Health Behavior Updates, Fall 2018

HB Alumni Updates Received in 2018

More than 200 alumni shared a professional update in 2018. The information listed here, which in some cases includes links to profiles, email addresses and websites, is shared with their permission.

1969 -1980


William F. Maloney, MPH 1969, is retired.


Katherine Crosson, MPH 1974, retired from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Henry (Hank) D. Debnam, MPH 1974, serves as Cumberland County site director for Alliance Behavioral Healthcare in Fayetteville, North Carolina and as the designated military/veterans point of contact for the company. Debnam spent most of his career working in the south central region of North Carolina, earning a reputation as a caring and capable leader in the health care field. He served in leadership positions with Cumberland County Mental Health Center, Cape Fear Valley Health System, Stedman-Wade Health Services, Inc., the N.C. Office of Rural Health and the N.C. Division of Health Services. Debnam is a recipient of  the North Carolina Order of the Long Leaf Pine and the Living Legend Award from Lewis Chapel Missionary Baptist Church.

In January 2019, Debnam will retire. He lives in Fayetteville with his wife Alisa. They have two daughters, Deidra, who earned a doctoral degree in physical therapy from UNC-CH, and Diana, who is a sophomore at UNC-CH majoring in biology/pre-med.

Kathy Parker, MPH 1974 has retired from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2004. Since retiring, Parker does a lot of volunteer work in her community (e.g., AIDS Walk Atlanta and 5K Run, ESL classes and tutoring, GED program for DACA applicants) and church (e.g., death penalty vigils at the state capitol). “I have traveled to “bucket list” places,” says Parker, “such as Costa Rica (Tuesday, October 30, 2018Spanish immersion program), Turkey, Morocco, Vietnam, Argentina, Chile and Brazil.

Linda L. Lankenau, MPH 1975, is retired.


Edward F. Meehan, MPH 1978, is executive director of the Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust.


Debra Bill, MPH 1980, who also earned a doctorate (PhD) degree at Temple University, is a professor at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. She teaches undergraduate and graduate public health courses. Her primary teaching responsibilities are in transcultural health, global health promotion, health program planning and community health. Her specialty area of expertise is culture and health. She has been a leader in applying the promotora-de-salud model to educate migrant/immigrant communities about maternal and child health.

Charles Llewellyn, MPH 1980, retired as a USAID Foreign Service Officer in 2010. Since that time, he has been working approximately half time as a s0hort-term consultant for USAID Health Offices around the world, including Zambia, Angola, Nigeria, Mali, Benin, Ghana, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Nepal, Cambodia, Colombia and Rwanda and he will be going to Mali again October 2018. He also mentors junior USAID health officers. Llewellyn is based in Beaufort, N.C. where he enjoys sailing, diving and working on his old house.

Nancy (Linder) Porter, MPH 1980, is retired.


Leandris Liburd, MPH 1982, is director of the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Kenneth McLeroy, PhD 1982, is Professor Emeritus and retired Distinguished and Regents Professor at Texas A&M School of Public Health. McLeroy continues to chair doctoral committees, serve as associate editor for the Department of Perspectives from the Social Sciences for the American Journal of Public Health, and consult on several research projects, including an evaluation of the Texas A&M initiative in stimulating and supporting inter- and trans-disciplinary research.

1982 Lucas Owuor Omondi, MPH 1982, provides expertise in health systems strengthening and community capacity development. He is a self-employed consultant.  Email:


Myra Shook, MPH 1983, works as a manager, Virginia Medicaid Dental Program. Email:

Eileen Zeller, MPH 1982, is retired.


Kathy T. Crumpler, MPH 1985, works as a health curriculum specialist. She is self-employed and currently is contracted by the N.C. School Health Training Center to provide training and technical assistance for a variety of evidence-based curricula.


Nansi Greger-Holt, MPH 1986, is a family and geriatric nurse practitioner with the UNC Healthcare Department of Neurology.

Randee Gordon, MPH 1986, is a project coordinator with Wake County Human Services.

Pete Hunt, MPH 1986, retired from CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health in December 2017. Hunt retired with over 30 years of public-school health service in North Carolina and in the federal government. He now enjoys living a quiet county life in Monroe, Georgia.

