Health behavior alumni updates: September 2017 - June 2018

Dear fellow health behavior alumni,

Hannah Prentice-Dunn and Lindsay Tague Olson

I hope all of you are doing well and enjoying the beginning of summer. Thanks to the many alumni who completed our ‘Alumni Updates’ survey back in September. With the information from this survey, we are able to share career updates from more than 100 of our alumni in this newsletter.

The enthusiasm you expressed about connecting with each other and with new graduates was the impetus we needed to update our Health Behavior Alumni page with specific information to help alumni find each other using LinkedIn and Gillings school resources. Of course you can always contact the department if you have trouble finding email addresses. [EDITOR’s NOTE: You can access the alumni page from the department’s home page. Look for the box titled Alumni Connections.]

On a personal note, it’s been a pleasure serving as the health behavior alumni president for the past two years. As my tenure comes to a close, I’m struck by how lucky we are to be a part of such a talented and caring network of individuals. It’s been a joy to meet and talk with our Health Behavior alumni in the Triangle and across the country and globe, and to help our alumni connect with each other. I’m very happy to welcome Lindsay Tague Olson, MPH 2014, on as the new alumni president, who will begin her position in July. Lindsay is a Public Health Analyst at RTI, and has been serving as health behavior alumni president-elect for the past year. I know Lindsay is excited to start and will do a wonderful job of helping our alumni stay connected!

Hannah Prentice-Dunn, MPH 2012, president of the Health Behavior Section of the Gillings Alumni Association


Thanks to the 24 alumni who volunteered to participate in the annual Health Behavior Career Information event: Rachel Berthiaume, Dane Emmerling, Jennifer Gierisch, Melissa Green, Mary Beth Grewe, Chip Hughes, Julia Katz, Kelly Knudtson, Michelle Manning, Barbara Martin, Giuliana Morales, Ingrid Morris, Lindsay Tague, Jeff Quinn, Charla Hodges, Humberto Rodriguez, Susanne Schmal, Stephania Sidberry, Liz Stern, Sara Stratton, Annie Thornhill, Christina Villella, Kellie Walters, Michael Wilson. Read more about them. We also thank these alumni who presented awards at the Health Behavior Student Awards Ceremony: Lindsay Bailey, MPH 2016, Dennis Carmody, MPH 2015, Juliette Grimmett, MPH 2007, and Hannah Quigley, MPH 2017.

And thanks to the more than 100 alumni who provided an update.

Peruse the list below to find alumni by the year they graduated or search by name or year.



William R Brieger, MPH 1975, is a professor of international health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Brieger, who also earned a doctorate from Hopkins, has been involved in training community health workers and increasing community involvement in control of tropical diseases in Africa for many years. Currently, he leads implementation research that tests the feasibility and accuracy of community health workers who deliver Intermittent Preventive Treatment of Malaria in Pregnant Women in Burkina Faso. The work, which is sponsored by USAID/President’s Malaria Initiative, builds on similar work Brieger led in Nigeria. Since 2006, he has incorporated social media into his work. Brieger received the Gillings School’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1994.

Kathleen (Kathy) Parker, MPH 1975, retired from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after 20 years of federal service working in global health in areas including Sub-Saharan Africa, Russia, Viet Nam and Indonesia. She volunteers as a teacher and tutor of English as a Second Language and a language arts teacher for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students.


James (Jim) N. Burdine, DrPH 1979, is a professor of health promotion and community health sciences at Texas A&M’s School of Public Health, founding director of the Center for Community Health Development and interim dean from 2013-2015. He is president and senior scientist at Felix-Burdine and Associates.


Nancy Little Linder Porter, MPH 1980, who is retired, is a Stephen Minister and assistant treasurer at her church. Stephen Ministers are listeners and care givers. They do not take the place of other health professionals but do listen to the concerns of the receivers of care and provide referrals when needed.


Kenneth R. McLeroy, PhD 1982, retired after a distinguished career as a faculty member at the Texas A&M School of Public Heath where is Emeritus Professor, Regents and Distinguished Professor. He has been a departmental editor of the American Journal of Public Health since 2005 and chaired the journal’s editorial board from 2002 to 2004. McLeroy is well known as the author – with Bibeau, Steckler and Glanz – of “An ecological perspective on health promotion programs,” a seminal article that advanced the use of social ecological models in health promotion.


