPH (MCH ’12) is a research and development specialist at Down East Partnership for Children in Rocky Mount, NC.
[back to top]
Where are they now?

Nikhil D. Patil received his MPH in maternal and child health from the Gillings School in May 2012. A former US Peace Corps health volunteer in Togo, West Africa, he has over five years of global health experience in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. For his master’s practicum, he worked with RTI International on a maternal and neonatal mortality project. Nikhil has also consulted on projects with MEASURE Evaluation, Save the Children and CARE International.

In his current role, Nikhil is serving as a Behavior Change Coordinator with Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA-Kenya) on the WASH Benefits Study, a multi-country cluster randomized control trial evaluating the effect of various water, sanitation, hygiene and nutrition interventions on child health outcomes. Based in Bungoma, Kenya, he is managing the behavior change team which is responsible for selecting, training and monitoring approximately 1,000 behavior change agents across Western Kenya to deliver behavior change messages and increase intervention uptake.

Nikhil’s main passion lies at the intersection of neglected tropical diseases and water, sanitation and hygiene, but he is also interested in social issues around gender norms and male involvement. He is eventually planning to pursue a PhD in infectious disease epidemiology or environmental health and build a career in the field of waterborne disease surveillance and control.

To contact Nikhil Patil, e-mail npatil55@gmail.com.

Asomugha named recipient of 2013 Chipman Alumni Award

Dr. Asomugha

Chisara N. Asomugha, MD, MSPH (MCH ’02), FAAP believes that physicians can benefit from understanding the science and art of public health, and putting into practice basic public health principles that positively impact populations. Implementing this belief earned her the 2013 Sidney S. Chipman Alumni Award.

The Award, honoring Dr. Chipman, founder of the UNC Department of Maternal and Child Health, is presented to a graduate of the Department who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of maternal and child health. Recipients are dedicated to work for human welfare, are effective in working with people and getting the job done, and sensitive to the needs, feelings, and ideas of others. Her selection was announced during the MCH Family Reunion April 11 at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill.

Dr. Asomugha, senior technical advisory and medical officer for the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality at the Centers for Medicare and Medical Services (CMS), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, adjunct clinical instructor in the Department of Pediatrics at Yale University School of Medicine, and vice president of the Asomugha Foundation, is cited for her dedication to leading health and social service change with an emphasis on low income, minority, female and youth populations.

“Words can’t express the deep humility and honor I have in this recognition from maternal and child health in UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health”, said Dr. Asomugha. “My time at UNC gave me the opportunity to learn, explore and discover beyond my wildest imaginations the limitless opportunities one could have to engage communities in meaningful ways. It also provided the framework by which I continue to operate: recognize the many forces impacting the health of individuals and communities and harness these forces to improve their health and well-being.”

Prior to joining CMS, she served as the deputy mayor/community services administrator for New Haven CT. As the first physician and youngest administrator in that position, she oversaw the operations of the government’s health and social services arm spearheading a number of multidisciplinary projects focused on low-income, minority and youth populations. She was also a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at Yale University where she conducted research investigating the impact of religion and spirituality on the mental health of young adults who experienced childhood abuse and a community-based participatory research project on the impact of gun violence in urban youth. An experienced pediatrician and ordained minister, she has worked with faith-based civic and medical organizations in the U.S. and overseas addressing disparities in urban environments. 
[back to top]

The MCH Alumni Committee is a group of volunteer graduates of the Department of Maternal and Child Health of the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health who work to enhance learning and networking opportunities for graduates and students. Our mission is to:

  • Strengthen alumni network
  • Support current students
  • Build MCH community and support departmental efforts

The committee meets four times a year in the Chapel Hill-Raleigh-Durham area and is open to all graduates and especially welcomes current students.

If you would like information about any MCH alumni activities or have questions about how you can become involved, please contact us.

MCH Alumni Committee Members

Joseph Lee, facilitator jose.lee@unc.edu 
Julie DeClerque, member,  julie_declerque@unc.edu 
Sharon Epstein, member, epsteinse@gmail.com
Jonathan Kotch, faculty liaison, jonathan_kotch@unc.edu
Jennifer Cole, staff liaison jmcole@email.unc.edu 
Kathy Biancardi, department liaison kathy_biancardi@unc.edu 
Marcia Roth, member marcia_roth@unc.edu 
Sandra Cianciolo, member sandra_cianciolo@unc.edu 
Katie Cretin, member kcretin@fhi360.org 
Rebecca Greenleaf-Bailey, member rebecca_greenleaf@unc.edu 
Priscilla Guild, member priscilla_guild@unc.edu 
Gerri Mattson, member gerri.mattson@dhhs.nc.gov 
Nathan Nickel, treasurer nathan_nickel@cpe.umanitoba.ca 
Lucy Wilson, member lwilson@fhi360.org
Katelyn Bryant-Comstock, member kbc@email.unc.edu
Hannah Spector, member spector.hannah@gmail.com

Funding Policy and Procedure

Awards Given to Alumni

The Harriett Hylton Barr Award

This award is offered annually by the School of Public Health Alumni Association to recognize achievements by alumni and their contributions to Public Health. For more information about this award and how to nominate an alumna or alumnus, please read more.