Erma Manoncourt, PhD 1986, is president and founder of Managing & Development Consulting, Inc. The group is composed of a network of international, multi-disciplinary experts who provide technical assistance in planning, intervention and strategy development, as well as capacity building. They specialize in social and behavior change programming in both development and humanitarian contexts. The associates are multi-lingual, and collectively have worked at global, regional and country levels in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East/North Africa and the Americas.


Karen Ebey-Tessendorf, MPH 1987, is director of operations at Georgia College.

Robert Goodman, PhD 1987, has retired and is a professional musician.


Jane Mezoff, MPH 1988, works as a health scientist at the CDC.


Linda Kinsinger, MPH 1991, is retired.

Kristi Skjerdal, MPH 1991, works as a program analyst with the California Department of Rehabilitation.


Jennifer Schuster Jaeger, MPH 1993, is deputy director, community corrections for Ramsey County, Minnesota.

Sara Stratton, MPH 1993, has been working works as a senior technical advisor, family planning/director health at Palladium since early 2016. She focuses mainly on health policy project activities in Francophone West Africa and specifically on helping ministries of health and civil society partners strengthen national family planning programs from a policy, governance, financing and advocacy perspective. She also has management responsibilities “to keep a bit of balance to my day” for activities in Mali.


Rebecca Kohler, MPH 1994, is senior vice president, strategy and development at IntraHealth International.

Joan F. Walsh, PhD 1994, is retired.

Margo Michaels, MPH 1994, works as a self-employed consultant.


Susan Bridges Robertson, MPH 1995, works as a grant lead at Summit Community Care Clinic.


Lisa Langhaug, MPH 1996, works as an independent consultant and PhD supervisor and has been happily based in Zimbabwe for the past 25 years. Langhaug has just finished five years as head of research for an African regional NGO developing community-based interventions to improve psychosocial support of vulnerable children ( Before that she focused on evaluating HIV prevention programs, primarily in adolescent reproductive health. She currently supervises four doctoral (PhD) students through a Wellcome Trust capacity-building grant focused on mental health. She also has just completed two studies. One of the studies evaluated a bereavement support intervention for young people living with HIV, and the other looking at how to help caregivers disclose the child’s positive HIV status to them.


Ayo Attenberry, MPH 1997, works as a senior associate in the evidence-based practice group at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. She is a member of the team overseeing grants that expand the availability and utilization of evidence-based programs. Her portfolio includes supporting evidence building in programs and interventions that serve youth and young adults. In addition, she leads racial equity and inclusion efforts focused on identifying, implementing and promoting the most effective strategies to ensure equitable opportunities and outcomes for vulnerable children, families and communities of color.


1998 Nora (Beidler) Henrikson, MPH 1998, is an assistant investigator at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute. Henrikson moved to Seattle in 2003 to complete a PhD degree at the University of Washington School of Public Health and has been working at Kaiser Permanente ever since graduating. “I also spend time staring at my two amazing children (11 and 8) and enjoying the beautiful Pacific Northwest,” says Henrikson, “and UNC is always close to my heart!”

Janice Horner, MPH 1998, works as a health and wellness coach at Premise Health. She became one of the first national board certified-health and wellness coaches in the country last fall when the inaugural exam was offered. She also started a part-time wellness coach position with Premise Health, working on a contract with Wake County government. “I provide individual coaching, group educational programs and wellness seminars to county employees,” says Horner. “It only took 20 years, but I am finally doing what I love!”


Elena Carbone, DrPH 1999, is the chair of the Department of Nutrition at University of Massachusetts Amherst. She moved back to Massachusetts after graduating from UNC and at UMass focused on the development, integration and evaluation of community-based theory-informed behavioral interventions to promote health and prevent disease among multiethnic underserved groups with low literacy skills. She has conducted mixed method intervention studies related to obesity, diabetes, cancer and food safety. In 2012 she founded the Community-Engaged Research Program (CERP) at the Commonwealth Honors College. “I have had the good fortune to travel fairly extensively for my work,” says Carbone, “and I currently serve as principal investigator for an International Research Development Fund grant focusing on maternal health literacy.”

Sonya A. Goode, MPH 1999, is a research public health Analyst at RTI International.