Myra Shook, MPH 1983, who works as a dental program manager for Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services, has over 33 years of experience in public-health promotion and chronic disease prevention. In 1991, she was the lead for the American Stop Smoking Intervention Study (ASSIST) which started tobacco control programming in Virginia.


Mary Grenz Jalloh, MPH 1984, works as director of adult education, grant development and maintenance at Ulster BOCES in Port Ewen, New York. She is the founding director of New York State Center for School Safety and served as executive director of the center until 2015.

Vaughn Mamlin Upshaw, MPH health behavior 1984 and DrPH health policy and administration 1999, is happy to be back at the Gillings School. Upshaw joined the faculty of the Public Health Leadership Program as professor of the practice in March 2017. Upshaw spent 10 years on the faculty of the UNC School of Government where she specialized in developing the leadership and governance skills of state and locally elected officials. She is founding executive director of the Association of North Carolina Boards of Health and co-founding member and former president of the National Association of Local Boards of Health.


Peter (Pete) C. Hunt, MPH 1986, is a senior health scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta where he has worked since 1990. He previously worked as an HIV/school health consultant with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

Sheryl Walters, MPH 1986, has worked in international development on issues including hygiene and sanitation, maternal and child health, and HIV/AIDS and training community health workers. She also has completed strategic consulting, data support, collaboration support, educational messaging and website development for a child health promotion and obesity prevention coalition in Northern Virginia.


Robert Mark Goodman, PhD 1987, retired in July 2017 as tenured professor and former dean of Indiana University School of Public Health.


Rema Afifi, MPH 1989, is co-principal investigator in an NIH-funded campaign to increase knowledge about precision care among health care professionals and the general public. The University of Iowa is the national coordinating center for the campaign. Read more.


Kathryn (Kathie) Sunnarborg, MPH 1990, began working at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shortly after she graduated and has worked for the last 25 years as a public health adviser for cooperative agreements that support state public health departments. She provides technical assistance regarding how to build and maintain comprehensive programs that support individuals who have asthma. She has worked on CDC emergency response teams, including the events of September 11, 2001, hurricanes and other natural disasters.


Indu Ahluwalia, PhD 1991, who became branch chief of the CDC’s Global Tobacco Control Branch about two years ago, is responsible for the branch’s work with countries conducting tobacco surveillance to generate evidence for country-level tobacco control. Previously, she served as a senior scientist with the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System. In 2014, she participated in the CDC’s work to address Ebola effort in Sierra Leone.

Linda Kinsinger, MPH 1991, who retired in 2015 after 10 years as the national Chief of Preventive Medicine at the Veterans Health Administration, is enjoying retirement and the free time she has now. Kinsinger was an assistant professor at UNC from 1992 to 2002.


Hanna Neale Cooper, MPH 1993, is a professional certified coach and has been the sole proprietor of a successful executive, leadership and team coaching business since 2004. She designs tailored coaching and training solutions to address the unique strategic, organizational development and leadership capacity-building needs of public and nonprofit organizations. Prior to launching her business, Cooper spent 10 years in public-health program and policy development, oversight, management and leadership in public and nonprofit settings.

Janet Dear, MPH 1993, graduated medical school in 2001 and works as a family doctor in Eugene, Ore.

Sara Stratton, MPH 1993, joined Palladium as a senior technical advisor-family planning in April 2016. Her work focuses upon providing family planning technical assistance – especially in the areas of policy, advocacy, governance and financing – in francophone West Africa and Nigeria. She oversees activities in Mali on the Health Policy Plus Project ( and works with a project that provides direct technical assistance to three Nigerian states and the Federal Ministry of Health. Early in her career Stratton worked domestically. Among her career successes are establishing the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition in Polk Country, Florida, and managing the secretariat for the Ouagadougou Partnership, an entity that promotes family planning in francophone West Africa. Read her blog post.


Cynthia Bolton, BSPH 1983 and PhD 1994, is serving as interim dean of the College of Education at Armstrong State University in Savannah, Ga. She has served professor and associate dean at Armstrong State since 2012. Bolton was appointed as a councilor for the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and served as director of the Center of Excellence for Collaborative Learning at the University of South Carolina before taking a position at Armstrong.

