The Alumni Association Advisory Board is made up of dedicated alumni who serve as ambassadors for the Gillings School.

About Us

The Alumni Association Advisory Board is made up of dedicated alumni who serve as ambassadors for the Gillings School. They help with student recruitment and mentorship, recognize the contributions of UNC Gillings alumni to the field of public health and engage with the broader professional and alumni community. Their experience in a wide range of public health activities advances the Gillings School’s leadership in public health education, research and practice.

Our Committees

The Alumni Association Advisory Board currently has three committees.

The Awards Committee reviews three very important awards each spring.

  • The Harriet Hylton Barr Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes the achievements of alumni and their contributions to public health. The selection committee is comprised of alumni members, and the nomination process begins in January of each year.
  • The Bernard G. Greenberg Alumni Endowment Award is presented to an outstanding full-time faculty member of the Gillings School for excellence in the areas of teaching, research and service. The selection committee is comprised of alumni, faculty and student members, and the nomination process begins in February of each year.
  • The Student Scholarship Awards Review Committee works with our scholarship office to review the school-wide scholarship nominations and make recommendations for scholarship recipients.

The Engagement/Fundraising Committee finds new ways to engage alumni and fundraise for the Gillings School by building relationships and planning events such as GiveUNC (UNC’s annual giving day). This committee is also responsible for reviewing annual funding requests submitted to the Alumni Association from the Gillings School’s departments and regional chapters.

The Alumni Inclusive Excellence Committee works to engage and inform underrepresented minority alumni, students, faculty and staff about the accomplishments and goals embedded in the Gillings School’s Inclusive Excellence Plan and share their experiences as students and offer practical suggestions to improve the lived experience of current students, faculty and staff. This committee also plans and hosts the annual Engage reception for alumni of color. The committee was officially launched on October 16, 2020, and will lead the Alumni Association Advisory Board’s inclusive excellence initiative.

Alumni Association Advisory Board Leadership

Joanna Conley

Joanna J. Conley, BSPH 2003 (HPM)
Alumni Association Chair (through June 2022)
Chief Executive Officer
TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center
Brentwood, Tenn.

Select to see more.

Why I serve on the Gillings School Alumni Association Board:
I enjoy giving back to the Gillings School of Global Public Health and meeting wonderful alumni and students.

How I support or give back to the Gillings School:
I have helped connect students with opportunities at HCA Healthcare, served as a mock interviewer, and also hired students who became residents. I also give financially to the Gillings School because the it has been such an important part of my professional development.

My favorite thing about the Gillings School:
I love the variety of specialties that are all interconnected at the Gillings School. It helps me learn about new trends and challenges in areas outside of my daily work in hospital administration.

How my UNC public health education and degree impacted my life and career:
My degree from the Gillings School was the catalyst for my career as a hospital administrator. My time at the Gillings School helped initiate my career by helping me connect to my internship experience and hospital residency after graduation. From there, I have benefited from the rich alumni network to help advance my career.

I’m originally from:
I grew up in Fresno, California. I’ve lived in North Carolina, Florida, and now Tennessee.

An accomplishment I’m proud of:
I built a new hospital and was able to bring healthcare services to a community that previously had to travel more than 30 minutes for care.

The best advice I’ve ever received:
The best advice I’ve ever received is to “Hire people for their enthusiasm and commitment rather than their skill set. You can teach new skills, but you can’t change an individual’s inherent motivation.”

To start a conversation with me:
Tell me something you are passionate about and why.

Something most people may not know about me:
I love hiking and being outdoors.

 


Kristin Z. Black

Kristin Z. Black, MPH 2011, PhD 2016 (MCH)
Alumni Association Vice Chair (through June 2022)
Assistant Professor
College of Health and Human Performance, Department of Health Education and Promotion
East Carolina University
Greenville, N.C.

Select to see more.

Why I serve on the Gillings School Alumni Association Board:
I want to give back to the Gillings School of Global Public Health community that gave so much to me as a student. Being a member of the Alumni Association Board provides me with an opportunity to stay connected with the Gillings School and contribute to its current initiatives in a meaningful way.

How I support or give back to the Gillings School:
As a professor in public health, I support the Gillings School by being available to people who are interested in attending the School but want to connect with current or former students. I make myself available to prospective students because I know how important it is for them to hear about former students’ personal experiences so they can make the best decisions. The time spent being a Gillings ambassador is not recorded, but I know it helps others make very important decisions in their lives.

My favorite thing about the Gillings School:
The people are my favorite thing about the Gillings School. There are so many gems on campus that willingly give their time and energy to support students and alumni. My experience at the Gillings School was more enjoyable and fulfilling due to the numerous encounters I had with people who truly cared about me and my success.

How my UNC public health education and degree impacted my life and career:
The hands-on experience that I received working with community members and learning about community-based participatory research approaches at the Gillings School provided me with a lens for how I have and will continue to frame my work. I wholeheartedly believe that the type of research I do won’t be as effective without meaningful collaborations with the communities I hope to serve and benefit through my work. That lesson learned has set the trajectory for my entire career.

I’m originally from:
I’m a native Californian, and I grew up in the state capital of Sacramento.

The best advice I’ve ever received:
“We experience the most growth when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable.”

To start a conversation with me:
Ask me about women’s health or fashion.

Something most people may not know about me:
I love to dance! I’m especially fond of Afro-Cuban dance styles (e.g., Rueda, Son Cubano, Guaguancó).

 


Gautam Aggarwal

Gautam Aggarwal

Gautam Aggarwal, BSPH 1998 (BIOS), MS 2000 (BIOS)
Alumni Association Board Member (through June 2024)
Founding Partner
Triangle Insights Group
Durham, NC

Select to see more.

Gautam Aggarwal is one of the founding partners of a boutique consulting firm, Triangle Insights Group, that focuses on the pharmaceutical and life-sciences industries. He provides guidance to clients on topic related to corporate, commercial, and research and development strategy. His clients include a mix of leading global pharmaceutical manufacturers and emerging innovative biotech firms. Gautam received a Master of Business Administration from Fuqua (Duke) and a Master of Science and Bachelor of Science in Public Health from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. As well as serving on the Alumni Association Advisory Board, he is the President-Elect of TiE Carolinas and Vice Chair of the Fuqua Alumni Council. He lives in Morrisville with his wife and two children.