Stacy Hoffman, MPH 1999, works as a senior policy analyst at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Barbara Alvarez Martin, MPH 1999, is director of research development, cancer prevention and control at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. “After 25 years I decided to come back to Carolina for the executive doctoral program in health leadership,” says Martin. “It’s a great option for mid-career folks because it’s very applied and focused on practice. It takes three years and is intentionally designed for professionals working full time. I highly recommend it!”

Victoria Sanchez, DrPh 1999, is an associate professor at the University of New Mexico College of Population Health.


Kyna Gooden McCullough Gooden, MPH 2000, works as director, worldwide health economics and outcomes research at Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Sarah Merkle, MPH 2000, works as deputy policy director at the CDC National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

Margaret Ostafin, MPH 2000, is associate director, clinical quality improvement initiatives at NYC Health + Hospitals.


Cynthia Jaconski, MPH 2001, works as associate administrator at Upstate University Hospital.

Melanie Larkin, MPH 2001, works as a clinical pharmacist for Envolve Pharmacy Solutions.

Ho-jui Tung, PhD 2001, works as an associate professor at Asia University. Tung teaches undergraduate and graduate-level courses and advises master’s and doctoral students on their theses and dissertations.

Deborah Zysman, MPH 2001, is executive director of Hawaii Children’s Action Network.


Rose Wilcher Monhan, MPH 2002, works as technical director at FHI 360.

Kari Gloppen, MPH 2002, works as a research scientist at the Minnesota Department of Health.


Katrina Debnam, MPH 2003, holds a joint faculty appointment in the Curry School of Education and the School of Nursing at UVA. She is a SON Roberts Scholar who studies youth violence prevention, health disparities and school climate. As a researcher and scientist at Hopkins for more than 13 years, she honed an interest in both a qualitative and quantitative approach to programs addressing adolescent dating abuse, adolescent violence prevention, school climate initiatives, health disparities, and faith-based programs that aim to improve young people’s lives.

David Kingdon, MPH 2003, works as an associate professor at the University of Hawaii and a paramedic supervisor for the Maui County Emergency Medical Service.

Keryn Pasch, MPH 2003, is an associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin.


Jennifer Griffith, DrPH 2004, is associate dean for practice and instructional associate professor at Texas A&M School of Public Health.

Cynthia Lakon, PhD 2004, is an associate professor at the University of California – Irvine.

Kristin Lake Masten, MPH 2004, works as curriculum director for the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health.


Karen Issacs, MPH 2005, a physician who works for New Hanover Regional Medicine Center, practices full-scope family medicine and teaches family medicine residents and students. For the past six years, Isaacs has also been contracted half time as medical director at Wilmington Health Access for Teens, a private nonprofit that provides integrated primary and mental health care. Isaacs says that by the end of 2018, she will step down from her role with Health Access for Teens to focus more time on family medicine education and care for vulnerable populations.

Carolyn (Kalinowski) Thorpe, PhD 2005, is an associate professor at UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Betsy (Elizabeth Ellen) Tolley, PhD 2005, works as director of the Behavioral, Epidemiological and Clinical Sciences Division at FHI 360. “Our group of 25 Masters’ and PhD level researchers conduct research on a range of topics. We have conducted methodological research to develop and validate social norms measures in the context of adolescent reproductive health and measures to predict product adherence within the context of clinical trial research for new HIV prevention methods. We support FHI 360 social-behavior change programs, by designing and supporting research to monitor and evaluate achievement of program goals. We draw on principles from community-based participatory research and human-centered design to ensure that the development and evaluation of products and programs are informed by the needs and contexts of those who would use them.”

James Thrasher, PhD 2005, is a professor at the Department of Health Promotion Education and Behavior at the University of South Carolina.


Kasey Poole Decosimo, MPH 2006, works as a research health scientist specialist with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Tara Graham, MPH 2006, works as senior program director with Just Detention International.

Rachel Kuliani, MPH 2006, is a program manager for the Physician Assistant Education Association.


Helen Cole, MPH 2007, completed a DrPH in Community, Society and Health at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center in 2016. Since then she has been working as a postdoctoral researcher at the Barcelona Lab for Urban Environmental Justice and Sustainability at the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) as part of an interdisciplinary team conducting an EU-funded study on green gentrification, urban environmental justice and social inequity.