Mary Stuart, MPH 1994, is a health equity program officer and created the North Hartford Triple Aim Collaborative to improve health outcomes, investment opportunities and well-being for residents of the North Hartford Neighborhood. She also expanded the Curtis D. Robinson Center for Health Equity at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center.


Traci Baird, MPH 1995, became the chief executive officer of SHIFT NC in Oct. 2017. Paula Hildebrand, SHIFT’s board chair says, “Traci has an incredible depth and breadth of experience that makes her an expert in strategic visioning, organizational development, fund development, public speaking, board development and team building. We feel very strongly that she will be the perfect leader to guide the next phase of our work.” Baird formerly worked as executive vice president for programs at Ipas. Read more.

Edith Parker, MPH 1989 and DrPH 1995, was named Dean of the Iowa College of Public Health in 2018. Previously, she served as head of the Department of Community and Behavioral Health at the University of Iowa College of Public Health and director of the University’s Prevention Research Center for Rural Health. Read more.

Susan Bridges Robertson, MPH 1995, is the grant coordinator for Summit Community Care Clinic, a federally qualified health center serving five counties in the mountains of Colorado. She also works as a public-health and nonprofit consultant.


Amy Lansky, PhD 1996, was selected as one of five 2017 recipients of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Awards. She and other winners were recognized on Oct. 12, 2017, at the UNC University Day ceremony. Lansky is senior adviser for strategy in the Program Performance and Evaluation Office at the CDC. During the Obama administration, she served as director of the White House Office on National AIDS Policy and, in that role, was the architect and implementer of U.S. HIV/AIDS policy and co-author of the national roadmap for action on HIV/AIDS. Lansky has held several other leadership positions at the CDC. In 2010, she established the Lansky Family Scholarship in the Department of Health Behavior, in honor of her parents’ commitment to education and public health.

Jason Smith, PhD 1996, is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Health Behavior and director of health information system strengthening at MEASURE Evaluation, a large, global, USAID-funded project. Previously, Smith served as director of research utilization for FHI360’s USAID-funded Contraceptive Development Program and as senior advisor to Columbia University’s Gates Foundation-funded Averting Maternal Death and Disability Program.

Kimberly Ann Wolf, MPH 1996, works as executive director of Project Leadership at pharmaceutical company Celgene. Her experience is primarily in the pharmaceutical industry and crosses therapeutic areas, including cardiovascular, HIV, hepatitis, Crohn’s disease and psoriasis. Presently, she leads a drug development team.


Laura Brown, MPH 1997, works as director of operations at the UNC Institute for Healthcare Quality Improvement. The position requires Brown to apply quality improvement, behavioral intervention design and evaluation, and adult learning to improve clinical care and public health.

Mary Harkins-Schwarz, MPH 1997, a senior research associate and evaluation specialist who works with the Public Health Management Corporation in Philadelphia, is assessing federally qualified health centers’ and health retail clinics’ capacity to prepare for and respond to a public-health emergency. She also has conducted an evaluation of a national training of workplace health programs, conducted an evaluation of a marketing campaign and police enforcement to improve pedestrian safety and led two population-based telephone surveys of adverse childhood experiences (ACE) and a member of the Philadelphia ACE Task Force.

Alexis Moore, MPH 1997, is the project manager for Courts Applying Solutions to End Intimate Partner Violence, a program based in the Department of Health Behavior. She has contributed to public-health research and practice in areas including health disparities, guideline-concordant cancer screening, and survivorship care.


Janice Horner, MPH 1998, achieved certification as a National Board-Certified Health & Wellness Coach. She runs her own health-coaching business, Ever Better Integrative Health Coaching and is a part-time wellness coach with Premise Health in December 2017. She says this is an exciting time to be a health coach.

Jane Serena Mezoff, MPH 1998, is a public health analyst who started working at CDC as an ASPPH fellow after completing her degree and never looked back. She earned a doctorate (PhD) at the University of South Carolina in 1995 and has been a behavioral health scientist, program evaluator and now public health analyst at CDC since that time.

Heidi W. Reynolds, MPH 1998 and PhD in Maternal and Child Health 2002, was appointed clinical associate professor in the Department of Maternal and Child Health at the Gillings School. She is director of evaluation at the Measure Evaluation Project where she has worked for over eight years.


Stacey Hoffman, MPH 1999, works as a senior public health analyst at the CDC. She has served on many CDC emergency responses, including those addressing Zika, Ebola and polio.