Why I serve on the Gillings School Alumni Association Board:
I learned a lot from my experiences at the Gillings school and look forward to working with the Alumni board to give back.

How and why I support or give back to the Gillings School:
I have provided financial support to the Gillings School and have also been involved in recruiting (for my company) at UNC (including several programs targeting the SPH specifically)

How my UNC public health education and degree impacted my life and career:
The program increased my awareness of the various opportunities related directly and tangentially to public health. I have focused my career within the healthcare space (starting in industry and then transitioned to management consulting after supplementing my SPH experiences with an MBA).

I’m originally from:
I was born in Canada and then moved to India when I was quite young. I then moved to NC during middle school and have stayed in the east coast of the US since then.

An accomplishment I’m proud of:
Working with a wide range of team members — and seeing them grow over their tenures of working with our company.

The best advice I’ve ever received:
Work hard and do the right thing — satisfaction and rewards will follow.

To start a conversation with me:
Talk to me about something you love and teach me something new.


Jonathan Atkeson

Jonathan Atkeson

Jonathan G. Atkeson, BSPH 1995 (ESE)
Alumni Association Board Member (through June 2022)
Managing Director
Fortress Investment Group
New York, N.Y.

Select to see more.

Why I serve on the Gillings School Alumni Association Board:
I am looking for ways to give back to the university in a constructive and meaningful way.

How I support or give back to the Gillings School:
The Gillings School is a leader in the public health world and I think it’s important to continue to support its efforts across the important concentrations.

How my UNC public health education and degree impacted my life and career:
My UNC public health education helped broaden my perspective on the world and the impact that healthcare and the environment can have.

My favorite thing about the Gillings School:
The Gillings School is a national leader with top notch programs and yet it was very accessible to me as an undergraduate student. I always felt welcomed and included even though I was part of the undergraduate program.

I’m originally from:
I am from Washington, D.C. and was the youngest of eight children. My father was active in the beginning of the environmental law movement and ultimately served in the EPA, which helped me appreciate the importance of strong policies incorporating environmental science.

To start a conversation with me:
Just say hello and introduce yourself. I’d be happy to meet you and have a conversation.


Stephanie Baker

Stephanie L. Baker, PhD 2013 (HB)
Alumni Association Board Member (through June 2022)
Associate Professor of Public Health Studies
Elon University
Elon, N.C.

Select to see more.

Why I serve on the Gillings School Alumni Association Board:
My experience at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health was foundational to my current scholar-activist endeavors. I think that public health researchers and practitioners have the opportunity and obligation to create a more equitable and socially justice society and I hope to support the many ways that the School can engage in this work.

How I support or give back to the Gillings School:
I support the Gillings School in many ways, through continued support of the Minority Health Conference and Minority Student Caucus, working as a preceptor for the Capstone teams and from the Health Behavior Department, serving as an alumni representative on search committees and advisory committees, and through informal mentoring of students.

How my UNC public health education and degree impacted my life and career:
My education and degree provided me with skills and tools that I can use to support the work of community organizations toward improved health equity and social justice. Research is a wonderful tool that can be very helpful in creating social change when used in partnership with community-driven strategies.

My favorite thing about the Gillings School:
The annual Minority Health Conference is my favorite thing about the Gillings School. The amount of work and effort students and staff advisors put into making this conference happen is amazing.

I’m originally from:
I was born in Cleveland, Ohio and grew up in Dublin, Ohio. I then attended Washington University in St. Louis for my undergrad, where I also earned a master’s degree in physical therapy.

An accomplishment I’m proud of:
Raising my beautiful daughter and earning my PhD degree.

The best advice I’ve ever received:
Always ask questions. If you don’t have questions, you’re not thinking hard enough.

To start a conversation with me:
Talk to me about good food or ways that you are deconstructing false narratives!

Something most people may not know about me:
Despite my discomfort with heights, I took a trapeze class – once.


Meagan Davis

Meagan L. Davis, BSBIO 2010, MPH 2014 (HB)
Atlanta Alumni Chapter Leader (through June 2024)
Public Health Analyst
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Epidemiology Workforce Branch
Atlanta, Ga.

Select to see more.

Why I serve on the Gillings School Alumni Association Board:
I joined the Gillings School Alumni Association Board in 2018 because I am excited to bring alumni together in Atlanta and help connect them back to the School. Serving on the board also allows me to learn about the School’s initiatives and have a chance to provide feedback.

How I support or give back to the Gillings School:
I currently serve on the Harriet Hylton Barr Distinguished Alumni Award committee, and I enjoy engaging with alumni, students, and prospective students in Atlanta.

My favorite thing about the Gillings School:
My favorite thing about Gillings School is the people. My former classmates and professors are some of the most intelligent, kind and hardworking people I know. I am lucky to have been influenced by them during my time at the Gillings School and beyond.

How my UNC public health education and degree impacted my life and career:
My UNC public health education and degree has had a huge impact on my career, leading me to work that I love. While pursuing an MPH degree, I learned how integral program evaluation is to public health policy and practice. My degree led me to the Evaluation Fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which helped start my career at the agency.

I’m originally from:
I’m originally from Concord, N.C. I lived in North Carolina for 26 years before moving to Georgia.

An accomplishment I’m proud of:
I’m definitely proud to be a double Tar Heel, graduating from UNC twice.

The best advice I’ve ever received:
“Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.”

To start a conversation with me:
Tell me a joke or let’s chat about college basketball!


Pam Diggs

Pamela S. Diggs, B.S. 2003, MPH 2007 (HB)
Alumni Association Board Member (through June 2022)
Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Blue Cross NC
Raleigh, N.C.

Select to see more.