Joshua Murphy, MPH 2007, is a researcher for the Health Economics and Epidemiology Research Office (HE2RO)

Brian Pedersen, MPH 2007, is a technical adviser at FHI 360.


Megan Kays, MPH 2008, is a senior strategic information and evaluation officer at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation

Neha Singh, MPH 2008, is an assistant professor in health systems and reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.


Jerrie Kumalah, MPH 2009, works as a data analyst at Booyah! Advertising

Sarah M Przybyla, PhD 2009, is an assistant professor at University of Buffalo


Celeste Farr, MPH 2010, is an assistant professor at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine

Kennedy M. Muni, MPH 2010, is a doctoral student at the University of Washington

Nina Sperber, PhD 2010, is a health services researcher working with VA Health Services Research and Development and Duke University .

Lauren Toledo, MPH 2010, works as a technical specialist at ICF International.


Claudia Helena M.C. De Oliveira, MPH 2011, works as senior clinical research director at Sanofi.

Lindsay Herendeen, MPH 2011, is a health policy analyst at Washington State Board of Health.

Allison Mendoza-Walters, MPH 2011, is CEO of Public Health Impact, LLC, a consulting firm she founded in 2016. The firm helps organizations use data to better serve their communities, promote collective impact, and spark social change. Its services include evaluation, needs assessment and program planning.

Brittany O’Malley, MPH 2011, works as assistant director for prevention at University of Texas-Austin.

Anna Stormzand, MPH 2011, works as a health promotion coordinator at the Chatham County N.C. Public Health Department.


Brenda Buescher, MPH 2012, works as a health promotion specialist at Lancaster General Health. She recently was promoted to this position in which she is responsible for leading the community health needs assessment for Lancaster County and evaluating community health initiatives, especially collective impact projects with other local community organizations.

Laura Major, MPH 2012, is a health specialist at the National Institute on Aging.

Leah Gordon, MPH 2012, works as a project director at the Oregon Health and Science University.

Trent Johnson, MPH 2012, works as a program manager at Stanford Prevention Research Center.

Linnea Warren May, MPH 2012, Is a policy analyst at RAND Corporation.

Ryan Rowe, MPH 2012, works as senior manager, impact and knowledge management at Cuso International. The mandate of the Impact and Knowledge Management Team is to develop and implement a global learning, knowledge management, and technical assistance strategy to support Cuso International’s volunteers, local partners, and colleagues working in 17 countries on issues such as gender equality, social inclusion, environmental integration, climate change adaptation, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, sexual and reproductive health, and governance and civic participation.

Turquoise Sidibe, MPH 2012, is a senior program officer at the National Foundation for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Sivan (Goobich) Wunder, MPH 2012, is manager, product management and analytics with San Francisco Health Plan.

Michael Zelelk, MPH 2012, works as Director of the Health Promotion and Policy Division at the Chatham County (N.C.) Public Health Department


Kat Bawden, MPH 2013, is works as a photographer and teaching artist. This year, she led a Photovoice workshop at a clinic in Morgantown, West Virginia, with people who have experienced addiction, homelessness, and trauma. The program was a partnership between the West Virginia University Injury Control Research Center (ICRC) and Milan Puskar Health Right, funded by multiple grants from the state of West Virginia. Over two months of weekly workshops, participants created a collection of images that shed light on the people, places and social dynamics that often go unseen in their community. The images document experiences of identity, homelessness, trauma and addiction recovery, as well as the beauty of West Virginia. The work, titled “Unseen Morgantown: A Community Photovoice Project,” was exhibited at the Monongalia Arts Center in Morgantown and is currently traveling across West Virginia and the United States.
Project images:

Last month, Bawden was one of ten photographers awarded a grant from Advocates for Youth’s 1 in 3 Campaign to participate in a national storytelling project about abortion experiences. Bawden photographed an abortion rights activist in West Virginia, documenting her abortion experiences and the policies that affected her. The images will be exhibited in Washington, D.C., this year and used on college campuses to facilitate conversations around reproductive rights and de-stigmatize abortion experiences.
Images and descriptions:

Aubrey Delaney, MPH 2013, is a public health education specialist with the Durham County Department of Public Health.