Shelly Linell Harris, MPH 2000, who earned the Doctor of Science degree in Global Health Management and Policy at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in 2017, is team leader of the FDA Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) Assessment Team. REMS is a safety strategy to manage a known or potential serious risk associated with a medicine and enable patients to use the medicines safely.

Melissa Klein, MPH 2000, who works as communications director at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership and the Center for Corporate Climate Leadership in Washington, was appointed senior sustainability officer on the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Her career spans more than 25 years developing and implementing public- health and environmental promotion and policy initiatives in the private and public sector. She has worked in social marketing and health communications for federal programs, including the NIH and CDC, as well as the American Red Cross. Klein also teaches yoga.


Ying-Chih Chuang, PhD 2001, is a professor and has conducted research about social inequality and health. Chuang works in the Division of Behavioral and Social Research at the National Institute on Aging, which is part of the National Institutes of Health.

Claire Townsend Ing, MPH 2001, is an assistant professor of in the Department of Native Hawaiian Health at the John A Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She has been at the University since shortly after graduating from UNC where she worked as a project coordinator and then enrolled in the doctoral program earning the DrPH in 2014. She was appointed assistant professor in the Department of Native Hawaiian Health in 2015 and is creating a research niche in the use of a community-based-participatory approach for developing, testing, and disseminating multilevel interventions.

Ho-Jui Tung, PhD 2001, is an associate professor in Taiwan. She has authored several research papers in recent years.

Xan J. Young, MPH 2001, Project Director and Senior Technical Assistance Specialist I direct the Youth Violence Prevention Training and Technical Assistance Center, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, located at American Institutes for Research. The center provides training and technical assistance to twelve public health departments in cities with high rates of youth violence to build their capacity to develop and enhance community coalitions, develop comprehensive youth violence prevention plans, identify and implement evidence-based practices, and integrate youth violence prevention efforts in the community. Anticipated outcomes associated with the work include a decrease in risk factors and an increase in protective factors associated with youth violence; and reduced rates of assault, other violent crime, and school-based violence.


Margaret Foster Haines Amanti, DO, MPH 2002, is going to publish her first novel. She says it is important that health care providers nurture all aspects of themselves. She finds that writing is a good outlet for her “roiling creativity.” Amanti, who works as a family medicine/primary care physician, graduated from medical school in 2006 and completed a family medicine residency in 2009. Amanti worked in community medicine for many years holding the titles of director of family medicine and director of medical education. Amanti lives in the Tampa Bay area.

Kari Gloppen, MPH 2002, works as a research scientist with the Minnesota Department of Health in St. Paul. Previously, she worked in the Division of Adolescent and School Health at the CDC. Gloppen earned a PhD in social welfare from the University of Washington in 2014 and completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Minnesota.

Rose Wilcher Monahan, MPH 2002, is Director of Research Utilization at FHI 360 where she provides technical leadership and management oversight to a team of over 20 staff members and is responsible for a portfolio of work that translates public health research findings into evidence-based policies and practices. She leads knowledge management activities under the USAID-funded LINKAGES project, which works in 30 countries to meet the HIV prevention, care and treatment needs of key populations, including sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender people and people who inject drugs.


Ingrid Morris, MPH 2003, a healthcare program developer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC), published a blog post about her work at BCBSNC in partnership with America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). Morris leads a health literacy effort and is helping the national Blue Cross Blue Shield Association implement this strategy with Blue plans across the country. She is involved in the local community as an advocate for healthier foods and beverages in schools, more daily physical activity and stronger wellness policies in public schools in North Carolina.


Shavon Artis Dickerson, MPH 2004, a health scientist administrator at the Department of Health and Human Services, led the national public-health campaign Safe to Sleep campaign, which focuses on safe infant sleeping positions, for eight years. She also spearheaded several public-private partnerships between federal health agencies and professional, advocacy, and non-profit organizations to reduce health disparities and improve women’s health across the nation.

Kristin Lake, MPH 2004, who is a senior research associate and curriculum director at the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health, has been creating curriculum materials on health topics for more than 10 years and some of those programs are used on reservations across the U.S.