Why I serve on the Gillings School Alumni Association Board:
I am grateful for this opportunity to join the Gillings School Alumni Association Board to serve as a resource for prospective and current students and provide connections with alumni. Since my graduation, I have determined that my life’s work is to advocate for equity and justice and center the voices of those who lived experiences have been pushed to the margins. While the Gillings School has made great strides, there is still much more work to do both internally and externally. I am excited about contributing a racial equity lens and my experience and passion working with youth to increase opportunities, particularly for youth of color to be exposed to public health and amplify their voices to create social change.

How I support or give back to the Gillings School:
During my time at the School, I had the privilege of working alongside fellow students and professors to help create more equitable experiences for current and future public health leaders. I have returned to speak on career panels, exhibit at the Minority Health Conference, and guest lecture in the classroom. I gained so much from the people and relationships I formed during my time at the School, that I feel strongly about continuing to forge relationships and pour into others what was given to me.

How my UNC public health education and degree impacted my life and career:
Many of the relationships I forged as a member of the Minority Student Caucus and Minority Health Conference Planning Committee remain strong and helped shape the life’s work I chose and that I know chose me. From the beginning of my time at the School I was intrigued by the people and the history of community centered work to eliminate health inequities. Every opportunity that I have had since has been centered in community and equity work at various levels with a strong commitment to examine public health issues as social justice issues.

My favorite thing about the Gillings School:
My favorite thing about the Gillings School is the collaboration and relationships. There are so many different research and practice-based projects of interest at the school that are connected to various sectors across the state, nation, and the world. Every time I come back for events like the Minority Health Conference it feels like homecoming and the door is always open for future collaboration.

I’m originally from:
I was born in Myrtle Beach, S.C. and am very proud to be from the Bull City (Durham). Yes, there are people who live in the Triangle area who are from here! There are actually a lot of people I know who are from Durham who are still here. We embrace a shared vision that creates equitable opportunities for people to live, work and play in North Carolina’s major cities without pushing out those who are being left behind or negatively impacted by the city’s rapid growth and change. I love my city for the culture, history, and movements that are sparked here and will always show love for Durham.

An accomplishment I’m proud of:
During my time as a Senior Public Health Educator at Orange County Health Department I worked alongside the Health Director and a coalition of youth and adult partners to lead the development and implementation of the strongest smoke-free policy in the nation at the time in 2012.

The best advice I’ve ever received:
My mom always told me to do my best and don’t worry about trying to be perfect or what everyone else is doing. She reminded me that people are always watching, which helps me give things my all, whatever that may be at the time. My mom is truly an inspiration to me and so many others as she lives out the advice she gave to me in our family, church, and community.

To start a conversation with me:
Tell me where you’re from and what’s your “why” and I will certainly share why being from Durham and the experiences I’ve had because of my identity and passion for others are the “why” that keeps me motivated to continue working for community change every day. I love to hear people’s stories about the how and “why” of their life journeys.


Christine Marie Hunt

Christine Marie Hunt

Christine Marie Hunt, MD, MPH 2013 (PHLP)
Alumni Association Board Member (through June 2024)
Adjunct Professor of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine
Physician Affiliate, Durham VA Health Care System
Durham, N.C.

Select to see more.

Board-certified in internal medicine and  gastroenterology/hepatology, Christine M. Hunt, MD, MPH pursued basic and clinical hepatology research on the faculty of Virginia Commonwealth University (1987-1988) and Duke University (1988-1996), examining the effects of aging on drug metabolism and pursuing viral hepatitis research. In 1996, Christine was recruited to GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to develop new hepatitis and gastrointestinal drug therapies; these efforts yielded successful new drug approvals. As GSK vice president, global clinical safety systems (2007-2012), Christine created and led multidisciplinary teams to develop and execute drug safety systems and led productive national and international consortia with U.S. Food and Drug Administration, corporate and academic partners. Leaving GSK to pursue population health, she obtained a Master in Public Heath Leadership at the University of North Carolina in 2013 and returned to Duke University as an adjunct professor of medicine and physician affiliate, Durham Veterans Affairs Health Care System. Christine currently collaborates on COVID-19 research and liver disease prevention and treatment systems in the VA and globally and consults in hepatology.

Why I serve on the Gillings School Alumni Association Board:
I value my learnings from the UNC Public Health Leadership Program and wish to enable others to benefit from its high-quality faculty and programs.

How and why I support or give back to the Gillings School:
As a change agent, I look forward to working with fellow alumni to build communities to support and strengthen UNC.

How my UNC public health education and degree impacted my life and career:
The UNC Public Health Leadership Program provided me the background and skills needed to successfully advance population health and develop national clinical prevention programs.

I’m originally from:
Born at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, I am the second of five children of social worker parents. While growing up, we lived in multiple states throughout the North, South and mid-West – which enabled me to learn, adapt to and enjoy differing cultures.

An accomplishment I’m proud of:
I am the proud mother of an empathic physician and leader who advances public health and has “so much sunshine to the square inch.”

The best advice I’ve ever received:
Many people pursue “mole hills,” yet real advances come from tackling the mountains.


Anne Jacobs

Anne M. Jacobs, MHA 1993 (HPM)
Alumni Association Board Member (through June 2022)
Principal
Riverstone Health Advisors
Bethesda, Md.

Select to see more.

Why I serve on the Gillings School Alumni Association Board:
I’m thrilled to be able to give back to the Gillings School and support it as it grows and evolves to address some of the most important and challenging public health issues in our nation and around the world. I also look forward to helping to build our Gillings School Washington, D.C. area alumni network.

How I support or give back to the Gillings School:
I support the Gillings School through guest lecturing at the school, mentoring students and recent alumni, attending school events and contributing financially. Throughout my career, I have recruited students from the Gillings School and have mentored many of them as they have progressed professionally.

How my UNC public health education and degree impacted my life and career:
My education at the Gillings School has served as a foundation for my career. Having a degree from the Gillings School has helped to open doors because the School is so highly regarded. Also, the knowledge and technical skills I gained at UNC enable me to analyze complex policy, regulatory and operational issues and to tackle new developments and problems that my clients are facing. The Gillings School’s curriculum grounding in the real world also helps me work with my clients to develop practical solutions that will work best for their organizations and the people they serve.