Previous MCH alumni recipients of the Harriett Hylton Barr Award are:
2006 Allen J. Wilcox
1999 C. Earl Fox 
1986 Sarah Morrow 
1985 Verna Barefoot

The Sidney S. Chipman Award

Selection Process: 
This award is presented annually to a graduate of the Department of Maternal and Child Health who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of maternal and child health. Except in unusual circumstances, the graduation should have occurred more than five years ago. The recipient should be dedicated to work for human welfare, effective in working with people and getting the job done, and sensitive to the needs, feelings, and ideas of others.

If you would like to nominate an alumna or alumnus, please contact:
Dr. Lewis Margolis 
Associate Professor of Maternal and Child Health 
E-mail: lew_margolis@unc.edu 
Telephone: 919-966-5974

Previous recipients of the Sidney S. Chipman Award:
2013 Chisara Asomugha
2012 Bronwyn Glenn Lucas
2011 Mark Piehl 
2010 Ameena Batada 
2009 Roland Edgar “Eddie” Mhlang 
2008 Diane Hedgecock 
2007 Martha Coulter 
2006 Millie Jones 
2005 Joseph degraft-Johnson 
2004 Mary Patterson 
2003 Mary Rose Tully 
2002 Martha Valiant 
2001 Porapan Punyaratabandhu 
2000 Andrèa Bazan Manson 
1999 Renee Schwalberg 
1998 Kevin Ryan 
1997 Vijaya Hogan 
1996 Arden Handler 
1995 Marjorie Sable 
1994 Richard Aronson 
1993 Mike Durfee 
1992 Susan Spalt 
1991 Jamie Bayer 
1990 Amy Fine 
1989 Kay Johnson 
1988 Richard R. Nugent 
1987 Susan Rumsey Givins 
1986 Henry C. Heins 
1985 Kathryn A. Johnson 
1984 Isa Grant 
1983 Pouru Bhiwandiwala and Sam X. Charles 
1982 Jonathan Kotch 
1981 Claude E. Fox, III 
1980 Joseph I. Holliday 
1979 Jimmie Rhyne and Lynn Knauff 
1978 Lois D. Isler 
1977 Verna Barefoot 
1975 Russell H. Richardson 
1974 Robert S. McCurdy 
1973 R. W. Penick 
1972 Sarah T. Morrow 
1971 Sister Joan Conway 
1970 Peter Dawson

 

Awards Given by Alumni

Jimmie Lee Rhyne Scholarship Fund

Established in 2009 by friends and family to honor the memory of Jimmie Lee Rhyne, a pediatrician and 1959 MCH graduate, it was first awarded in 2013. The scholarship may support any MCH student in a domestic child or adolescent health practicum placement.

Sarah Taylor Morrow Scholarship Fund

Established in 2013 by the children of Sarah Taylor Morrow, a 1960 MCH alumna, to honor her devotion as a physician and as a pioneer in public health leadership, the scholarship may support expenses related to a practicum placement within the state of North Carolina.

MCH Global Health Internship Fund

Established in 2008 by MCH alumna Lynn Knauff, the fund supports basic student expenditures of travel and subsistence for global health field placements that integrate international and domestic MCH issues and solutions. This fund recognizes that teaching and training our MCH students to work effectively in global health includes ground-truth experience, primarily through internships preferably outside one’s comfort zone.

MCH Alumni Travel Award

The Maternal and Child Health Alumni Committee is pleased to announce the availability of two travel awards for the 2013-2014 academic school year and summer of 2014.

Eligibility: The applicant must currently be enrolled as a student in the Department of Maternal and Child Health. Funds are available to support travel-related expenses incurred while either: 
(a) presenting information regarding North Carolina-related research/programs at professional conferences; 
(b) presenting research/programs at a North Carolina public health-related meeting; or
(c) supporting travel expenses to a practicum based in North Carolina. 

Applicants must justify the requested amount. The MCH Alumni Committee reserves the right to provide awards that are less than the requested amount.

Application: Interested student should send applications to: Mr. Joseph Lee, co-chair MCH Alumni Committee at jose.lee@unc.edu Please see application form or request one from Joseph.

 

Activities

Continuing Education for Alumni: 
Just because you graduated doesn’t mean you learned everything! To keep you abreast of current research, theories, programs, and health policies, plus refresh your memory of public health basics, the committee is working with MCH faculty to develop a series of free seminars for presentation at or close to the offices of MCH alumni within commuting distance of Chapel Hill.

Career Planning Support for Students: 
The MCH Alumni Committee provides new and graduating students with MCH career resources as they anticipate their next steps. We invite all students to attend our Career Roundtable programs through which they can network with MCH graduates to discuss career choices and learn about possible job opportunities. Alumni interested in sharing their experience with current students are invited to join us for this program, which has become a popular annual event with students.

