Alumni Association hosts welcome event for students Sept. 10

August 27, 2012

School’s active alumni association announces new leaders and chapters, hosts Sept. 10 panel discussion

It has been a busy year for the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health Alumni Association.

The 17,000-member group has elected new members, changed its bylaws, established its first regional chapters, announced generous scholarships, and will co-sponsor an alumni panel presentation for new students and others on Sept. 10.

On Monday, Sept. 10, the Association will co-sponsor, with the School’s career services unit and student government, a panel discussion featuring recent graduates. The program, titled “If I Knew Then What I Know Now,” will begin at 4 p.m. in Rosenau Hall Auditorium (room 133), with a reception following in the Armfield Atrium.

Leah Devlin, DDS, MPH (HPM ’84), Professor of the Practice of health policy and management and former N.C. State Health Director, will moderate a panel of alumni that includes former association president Joseph John, MHA (HPM, ’05), FACHE, clinical operations administrator for The Emory Clinic Inc.; Greg Millett, MPH (HB ’95), senior policy adviser in the White House AIDS Office; Jean Orelien, DrPH (BIOS ’07), president, chief executive officer and founder of Scimetrika; and Lauren Thie, MSPH (ESE ’09), epidemiologist with the N.C. Division of Public Health.

Five scholarships will be presented at the event, including two Alumni Association Endowed Scholarships, two Class of 2012 Annual Fund Scholarships, and the Alumni Association Spirit of Giving Scholarship.

“Students here are fortunate that our alumni include a large and diverse group of public health professionals who want to give back by helping current students become successful,” said Jerry Salak, director of alumni and donor and relations at the School. “Our alumni around the world are eager to help by opening doors, removing obstacles and providing opportunities for practica, internships and jobs.”

In other news, Priscilla Guild, MSPH (BIOS, ’71) began a two-year term as president of the organization in July. Guild, adjunct associate professor of maternal and child health at the School and senior fellow and retired deputy director for administration at UNC’s Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, also served as the association’s president from 1990 to 1991. She succeeds Joseph John, who will serve in the leadership role of immediate past president during the coming year.

Also in July, the association’s membership amended bylaws to allow for more at-large representatives to the governing board, from four to as many as eight.

“The number of alumni has grown significantly over the years,” Guild said, “and it made sense to increase the number of at-large representatives to better support the views of our many graduates and help staff our active committees.”

Unlike the University’s and other alumni groups, the School’s association includes all former students as members without charging fees.

Two at-large representatives are now beginning the second year of their two-year terms. They are Gregory Chang, MHA (HPM ’10), founder of For [MD], a private network for physicians, and Amy Lansky, MPH (HB ’91), PhD (HB ’96), deputy director of surveillance, epidemiology and laboratory science at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention.

Thanks to the change in bylaws, two at-large representatives also were reelected to second terms. They are Gary Mihlan, PhD (ESE ’98), CIH, who works in Bayer Crop Science’s human safety unit in Research Triangle Park, and Jeffrey Nguyen, BSPH (HPM ’07), MHA (HPM ’10), project administrator at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine.

In addition, four new at-large representatives were elected to two-year terms, including Maj. Melinda Eaton, MPH, DVM, PhD, (EPI ’10), a U.S. Air Force public health flight commander at Ohio’s Wright-Patterson Air Force Base; Richard Kelly, BSPH (HPM ’81), MBA (Duke), senior procurement and strategic sourcing executive whose work addresses cost containment, productivity, efficiency and quality standards; Nancy McGee, DrPH (HPM ’11), senior vice president and chief operating officer at the Lash Group-Amerisource Bergen Corporation and a senior health care consulting executive; Jeffrey Quinn, MPH (HB ’10), research analyst for Duke University’s Center for Child and Family Policy.

The School’s epidemiology chapter welcomed new leaders, as well, including Sumitra Shantakumar, PhD (EPI ’06), a principal epidemiologist at GSK, and Vani Vannappagari, MPH (EPI ’01), PhD (EPI ’05), also at GSK. They replace Aaron Fleischauer, MSPH (EPI ’99), PhD (EPI ’02), a senior epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who stepped down after a three year term.

The association also is pleased to announce the establishment of its first regional chapters this year, in four major cities on the east coast – Boston [Stacy-Ann Christian, MPH (HPAA, ’06), coordinator]; New York [Jay Goldring, MSPH (ESE, ’86), PhD (Toxicology, ’91), coordinator]; Washington, D.C. [Amanda Greenberg, MSPH (ESE, ’09), coordinator]; and Atlanta [Cynthia Cassell, PhD (MCH, ’07), coordinator]; Plans to develop additional regional chapters in California, and possibly in India, are underway. School alumni live and work in all 100 North Carolina counties, all 50 states and 105 countries. More information about the chapters and contact information for regional coordinators is available online.

For more information about alumni activities and opportunities, visit or contact Salak at or (919) 843-0661.