LaHoma Romocki, MPH 1984, PhD 2004, is a co-author of Going to School in Black and White, a memoir about experiences beginning with time at Hillside High School in Durham, N.C. Romocki is an associate professor of public health education at North Carolina Central University in Durham and an adjunct professor in the Department of Health Behavior at the Gillings School. Romocki has worked extensively in reproductive health including the prevention of HIV/AIDS and other STDs.

Erin Rothney, MPH 2004, works as a public health adviser and officer in charge at the CDC’s Chicago Quarantine Station. Her work at the CDC, which she joined in 2008, has included stints in Sierra Leone during the Ebola Response and border and quarantine positions in Detroit.


Chandra Ford, PhD 2005, is the founding director of the new Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice and Health in the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Ford is an associate professor of community health sciences at the Fielding School. She also gave a keynote address at the 2017 Minority Health Conference. Read more

Ashley Hammarth, MPH 2005, who works as clinical quality lead at EmblemHealth, has designed and executed interventions for a successful four-year project to reduce avoidable hospitalizations for more than 5,000 long-term nursing home residents in New York state. Currently she leads quality improvement at the nonprofit health insurance company that serves most unions in New York City.


Kate Nelson Ward, MPH 2008, left a position as a clinical content specialist at Elsevier Clinical Solutions in Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul. While at Elsevier, she co-developed and implemented a first-of-its-kind nutrition and feeding training for caregivers of children living outside of permanent family care in India, China and Kazakhstan.

Tara Graham, MPH 2006, is a senior program director at Just Detention in D.C. She developed and is implementing national standards to prevent, detect, respond and monitor sexual violence in confinement facilities across the nation (PREA – Prison Rape Elimination Act).

Carolyn Thorpe, DrPH, 2006, associate professor at the School of Pharmacy at the University of Pittsburgh, was awarded tenure and promoted to associate professor in spring 2017. She also is a core investigator at the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion in the Veterans Affairs-Pittsburgh Healthcare System.

Rachel Willard-Grace, MPH 2006, director of the UCSF Center for Excellence in Primary Care, brings her experience in community-engaged research to bear on how we conduct and share research from the medical field. Of this work, she says, “we’ve worked to establish standards of involving patients in research design, hiring and training field teams, and interpreting the findings.”


Kate Compton Barr, MPH 2008, is chief operating officer and co-founder of Pip & Grow, a socially-responsible baby box company that markets the Smitten Sleep System. She has worked in public health for more than a decade, and as a behavioral science consultant, has developed and tailored online health behavior apps.

Mel Downey-Piper, MPH 2008, is director of health education and community transformation at the Durham County Department of Health. She also led a 400-member coalition that was a national RWJF Culture of Health Prize winner and launched Bull City United, North Carolina’s first replication site of Cure Violence program.

Neha S. Singh, MPH 2008, who earned a doctorate (PhD) at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LHSTM) at the University of London in 2014, has worked at the LHSTM since earning the doctorate. As a research fellow, Singh works on studies that focus upon health systems and policy research to improve women’s and children’s health in crises settings and low- and middle-income countries. Prior to 2017, she was the technical coordinator for the health policy and systems technical working group as part of Countdown to 2030, a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional consortium that tracks countries’ progress towards achieving the UN’s Global Goals for maternal and child mortality.

Jessica Hughes Wagner, MPH 2008, who has worked at the University of Texas at Austin since 2011, was appointed assistant director of the Center for Health Communication, a joint academic center of Moody College of Communication and Dell Medical School. Wagner leads the design and implementation of public-health initiatives – from colorectal cancer screening to sleep promotion – with local, state and national communities. While in the health behavior program at Gillings, Wagner completed coursework for the Health Communications Certificate.


Delesha Carpenter, PhD 2009, is an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Health Behavior and an assistant professor in the Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Among Carpenter’s career highlights are: serving as scientific chair of a conference focused on pediatric medication safety and developing a tailored video software program to improve children’s inhaler technique.

Jerrie T. Kumalah, MPH 2009, a social epidemiologist who works with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, has responsibilities that span from research to public-health policy and advocacy through local organizations, state health departments and philanthropic entities. Kumalah also has worked on development of Baltimore City’s public-health approach to violence prevention plan, which was the foundation for the Baltimore Mayor’s Office’s citywide violence prevention initiative.