My favorite thing about the Gillings School:
One of my favorite things about the Gillings School has always been the enthusiasm and accessibility of the faculty, staff and students. The result is a great spirit of teamwork and collaboration – one which I have found to extend to Gillings School alumni in the workforce.

An accomplishment I’m proud of:
After more than 20 years working at consulting firms, I launched my own consulting firm last year.

The best advice I’ve ever received:
“Have a plan but be willing to change it.”


Michael B. Jacobs

Michael B. Jacobs

Michael B. Jacobs, MPH 2003 (PHLP)
Alumni Association Board Member (through June 2024)
Physician
MedStar Health
Washington, DC

Select to see more.

Michael Jacobs is a physician with MedStar Health in Washington and a clinical associate professor of anesthesiology at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He specializes in interventional pain medicine and is involved in the education of medical students, residents and fellows. Previously, Dr. Jacobs served as a Navy physician for over 20 years in multiple roles, including specialty consultant to the Navy Surgeon General and White House.

Why I serve on the Gillings School Alumni Association Board:
Serving on the alumni board provides an opportunity to reconnect with students and alumni, and hopefully provide a small but meaningful contribution to the university that has been so supportive of me.

How and why I support or give back to the Gillings School:
It is only during catastrophes, unfortunately, that society appreciates the role of public health professionals. Although I am no longer involved in the public health arena on a large scale, participating in Gillings School initiatives is one way of supporting the incredibly important work being done.

How my UNC public health education and degree impacted my life and career:
The MPH was an integral part of my education and specialty training in occupational and environmental medicine. Following graduation, I served in public health tours at naval hospitals in Chicago, Illinois and Sicily, Italy. Whether planning flu vaccinations for thousands of navy recruits, overseeing occupational surveillance programs at navy bases in Europe and the Mideast, or serving as a public health emergency officer, the breadth of experiences and education at UNC provided the confidence and competence to successfully perform my duties.

My favorite thing about the Gillings School:
The diversity of backgrounds in the student body and faculty, limitless opportunities for learning and a stellar national reputation.

I’m originally from:
Wayne, New Jersey. I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and medical degree from Temple University.  Since then, the Navy took me to many exciting locations, but now I am happy to be raising my family in Maryland for the past 10+ years.

An accomplishment I’m proud of:
Caring for wounded service members at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and helping them navigate a path to a meaningful recovery.

The best advice I’ve ever received:
Write down your goals and you are much more likely to achieve them.

To start a conversation with me:
Just say hello. I am happy to talk about anything. My own outside interests include travel, reading, playing golf and tennis, being a sports fan, and attending my kids’ activities.


 

Emily Kiser

Emily E. Kiser, MPH 2016 (PHLP)
Alumni Association Board Member (through June 2023)
Strategy and Development Officer
IntraHealth International
Durham, N.C.

Select to see more.

Why I serve on the Gillings School Alumni Association Board:
I serve on the board because I feel that I received so much from the Gillings School of Global Public Health during my time as a student. Opportunities that were provided to and created for me made my graduate experience feel personalized and made me feel valued as an individual. By serving on the board, I hope to pay everything I received forward and continue to make Gillings School students feel supported and highly valued.

How I support or give back to the Gillings School:
I support the Gillings School by serving on the communications, funding requests and the Harriet Hylton Barr Distinguished Alumni Award and the Bernard G. Greenberg Alumni Endowment Award committees. I always enjoy participating in Gillings School events and staying engaged with the students, alumni, faculty and staff.

My favorite thing about the Gillings School:
My favorite thing about the Gillings School is the people. There is such a rich, collaborative community at the School. No matter your area of interest, you can almost always find others in the School who are practicing or researching in that area. There is truly a place for everyone at the Gillings School.

I’m originally from:
I am originally from Elon, N.C., and have lived in North Carolina my entire life. My parents actually met while studying in the social work master’s program at UNC. My sister also attended UNC for her undergraduate and graduate degrees, so you could say I am truly a Tar Heel, born and bred.

To start a conversation with me:
Ask me about my nieces. I have nearly maxed out my phone storage with hundreds, if not thousands, of photos and videos of them. They are 5 and 2 years old and just the most fun. Our favorite shared activities include hide and seek, looking at pictures of princesses, coloring and singing.


Mark Lee

R. Mark Lee, BSPH 1995 (ESE); M.S. 1997 (ESE)
Alumni Association Board Member (through June 2022)
Senior Vice President and Group Lead, Public Sector
ICF
Fairfax, Va.

Select to see more.

Why I serve on the Gillings School Alumni Association Board:
I’m committed to finding ways I can contribute to the school that’s given me so much. Building and maintaining a strong alumni network is really important to the School’s long-term success and I’m hopeful I can contribute, whether that’s through helping connect recent graduates with jobs, helping raise money for scholarships and other needs, or by serving as a resource to other alumni.

How I support or give back to the Gillings School:
My time as both an undergraduate and graduate student at the Gillings School had a profound impact on me, both professionally and personally. I met my wife there, made lifelong friends, and developed a sense of where I wanted to go with my career. Since graduating, I’ve supported the School both financially and by helping place recent graduates in positions at ICF.

How my UNC public health education and degree impacted my life and career:
I came to the School with an idea of what I like to do but without a clear sense of how that could make a difference. Over the course of my time there as both an undergrad and grad student, I learned so much about how my passion can drive meaningful change. I became a much more confident scientist and developed a well-balanced perspective on the relationship between our environment and our economy. That all led to me joining a mission-driven company that valued my passion and perspective and that gave me the opportunity to build a career that I’ve loved.

My favorite thing about the Gillings School:
The faculty – all of the faculty I worked closely with were brilliant thinkers who valued a robust debate. They pushed me to think bigger and built my confidence by valuing my ideas.

I’m originally from:
Chesapeake, Va., but all of my family is from Pamlico County, N.C.

The best advice I’ve ever received:
“No matter what you do, if you’re any good at it, you’re in sales.”

To start a conversation with me:
Talk about UNC basketball.