Connecting with Classmates: 
The committee works to educate alumni about ways in which you can reconnect with former classmates and discuss career opportunities with graduates from any class. You can link to the alumni directory. Make sure your address and email contact information are current so you can receive all the latest information about MCH activities.

Honoring MCH Alumni: 
Many MCH graduates have made significant contributions to the field of public health, but your help is needed in making sure that the department and the school become aware of those achievements. The committee invites your help in identifying nominees for these important alumni awards: the Harriet Hylton Barr Distinguished Alumnus Award offered by the School of Public Health Alumni Association and the Sidney S. Chipman Award offered by the Department of Maternal and Child Health.

Identifying Alumni Interests: 
The committee assists the school’s alumni affairs staff in identifying interests of our MCH alumni. We plan to conduct short email surveys to ensure that the services and activities provided by the MCH Alumni Committee, the MCH Department, and the SPH Alumni Association are meeting your needs.

Your Involvement: 
MCH alumni around the country and the world can get involved! You can help by hosting alumni networking meetings in your home city, participating in the Career Roundtables, nominating colleagues for alumni awards, keeping the Alumni Committee informed of job openings in your organization or MCH related news, and making an annual gift to support the Department of Maternal and Child Health. And, of course, you can join the MCH Alumni Committee!

 
 

Bylaws

ADOPTED APRIL 11, 1997 
Revised September 24, 1997

ARTICLE I: NAME

The name of the organization shall be the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Public Health Alumni Association, Maternal and Child Health Section, hereafter referred to as MCHS.

ARTICLE II: PURPOSE

The purpose of MCHS shall be: 
To promote the advancement of knowledge and competence in the field of Maternal and Child Health (MCH); 
To encourage and assist in the training, placement and promotion of qualified people in the field of Maternal and Child Health; 
To strengthen the network among MCHS members through collaboration, understanding and mentorship; 
To promote and support the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) Department of Maternal and Child Health; 
To promote alumni involvement in the School of Public Health Alumni Conference.

ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP

SECTION 1. ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP shall include all individuals who have satisfactorily completed the academic requirements of the UNC-CH Department of Maternal and Child Health, and who have been awarded degrees pursuant thereto.

SECTION 2. HONORARY MEMBERSHIP may be conferred upon any individual (including MCH faculty) who has evidenced unusual interest in the UNC-CH Department of Maternal and Child Health or who has made a substantial contribution in the field of MCH. Such membership shall be nominated by the Department Chair, or any active MCHS member, and approved by a majority of the votes cast by the members attending the annual meeting.

ARTICLE IV: MEETINGS

SECTION 1. The ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING will be held in conjunction with the UNC-CH School of Public Health Alumni Conference. Announcement of this Annual Membership Meeting as part of the School’s mailing for the Alumni Conference will constitute sufficient notice of the Annual Membership Meeting to the MCHS membership.

SECTION 2. SPECIAL MEETINGS of MCHS may be called by the President or any two other officers elected by the membership at large. The Secretary of MCHS shall notify all members of the time, place and agenda of such special meetings, not less than two weeks prior to the time of the meeting.

SECTION 3. Those in attendance at the annual meetings, special meetings, or committee meetings shall constitute a quorum, provided that the meeting has been officially called and the members have been duly and adequately notified. A simple majority of those active members present and voting shall suffice for the purpose of passing motions and resolutions.

ARTICLE V: OFFICERS

SECTION 1. OFFICERS. The officers of MCHS shall be: 
1. President 
2. President-elect 
3. Secretary and Chair of Membership

SECTION 2. TERMS OF OFFICE. The President-elect of MCHS shall be elected for a two-year term, which is to be followed immediately by a two-year term as President. The Secretary also shall be elected for a two-year term.

SECTION 3. ELECTION OF OFFICERS. A Nominating Committee consisting of the officers and the Chair of the Department of Maternal and Child Health or his or her departmental designee shall present a slate of nominees at the Annual Membership Meeting. Nominations from the floor will also be accepted. Election will be confirmed by a simple majority of active members attending the same Annual Membership Meeting.

SECTION 4. DUTIES OF OFFICERS. The President of MCHS shall preside at all meetings of MCHS. The President shall appoint all committees and s/he shall be an ex officio member with a vote on all committees. She or he shall perform such other duties as pertain to the office.

The President-elect shall assume the duties of the President in his or her absence or disability. The President-elect shall assume responsibility for the program at the Annual Membership Meeting.

The Secretary shall keep minutes of the proceedings of all meetings of MCHS and make an accurate and proper record of same. She or he shall be responsible for seeing that all notices and other written communications of MCHS are sent out in a timely fashion.

SECTION 5. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE. The officers and the MCH representatives to the Governing Board of the SPH Alumni Association shall constitute the Executive Committee.

ARTICLE VI: AMENDMENTS

These bylaws may be changed as recommended by the Executive Committee and approved by two-thirds of those MCHS members present and voting at the Annual Meeting.