Cherie Rosemond, PhD, 2009, is an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Health Behavior and serves as director of the UNC Partnerships in Aging Program. Rosemond says that “HB students are the cream of the crop,” and she speaks from her experience working with a capstone team and serving as a practicum preceptor for health behavior students.


Kerri Lynn Kruse, MPH 2010, a senior research and analytics advisor at the at New Zealand Human Rights Commission, responded to the alumni survey from Bangkok, Thailand where she was attending a course on how to conduct monitoring and reporting of human rights. She has over a decade of experience in New Zealand and Honduras and is proud of her work on random controlled trial in Honduras that tested the effect of a nutritional supplement on child nutrition.

Joy Messinger, MPH 2010, who earned a Master’s of Social Work degree after completing her degree at UNC, is a program officer at Third Wave Fund, a national funder of youth-led reproductive and gender justice activism and organizing. She is an adjunct instructor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration where she teaches a course on intersectional and trauma-informed LGBTQ social work practice.

Kennedy Muni, MPH 2010, is a doctoral student in the Epidemiology Department at the University of Washington. He was awarded a 12-month fellowship from the Fogarty International Center, an NIH center. He is conducting his dissertation research in Uganda looking at road safety among motorcycle taxi drivers in Kampala. Before entering the doctoral program at the University of Washington, he worked for five years in South Sudan as a monitoring and evaluation specialist supporting the Ministry of Health.

Jeff Quinn, MPH 2010, is director of community alignment at Family Connects at Duke University. He also has served as principal investigator of four evaluations: two of these focused upon outcomes of STI/HIV intervention programs, and two were process evaluations in on other topics.

Sara Satinsky, MPH 2010, a project director at Human Impact Partners based in San Francisco, leads or participates in projects involving criminal justice reform, immigration reform, land use and transportation. Human Impact Partners coordinated the start of Public Health Awakened — a space for public-health professionals to respond to public health harms of the current administration.

Kate Thanel, MPH 2010, deployed to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria and found herself working with Chaunetta Jones, MPH 2013. The two health behavior alumni had never met before deploying to Puerto Rico but became the two-woman Behavioral Health Branch working as part of the Health and Human Services Hurricane Maria Recovery Mission. Read what they had to say.

Nora West, MPH 2010, has enrolled as a doctoral student in the social and behavioral interventions program/international health at the Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research will focus upon adolescents, HIV and mental health. After completing her master’s studies in health behavior, West spent three years in South Africa where she coordinated the implementation of operational research studies and worked to disseminate the findings through publications, community-based dissemination and reporting to South African Ministry of Health officials.


Alison Mendoza-Walters, MPH 2011, is the CEO and founder of Public Health Impact, LLC, a boutique consulting firm that helps clients use data to serve their communities, promote collective impact and spark action towards social change. Public Health Impact’s clients take a systems approach to solving problems, value authentic community engagement and pride themselves in challenging the status quo.


Brenda Buescher, MPH 2012, a health promotion specialist, leads Lighten Up Lancaster County (Pa.), a multi-sector coalition to promote healthy eating and active living.

Leah Gordon, MPH 2012, serves as project director of ESCALATES, an external evaluation of the national, multi-site Evidence Now Initiative, which seeks to improve cardiac care. The project is based at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland.

Lindsay Ann Herendeen, MPH 2012, works as a health policy analyst for the Washington state Board of Health. She evaluates how state legislation and rules impact public health and health disparities. Prior to joining the board, she worked as a health educator for the Washington state Department of Health.

Charla Hodges, MPH 2014/MCRP 2015 is a senior project Director at Counter Tools and works with food and tobacco projects in several states.

Lilli Mann-Jackson, MPH 2012, works as a senior research associate in the Public Health Sciences Division of the Wake Forest medical school and is involved in the development, implementation, and evaluation of community-based, participatory research (CBPR) studies, focusing on interventions promoting health services access, sexual and reproductive health, HIV prevention and HIV care linkage and retention among Latino and LGBT communities.

Molly McFatrich, MPH 2012, is a research program leader at the Duke University School of Medicine where she manages a study that is validating the first child self-report adverse event measure to be used in cancer treatment clinical trials. She would love to talk with other alumni about opportunities outside North Carolina.

A.C. Rothenbuecher, MPH 2012, community grants bureau chief of the Community Development Division of the Montana Department of Commerce, works with communities across the state to identify and address gaps in early childhood services. She also works with cities, counties, towns and tribes to increase access to affordable housing and improve water and waste water systems and infrastructure.