 

Ashton Madison

Ashton Madison

Ashton N. Madison, MPH 2017 (HB)
Health Behavior Department Chapter Co-Leader (through June 2024)
Cooperative Studies Program Epidemiology Center
Durham VA Health Care System
Durham, N.C.

Select to see more.

Why I serve on the Gillings School Alumni Association Board:
I serve on the Alumni Association Board because I want to further engage with the school, to continue to foster my sense of community here in North Carolina, and to ensure that the School continues to have diverse alumni representation.

How I support or give back to the Gillings School:
I give back to the Gillings School by serving as co-president of the local Health Behavior Alumni Chapter. I am excited to connect with our local alumni network and help further build our community here.

My favorite thing about the Gillings School:
My favorite thing about the Gillings School is the sense of community. Academically or socially, we are always willing to step up for one another. I love that you can find Gillings alumni everywhere!

How my UNC public health education and degree impacted my life and career:
The public health education and degree I received from the Gillings School have reinforced my passions and given me some new ones. Attending the School has given me the opportunity to find new focus areas as well as build incredible skills that I am able to utilize not only at my current job, but also while serving on the Board of Directors of the Art Therapy Institute, a Carrboro-based nonprofit that provides clinical art therapy services to diverse populations across the state.

I’m originally from:
I am originally from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. For the football folks out there, Roll Tide Roll!

To start a conversation with me:
Let’s talk college sports. Or anthropology. Your choice!


Erin Magee

Erin P. Magee, MSW 2015; MPH 2015 (MCH)
Maternal and Child Health Department Chapter Co-Leader (through June 2024)
Project Coordinator
North Carolina Institute for Public Health
Durham, N.C.

 


Hannah Martin

Hannah E. Martin, BSPH 2011, MPH 2013 (NUTR)
Washington, D.C. Alumni Chapter Leader (through June 2024)
Director, Legislative and Government Affairs
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Washington, D.C.

 


Paul Meade

Paul Meade

Paul Meade, MPH 2010 (PHLP)
Alumni Association Board Member (through June 2024)
President
Thought Leader Select
Washington, NC

Select to see more.

Paul Meade has more than 40 years of healthcare industry experience.
In 2000, Paul left the pharmaceutical industry and began his career in healthcare consulting, working with a variety of clients across many different areas of healthcare. He is currently the President and Owner of two companies in healthcare, Clear Point Health and Thought Leader Select. He is a board member of the Institute for Advanced Career Development, a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Medical Science Liaison Society, and Past-President of the Canadian Business Association of North Carolina. He is also an Adjunct Professor and Adjunct Instructor with the Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Paul received a Masters in Public Health with a Certificate in Public Health Ethics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2010.  He also holds a Masters of Science in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Guelph and a B.Sc. from Acadia University.

Why I serve on the Gillings School Alumni Association Board:
I serve on the Gillings School Alumni Association Board because I want to serve as an ambassador for the School in promoting Public Health throughout the world.I have recently moved to Canada and would very much like to actively promote the amazing program in Public Health at UNC, and make new connections with UNC and Universities in Nova Scotia in the area of Public Health. In addition, I would like to offer any services needed by the Alumni Association Board.

How and why I support or give back to the Gillings School:
Apart from making financial contributions to the Gillings School, I have appeared as a guest lecturer in courses, taught a remote course in Public Health Leadership, and have had a practicum student work in my company. I totally believe in giving back as much as I can to the Gillings School in return for what the School has given to me.

How my UNC public health education and degree impacted my life and career:
The greatest impact of my UNC MPH has been to teach me about diversity in all aspects of Public Health. My particular interest in Public Health Ethics has driven me to finds ways to bridge Medicine and Public Health in a way that can change how we view health and wellness, and to recognize that the largest health problems facing all people can only be solved by an integrated collaboration of Healthcare and Public Health providers. It is time for Public Health to take an important seat at the table of solving health and wellness challenges for all future generations.

My favorite thing about the Gillings School:
My favorite thing about Gillings School is the willingness of all those involved to keep looking for innovative ways to solve health and wellness issues using diversified thinking and a dedicated sense of purpose to accomplish great outcomes.

I’m originally from:
I am originally from Canada. I lived in five different Provinces and then moved to London, England for 4 years before going to live in the USA for 26 years in North Carolina. I have recently moved back to Canada, living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I have traveled to many countries throughout the globe, and have enjoyed seeing a diversity of cultures.

An accomplishment I’m proud of:
While living in Canada, I organized a poster contest across Canada to have school students design a poster for National Immunization Week, with a panel of distinguished judges to select the winner. There was a winner from each Province, and an overall National winner. The poster was then printed and distributed across Canada to help create awareness for immunization.
I also conducted a similar project while living in England, but this time had children in a large children’s hospital design a Christmas card that was send out to thousands of people worldwide.

Something most people may not know about me:
I grew up in a musical family and learned to play drums, like my father, when I was 11 years old. I took up playing electric bass guitar in my 50s and play with a jazz group every week. I have played in various bands since my college days. I am now getting into music production.


Timothy Okabayashi

Timothy Okabayashi

Timothy Wade Okabayashi, BSPH 1999 (ESE)
Alumni Association Board Member (through June 2024)
Well Construction Analyst
Schlumberger
Cambridge, United Kingdom

Select to see more.

Tim Okabayashi is a Well Construction Analyst with Schlumberger, a global oilfield services company, working within the Digital and Integrated Systems team based in Cambridge, United Kingdom. His work focuses on applying domain knowledge to identify early stage value proposition of research projects and deliver digital solutions to the organization, focusing on well construction services and new energy projects.  Previously, he worked as an environmental and industrial hygiene consultant to various industrial, specialty chemical manufacturing, and commercial transportation companies. Tim received a BSPH in 1999 (ESE) from UNC-Chapel Hill and a MBA i 2005 from Rice University.  He also sits on the Rice Business Alumni Association Board.

Why I serve on the Gillings School Alumni Association Board:
I am excited to join the board to represent and engage with Gillings alumni living outside the U.S.  as well as to further enrich my connection the faculty, alumni, and current students.

How and why I support or give back to the Gillings School:
I support the Gillings School through serving on the alumni board.  Additionally, I provide financial support to the ESE program as means to support the program that provided me with strong academic foundation.  I look forward to engaging with the broad programming offered by the school.

