Health Behavior Student Organizations

Health behavior students provide leadership or participate in these and groups.


Varsha Subramanyam, Willa Dong, Ashley Crawford, Waru Gichane and Ida Griesemer are health behavior students.

The Equity Collective

The collective is a student group in the Department of Health Behavior, has met bi-weekly this semester [spring 2017] to develop strategies to create a more equitable health behavior community.

The group’s mission is to work to create, promote and sustain equity in the Gillings School of Global Public Health’s Department of Health Behavior for the benefit of all prospective and current students, faculty and staff.

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Health Behavior 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. It is intended to complement other global health groups within the school by focusing specifically on the application of health behavior 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, contact co-chairs Rebecca Hershow and Mike DeFranco.

Health Behavior Professional Development Committee

The Professional Development Committee compliments the Professional Development Seminar, which is part of the curriculum in health behavior. Often students seek more in-depth information or technical assistance on topics including health communications, job searching or resume workshops and these topics are addressed by workshops this committee organizes. These additional learning opportunities are held about every six weeks during the school year. They allow students to design, choose and facilitate workshops for health behavior students.

Health Behavior Social Committee

The Health Behavior Social Committee brings together students who have a desire to plan events that include student,  faculty members, staff, and local alumni. Members of the committee plan regular events, an end-of-year party, and the annual holiday party.

Health Behavior Working Group on Gender, Migration and Health

This group brings together many professors, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students from UNC at Chapel Hill and Duke University who all work on issues of gender, migration and health. The group facilitates discussions and activities about overall conditions affecting the health of migrant women and men across the Americas. Events include bimonthly seminars, guest speakers and community outreach events. The group’s faculty advisers are Clare Barrington, Raúl Necochea, and Krista Perreira. For more information, contact Dirk Davis.

LGBTQ Health Disparities Research Collaborative


May Chen, Dirk Davis and Willa Dong raise awareness of LGBTQ health issues in spring 2017.

The LBBTQ collaborative is a campus group formed to provide graduate students and faculty members at UNC-Chapel Hill with a space to engage in critical conversations about LGBTQ health. Health behavior doctoral students May Chen (MSPH) and Dirk Davis (MPH) are the group’s coordinators.

Read the overview document

Minority Student Caucus

The Minority Student Caucus of the Gillings School of Global Public Health is a student-run organization whose mission is to represent all students of color in the Gillings School on professional, social and community issues within the Gillings, the university, and the larger community.

Minority Health Conference

Many health behavior 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 of health disparities and to 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. It attracts more than 500 attendees each year and hundreds of others view it via webcast.

Graduate Research and Intervention in the South (GRITS)

This group is a health-behavior-founded, interdisciplinary organization that encourages and fosters conversations about the unique strengths and challenges of health promotion work in the American South. The group hosts events including lectures, panels and film screenings to explore and highlight best practices in improving health in the South. We also lead monthly journal clubs to discuss current issues in health research and practice in the American South. To get involved, email

 UNC Refugee Health Initiative (RHI)

This group is a student organization funded by SHAC. Student volunteers are paired 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 UNC Refugee Health Initiative Handbook to go over the importance of preventative health measures (going to a primary care physician regularly, brushing teeth, exercising, etc.) and how to navigate the American health care 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. Volunteers are required to pass a criminal background check and attend orientation. To find out more, email