Turquoise Sidibe, MPH 2012, who works as a senior program office at the CDC Foundation, served as the lead senior program officer on the Zika Contraception Access Network (Z-CAN), which the foundation and its partners developed in response to the Zika virus epidemic. The network provided women in Puerto Rico with FDA-approved, reversible contraceptive methods free of charge on the same day of they used healthcare services.

Anna Harris Stein, MPH 2012, who has worked at the NC Division of Public Health since earning the, is a legal specialist who focuses on smoke-free multi-unit housing, local government regulation of smoking and e-cigarette use, shared use of school property for physical activity and opioid overdose prevention. She provided consultation to policy makers who passed the STOP Act, North Carolina’s regulation for prescribing opioids.


Kat Bawden, MPH 2013, partnered with the N.C. Urban Survivors Union to lead a documentary-photography project with women, transgender and gender non-conforming individuals who use injection drugs in North Carolina. Bawden taught participants the fundamentals of photography and documentary storytelling, and they photographed life at the intersection of drug use, gender and Southern culture. The result was “Southern Etiquette,” a photovoice project that has been exhibited at the National Harm Reduction Conference and published in the Huffington Post. The project organizers are seeking funding to expand the project. Bawden, who is based in Los Angeles, uses documentary photography and journalism to explore misunderstood public-health issues. Several of Bawden’s photographs from the photovoice project and from her work documenting a choir made up of individuals who are homeless. See Bawden’s portfolio.

Daphne Delgado, MPH 2013, a health partnerships & policy manager at the YMCA of the USA in Washington, D.C., has advocated for an increase in federal chronic-disease funding, reinstatement of the CDC Arthritis program and funding for diabetes prevention. She also worked with federal agencies to implement the Diabetes Prevention Program into Medicare, which was the first time in history that Medicare has covered an evidence-based community intervention for eligible beneficiaries.

Ali Groves, PhD 2013, a tenure-track assistant professor in the Department of Community Health and Promotion at the Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health in Pennsylvania, is the recipient of a $1.58 million DREAMS innovation grant to get adolescent mothers back into school after giving birth. Groves has been interviewed about on her work on the intersection between HIV and intimate partner violence during the postpartum period, by National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.

Adrienne Gill, MPH 2013, who works as an emergency management specialist at the CDC, deployed to Puerto Rico, where she participated in the CDC’s response to Zika. This experience allowed her to apply her knowledge of public-health emergency management and learn best practices from federal and Puerto Rican colleagues.

Allison Glasser, MPH 2013, became an assistant scientist at New York University’s College of Global Public Health, in 2017. She has worked with a variety of health improvement efforts, including contributing to a recent Surgeon General’s Report and presenting data on the health effects of e-cigarettes at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

Chaunetta Jones, MPH 2013, who also earned a doct0ral degree at Rutgers, went to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria and worked side-by-side with Kate Thanel, MPH 2010. The two health behavior alumni had never met before deploying to Puerto Rico but became the two-woman Behavioral Health Branch as part of the Health and Human Services Hurricane Maria Recovery Mission. Read what they had to say.

Anna Claire Stormzand, MPH 2013, a health promotion coordinator at the Chatham County (N.C.) Public Health Department, has helped pass and support county tobacco-free policy, create a school-health and wellness position within the school district and worked to institutionalize sexual health education within the Chatham County schools.


Rebecca Bruening, MPH 2014, works as a qualitative analyst work at the Durham VA Health Services Research and Development Service. Previously, she completed fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Catherine Chao, MPH 2014, is director for strategy and evaluation at the Ad Council in New York. In this position, Chao oversees formative and evaluative research for multi-media public service and health communication campaigns.

Ariana Katz, MPH 2014, a research public health analyst working with the Women’s Global Health Imperative at RTI International, marked her 3-year work anniversary. While the initiative is based in San Francisco, Katz moved to Los Angeles in February 2017and works remotely from home. Katz’ work includes managing three large, multi-national, HIV-prevention, qualitative-research studies in sub-Saharan Africa. She says that the biggest highlight of her work is conducting in-person trainings and meetings with African colleagues.