How my UNC public health education and degree impacted my life and career:
Some twenty plus years after graduating from the ESE program, I am witnessing a renewed interest in Environmental, Social, and Governance issues in the heavy industrial sectors.  I am fortunate to have built a career based on these learning that were delivered through an analytical, multi-disciplinary, and science-based program at the Gillings School.

I’m originally from:
I am originally from Houston, Texas.  After graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill, I worked in the environmental consulting industry in Atlanta, Georgia.  Eventually, i moved home to pursue my MBA at Rice University in Houston.  In recent years, my family and I have relocated to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and now England for work.

The best advice I’ve ever received:
Don’t underestimate the power of empathy to improve your ability to be a leader, manager, and teammate.

To start a conversation with me:
Just say, “Howdy.”

Something most people may not know about me:
I was fortunate to be a walk-on for the Tar Heel men’s varsity lacrosse team in 1997.


Natalie Cheung Rotelli

Natalie Cheung Rotelli

Natalie Cheung Rotelli, BSPH 1999 (BIOS), MPH 2003 (BIOS)
Alumni Association Board Member (through June 2024)
Advisor/Director: Diversity in Clinical Trials
Eli Lilly and Co.
Indianapolis, IN

Select to see more.

Natalie is the director of Diversity in Clinical Trials at Eli Lilly and Company- a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company in Indianapolis, IN.  She is creating and implementing the strategy to increase minority participation and work with minority trial investigators in order to better serve under-represented populations and ensure their medicines work for all people.  Previous, Natalie worked for years as a computation statistician at Lilly, providing statistical analysis for several compounds and innovative initiatives at Lilly.  Previous to that, Natalie had worked at a non-profit, CRO, and at UNC.

Why I serve on the Gillings School Alumni Association Board:
Gillings has given me so much. Beyond the high standard of education, I was brought into a school that had a higher calling of public health for all people. I have taken that attitude into all I that I do, knowing that whatever job or work assignment in in front of me, there is always a higher calling and larger societal objective.  By serving on the Gillings School Alumni Asso. Board, I am able to give back to Gillings, and bring back what I have seen in the world and perpetuate the cycle of answering a larger need.

How and why I support or give back to the Gillings School:
I support the Gillings school through donations, staying in touch with current events at Gillings, promoting what I hear to those around me (mentees and colleagues), and serving as a UNC ambassador at UNC in the stats department.

How my UNC public health education and degree impacted my life and career:
Few people can say they are using what they learned at university in their future jobs and careers.  However, I am able to do so. I was able to land several jobs in different areas because of my Masters degree from such a prestigious school.  I worked as a Biostatistician at FHI while in North Carolina, providing analysis and helping design several global trials to curb the spread of sexually transmitted infections.  I then used my computational skills learned at UNC in my statistical role at Lilly for several clinical trials (including Trulicity) and as a statistician in their Statistical Innovation Center.  My current role- Director of Diversity in Clinical Trials- has a data aspect where I am able to use my statistical background to wear many hats.  I have also held several leadership positions within the American Statistical Association.

My favorite thing about the Gillings School:
I love the campus and learning about other disciplines within the SPH other than BIOS.
I loved how small my graduating class was, and how close I was with other students.
I love that the MPH degree required taking classes in other disciplines, giving me a more well-rounded point of view as a statistician.

I’m originally from:
Jamestown, NC
Small town in North Carolina.
My parents are first-generation and hail from Hong Kong and Mainland China.
We were one of very few Asian families, so it was an interesting time growing up in small town America.

An accomplishment I’m proud of:
Raising children in a healthy, happy blended family, and taking care of my body with sleep, water, exercise, and making yummy food.

The best advice I’ve ever received:
You can have it all, but not all at the same time.  Women should not feel they have to ‘do it all’.

To start a conversation with me:
You can just look at me, I am ready to chat!

Something most people may not know about me:
I have written a chapter in a published book, Listen to Your Mother.


Peter Samai

Peter Samai

Peter Samai, PhD 2017, MPH 2007 (EPI)
Alumni Association Board Member (through June 2023)
Epidemiologist
NoviSci, Inc.
Durham, NC

Select to see more.

Why I serve on the Gillings School Alumni Association Board:
I am excited to work with the other Gillings School Alumni Board members to create opportunities for current students and alumni to connect with the Gillings and larger Carolina community.

How I support or give back to the Gillings School:
I support the Gillings School by contributing to scholarship funds, serving as a resource for current students, and participating in the alumni community.

How my UNC public health education and degree impacted my life and career:
The opportunities and exposures I experienced while a student at Gillings are responsible for the scientist I am today. The friendships and relationships with fellow students and mentors I made are an important resource, I learned so much from them in and out of the classroom and I continue to learn from them today in the public health community.

My favorite thing about the Gillings School:
My favorite thing about the Gillings School is the strong connections I made while in training, that continue to grow after graduation.

I’m originally from:
Coral Springs, FL and I’m a Tar Heel… but I’m also a Florida Gator!

An accomplishment I’m proud of:
Aside from my daughter (who is now 6!), I’d say it was having an FDA guidance document based on a clinical trial protocol I developed that was – at the time – the largest driving simulator study conducted for approval of a drug.

The best advice I’ve ever received:
It’s been said by many people and in varying forms… “Don’t let perfection get in the way of progress.”

To start a conversation with me:
Say, “Hey!” If you’re passionate about something, anything, share it.

Something most people may not know about me:
I’m a passable darts player and have thrown in NC’s oldest dart league for the last few years.


Todd Schwartz

Todd A. Schwartz, MS 1998, DrPH 2004 (BIOS)
Biostatistics Department Chapter Leader (through June 2022)
Associate Professor
Department of Biostatistics
UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
Chapel Hill, NC

Select to see more.

Why I serve on the Gillings School Alumni Association Board:
I am pleased to represent the Department of Biostatistics on the Gillings School Alumni Association Board. Our alumni have had rich and varied careers, and our field is currently flourishing. Serving on this board is a great way to give back to the School for the valuable training and great opportunities that I have been afforded.