Casey McCormick, RN MPH 2014, a clinical nurse in the Emergency Department at UNC Hospitals, is interested in talking with other alumni or students about combining public-health experience with clinical practice. She was a project manager for a water and sanitation project in Madagascar before earning her degree in nursing. She also would enjoy talking about the overlap between global public health and emergency nursing.

Molly Merrill-Francis, MPH 2014, is a doctoral student at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the health policy and management program. She studies injury and violence prevention.

Kellie Walters, MPH 2014, a senior informatics project manager, manages a portfolio of multi-site clinical informatics projects for the NC TraCS Institute, UNC-Chapel Hill’s home for the Clinical and Translational Sciences Award, leads efforts to incorporate stakeholder engagement activities into informatics infrastructure project and plans and hosts informatics education and faculty development activities for the UNC-Chapel Hill community.

Michael Wilson, MPH 2014, is a co-founder of Partnerships Lead: Advance Access & Delivery, a global health non-profit organization working with governments and civil society partners across more than ten countries to improve access to healthcare for vulnerable communities. He also has served as a United Nations consultant to the Stop TB Partnership and mentored seven students on global health projects. Wilson helped start and lead the Zero TB Initiative, a global initiative working with cities to bring the global tuberculosis epidemic into the elimination phase.

Melissa Rolfsen Wooten, MPH 2014, is in her last year of studies at the UNC School of Medicine. After she graduates, Wooten will seek residency training in a combined internal medicine and pediatrics program and then pursue a career in adolescent health and transitional care. Wooten helped co-found the PATCH (Propelling Adolescents towards Careers in Healthcare) Program, an entity that exposes minority, and economically-disadvantaged students to careers in medicine.


Kate Bloom, MPH 2015, joined Beyond Celiac, a patient advocacy organization, as a research community coordinator at in March 2015.

Elena Rivera, MPH 2015, health policy and program adviser at Children’s Institute, leads the organization’s work to connect health and early learning to improve outcomes for Oregon’s youngest children. Rivera is based in Portland, and her work involves building strong collaborative relationships with several agencies in the state.


Julia Katz, MPH MCRP 2016, a housing and community development planner, works to address affordable rental housing with Chatham County, (N.C.) especially the towns of Siler City and Pittsboro. She participated in the 2017 Urban Land Institute Health Leaders program.

Marta Mulawa, PhD 2016, is a postdoctoral scholar in Duke’s Interdisciplinary Research Training Program in AIDS (IRTPA) T32 Program based at the Duke Global Health Institute. Mulawa’s research aims to improve our understanding of how social networks influence HIV-related behavior.

Mary Kate Shapley-Quinn, MPH 2016, works as a research public health analysis with RTI International’s Women’s Global Health Imperative. In this position, she has worked with an accomplished team of researchers to analyze ground-breaking qualitative research on technologies that can prevent HIV, and possibly prevent pregnancy as well. Shapley-Quinn says it is fascinating, educational work – and a privilege – to communicate about this work in ways that could help us create products that are easier for women to use. Her global work and connection began much earlier, when as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mozambique, she worked with a small organization of volunteer, community health workers to register as an organization and begin to win funding to fund their work.

Eleanor Wertman, MPH 2016, is a program manager at UNC Health Alliance where she helps manage a pilot program that uses telemedicine to provide behavioral health care to Medicare beneficiaries who experience depression and anxiety. She also developed and implemented a transportation program to serving 22,000 Medicare beneficiaries.


Shauna Ayres, MPH 2017, enrolled in the doctoral program in judgment and decision making at Ohio State University. Ayers studies decisional psychology and conducts research that examines motivation and goal pursuit strategies, but her broader interest is in understanding the cognitive mechanisms of how, when and why people make health-related decisions.

Virginia Burger, MPH 2017, completed a three-week deployment to Puerto Rico with the American Red Cross for the distribution of emergency supplies.

Angela Hensel, MPH 2017, is a Presidential Management Fellow and was appointed to the Veterans Health Administration’s National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Programs in Durham, N.C. She provides technical support, and resource and policy development to Veteran Association’s field staff on developing veteran-centered public-health and health-education programs and resources.

Morgen (Palfrey) Stanzler, MPH 2017, joined the Institute for Healthcare Improvement/National Patient Safety Foundation in Boston as a project manager.

Health Behavior Matters, e-newsletter of the Department of Health Behavior

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