How I support or give back to the Gillings School:
I enjoy supporting the Gillings School of Global Public Health by serving on the board and by serving as a conduit for our alumni who seek to be involved in different ways. I give financially to show my appreciation for the training I have received in the past and to demonstrate my support for the important work that is ongoing.

My favorite thing about the Gillings School:
I have great appreciation for the many ways that the Gillings School is impacting public health, from its emphasis on water to the environment to vaccines. The impact is occurring at many levels, and the students who are being trained are gaining exposure to opportunities through the School’s world-class faculty to make a difference in our world. I am particularly enthused by the effective and productive interdisciplinary collaborations that are so prevalent in the School.

How my UNC public health education and degree impacted my life and career:
I find myself on my rewarding career trajectory due to the education and training I received at the Gillings School. My years at the School have been rich in fruitful interactions with faculty, students and staff, and I hope for many more to come.

I’m originally from:
I grew up in a small village community in south-central Pennsylvania. My wife and I moved to the Chapel Hill area shortly after graduating from college, and we’ve never left. We have enjoyed making Chapel Hill our home and raising our family here.

An accomplishment I’m proud of:
I have successfully passed along important sports-team allegiances to my daughters. They are avid Tar Heel fans in many different sports, and we enjoy attending various events when we have the chance. Plus, we all root for the Pittsburgh Steelers!

Something most people may not know about me:
In addition to my wife and three daughters, we currently have two guinea pigs as pets. They are females, as well.


Nick Sullivan

Nick L. Sullivan, BA 2007, MHA 2012 (HPM)
Alumni Association Board Member (through June 2024)
Vice President
Novant Health, Stroke and Neurosciences
Charlotte, NC

Select to see more.

Why I serve on the Gillings School Alumni Association Board:
I am thrilled to have the opportunity to serve and give back to the Gillings School of Global Public Health. The School, and its distinguished faculty, provided me with a tremendous platform to build my career and professional journey in health care. This gives me the opportunity to give back and stay connected to the many great things the School does for students, alumni and the communities we all touch.

How I support or give back to the Gillings School:
I stay connected to the Department of Health Policy and Management department and spend a lot of time supporting current students and early careerist in navigating the workforce and life as a young professional. I also enjoy hosting local events in Charlotte for the School and its current students.

My favorite thing about the Gillings School:
Though the Gillings School’s performance and reputation has remained at the top of any ranking, list or regard amongst peer institutions, my favorite thing about the Gillings School is the culture, which embodies humility, service and courage. In my mind, these intangible qualities are the things that define the School.

How my UNC public health education and degree impacted my life and career:
Because of my Gillings School education, I feel extremely confident in approaching and tackling the most difficult issues that our health system and our community may face. Along with the curriculum and faculty, I have a network of peer leaders and mentors that provide insight and encouragement to continue the pursuit of being a well-rounded leader and human being.

I’m originally from:
Concord, North Carolina

An accomplishment I’m proud of:
Being able to give up coffee!

The best advice I’ve ever received:
“The HOW is just as important as the WHAT.”

To start a conversation with me:
Let’s talk about the last amazing meal you had.

Something most people may not know about me:
Stevie Wonder is my favorite artist.


Levelton Thomas

LeVelton R. Thomas, BSPH 2008; MHA 2013 (HPM)
Alumni Association Board Member (through June 2022)
Program Director, Operations & Management Services
Duke Health, Private Diagnostic Clinic
Durham, N.C.

Select to see more.

Why I serve on the Gillings School Alumni Association Board:
I am excited for the opportunity to give back to the Gillings School and stay connected with current students and alumni.

How I support or give back to the Gillings School:
I give back to the Gillings School through mentorship, professional development, and financial contributions. I also enjoy serving as a resource for prospective students, who are interested in pursuing their graduate studies at Gillings.

How my UNC public health education and degree impacted my life and career:
The Gillings School provided a strong educational foundation, preparing me to be successful in internship and post-graduate fellowship opportunities. Since entering the workforce, I have been very impressed with the power of the alumni network in helping me advance in my career.

My favorite thing about the Gillings School:
My favorite thing about the Gillings School are the people – collaborative classmates, knowledgeable instructors, and supportive staff all working together to advance the field of public health.

I’m originally from:
Raleigh, N.C. and have lived in North Carolina my entire life. My immediate and extended family are all close by in central and eastern North Carolina.

An accomplishment I’m proud of:
Winning the Everett V. Fox CASE competition at the National Association Of Health Service Executives with my fellow Gillings School classmates.

The best advice I’ve ever received:
“Learn from every single being, experience, and moment. What joy it is to search for lessons and goodness and enthusiasm in others.” – Eve Marie

To start a conversation with me:
Ask me about my favorite restaurant!

Something most people may not know about me:
I’m a fraternal twin.


Jessica Bell van der Wal

Jessica Bell van der Wal, BSPH 2006 (HPM)
Alumni Association Board Member (through June 2022)
Founder and Partner
vdB Consulting, LLC
Charlotte, N.C.

Select to see more.

Why I serve on the Gillings School Alumni Association Board:
I serve on the Board to actively contribute to the School and program that has provided me with so much and to learn and grow from working with others as part of this great alumni community.

How I support or give back to the Gillings School:
I actively participate in school events and offer myself as a resource and advisor to prospective/current students and alumni if they need it. As an expert in early stage digital health companies, I am eager to advance the efforts of passionate individuals hoping to support public health through technology and innovation.

How my UNC public health education and degree impacted my life and career:
While I was an undergraduate at UNC, I chose public health as a major because I didn’t want to take any more science courses. I was in the pre-med track, so I had my fair share of chemistry, physics and other similar classes, and I wanted to take courses that would complement these. The BSPH program changed my direction and helped me see how I could support public health from another angle: business.

My favorite thing about the Gillings School:
The Gillings School always welcomes you with open arms. Whether you just moved to the area or are regularly in touch with the School, the alumni, staff, and Board members are there to answer your questions and support you in any way.

I’m originally from:
I grew up in Charlotte always loving the Tar Heels, but I only recently moved back to North Carolina after living in several locations across the United States, including Washington, D.C., Boston, Portland and San Francisco. I could not be more excited to be back in my home state and closer to the Gillings School.

An accomplishment I’m proud of:
I love change and embrace chaos. As a result, I have led teams across almost every function in a business (e.g., marketing, operations, product). In this next phase, I started a business with my husband and am eager to build something on my own from the ground up.

something most people don’t know about me:
I’m a thrill seeker! My family would probably tell you not to dare me to do anything. I have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and recently traveled to Nepal to do a three-week trek through the Himalayas, ending at the base of Mount Everest. That may be as far as I go there!


Michelle Wilkinson

Michelle S. Wilkinson, MSPH 2009 (HPM)
Boston Alumni Chapter Leader (through June 2023)
Senior Manager
ECG Management Consultants
Weymouth, MA

Select to see more.

Why I serve on the Gillings School Alumni Association Board:
I serve on the Gillings School Alumni Association Board because it is a way for me to stay connected to the Gillings School of Global Public Health now that I no longer live in the area. It gives me an opportunity to visit Chapel Hill regularly and to interact with fellow alumni who are equally enthusiastic about their time at the Gillings School, which I truly enjoy.

How I support or give back to the Gillings School:
I support the Gillings School through my participation on the Alumni Association Board as well as in my role as the Boston Chapter President. I enjoy being able to connect with local alumni and get to know the students who are in our area for internships or recent graduates who are starting new jobs. I also continue to interact with and serve as a mentor to current students from my department (health policy management) in supporting the CASE student teams and doing informational interviews for students interested in a career in consulting.

My favorite thing about the Gillings School:
My favorite thing about the Gillings School is the sense of community and the way in which faculty and students are able to forge relationships that can be fostered beyond their formal years in the degree program. The faculty members teach technical skills, but they also teach students how to think critically and creatively in order to be prepared to solve public health challenges of the future.

How my UNC public health education and degree impacted my life and career:
My UNC public health education provided me with the foundation I needed to begin my career in health care. The professors were – and continue to be – very engaged and genuinely interested in my success, and that has allowed me to grow personally and professionally. My classmates – and now fellow alumni – are an ever-growing network of talented and bright professionals from whom I can continue to learn as I advance in my career.

I’m originally from:
I’m originally from southeastern Massachusetts and returned to the Boston area after completing my degree at the Gillings School and a fellowship at UNC Health Care. I am married and have two young sons, both of whom we are teaching to root for the Tar Heels.

An accomplishment I’m proud of:
My proudest professional accomplishment was my advancement to senior manager at ECG. This required extremely hard work to ensure I had the skills necessary to successfully lead and develop teams and manage a variety of consulting projects.

Something most people may not know about me:
Even though I am afraid of heights, I have gone hang gliding over the ocean in Brazil.


Alumni Association Past Presidents

Years Served Name & Degrees Departments & Years
1974 – 1975 William A. Darity, PhD HB, 1964
1976 – 1977 Richard H. House, MPH HPM, 1969
1977 – 1978 Jacob Koomen, Jr., MD, MPH HPM, 1957
1978 – 1979 Howard C. Barnhill, MS HB, 1957
1979 – 1980 Emily T. Tyler, MPH HB, 1967
1980 – 1981 Dorothy Hays Donnelly, MPH PHNU, 1966
1981 – 1982 Joan C. Huntley, MPH, PhD BIOS, 1963; EPID, 1970
1982 – 1983 W. Kenneth Poole, MPH BIOS, 1963
1983 – 1984 Linda W. Little, MSPH, PhD ENVR, 1962, 1968
1984 – 1985 Craig D. Turnbull, MPH, PhD BIOS, 1965, 1971
1985 – 1986 Donald D. Lisnerski, MSPH, DrPH HPM, 1969, 1974
1986 – 1987 Delton Atkinson, MSPH, MSPH HPM, 1976; BIOS, 1979
1987 – 1988 Myrna Aavedal, MPH, PhD BIOS, 1976; EPID, 1982
1988 – 1989 Patricia O’Leary Cunningham, MPH MCH, 1979
1989 – 1990 Sally Herndon Malek, MPH HB, 1980
1990 – 1991 Priscilla A. Guild, MSPH BIOS, 1971
1991 – 1992 John C. Stoner, MSPH, MPH HPM, 1964; HB, 1970
1992 – 1993 Daniel B. Reimer, MPH HPM, 1974
1993 – 1994 James A. Jones, MPH MCH, 1977
1994 – 1995 Elizabeth B. Andrews, MPH, PhD HPM, 1977; EPID 1990
1995 – 1996 John E. Paul, MSPH, PhD HPM, 1980, 1983
1996 – 1997 Susan Cohen Gower, MSPH HPM, 1985
1997 – 1998 Alice D. White, MSPH, PhD EPID, 1985, 1987
1998 – 1999 Meg Binnie Molloy, MPH, DrPH NUTR, 1985; HPM, 1996
1999 – 2000 Morgan U. Tackett, MHA HPM, 1991
2000 – 2001 Timothy D. N. King, MSPH EPID, 1996
2001 – 2002 Rebecca King, DDS, MPH HPM, 1987
2002 – 2003 Anna Pittman Schenck, MPH, PhD HB, 1983; EPID 1997
2003 – 2004 Kourtney J. Davis, MSPH, PhD EPID, 1995, 1997
2005 – 2006 Donna G. King, MPH PHLP, 2000
2007 – 2008 Shelley D. Golden, MPH HB, 1999
2008 – 2010 Jacky Rosati Rowe, MA, PhD ENVR, 2002
2010 – 2012 Joseph F. John, MHA HPM, 2005
2012 – 2014 Priscilla A. Guild, MSPH BIOS, 1971
2014 – 2016 Amy L. Lansky, MPH, PhD HB, 1991, 1996
2016 – 2016 Eric S. Money, MS, PhD ESE, 2003, 2009
2016 – 2020 Todd A. Jones, BSPH HPM, 1993

*Page last updated November 23, 2020.