Jennifer Delcourt, MPH 2013, works as active routes to school regional coordinator at Wake County Human Services.

Dane Emmerling, MPH 2013, is a doctoral student in health behavior at UNC.

Diane Gavaekavich, MPH 2013, works as director of research services at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute.

Derrick Matthews, PhD 2013, joined the Department of Health Behavior as an assistant Professor.

Sarah Newman Gibbs, MPH 2013, is a senior researcher at Partnership for Health Analytic Research

Deanna LaMotte, MPH 2013, works as a strategic engagement coordinator at Mission Health.

Erin Lebow-Skelley, MPH 2013, who is a community engagement manager at Emory University, worked at the UNC Prevention Research Center (PRC) while she was a student. This job led her to a Fellowship in the PRC Office at the CDC, and now to Emory’s PRC, where she works for another health behavior graduate. “At Emory. I get to work in two areas that I discovered while in the Department of Health behavior,” says Lebow-Skelley, “community engagement and evaluation. Through the PRC, I manage (and evaluate) all of the community engagement activities for an Environmental Health Research Center, which really puts to good use my training as a generalist, community based participatory research and social ecological models of health.” She also serves on the board of the local affiliate of the American Evaluation Association where she is the co-chair of the pro bono Program, which offers free evaluation services to nonprofits in the Atlanta area.

Betty Rupp, MPH 2013, is a research specialist at UNC Chapel Hill.


Laura Bach, MPH 2014, works as associate director, research at Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

Rebecca Bruening, MPH 2014, works as a qualitative analyst at the Durham Veterans Affairs.

Ling-Yin Chang, PhD 2014, works as an assistant professor at National Taiwan University.

Rachel Clad, MPH 2014, is a global practice specialist at DAI, a business that works on the frontlines of global development, transforming ideas into action—action into impact. They are committed to shaping a more livable world.

Ashley Marshall, MPH 2014, works as an evaluation TA specialist with Deloitte Consulting.

Casey McCormick, MPH 2014, works at UNC as a clinical nurse.

Molly Merrill-Francis, MPH 2014, is a doctoral (PhD) student in health policy and management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Lindsay Tague Olson, MPH 2014, is a public health analyst at RTI International. She serves as president of the health behavior section of the UNC Gillings Alumni Association.

Shyanika Rose, PhD 2014, works as director at the Truth Initiative, America’s largest non-profit public health organization dedicated to making tobacco use a thing of the past.

Erin Rotney, MPH 2014, works as a public health adviser for the CDC.

Mieka Sanderson, MPH 2014, works as a program analyst for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Michael W. Wilson, MPH 2014, is co-founder and global programs lead at Advance Access & Delivery. Wilson, who is based in Durban, South Africa, is supporting the rollout a five-year service integration project for tuberculosis (TB) and diabetes across 10 public facilities. He also assists city health officials and civil society partners in planning and design of a one-stop healthcare center for drug users and their families. He also spearheads an initiative to scale up community-based screening and linkage to care for communities at risk for TB in rural South Africa, working alongside colleagues from Harvard Medical School as part of the Zero TB Initiative. Stateside, Michael is overseeing the design of a training program for community health workers that will be rolled out in North Carolina with funding from the Kenan Biddle Partnership. Lastly, Michael is project coordinator for a UNC-funded study that looks at impacts of trauma and gender-based violence on chronic disease, malnutrition and other health outcomes among internally-displaced mothers and children in Kurdistan.


Jaimie Adler, MPH 2015, works as manager of primary care health systems at the American Cancer Society.

Melissa Crane, PhD 2015, is an assistant professor at Rush University.

Heather D’Angelo, PhD 2015, is an assistant scientist at the University of Wisconsin Madison, Carbone Cancer Center. D’Angelo serves at the Coordinating Center for the Cancer Center Cessation Initiative(C3I), an NCI Cancer Moonshot initiative to help Cancer Centers across the country enhance and expand the reach of their tobacco treatment services for patients who use tobacco products.

Sarah Downs, MPH 2015, is a health services research Coordinator and adjunct faculty at Indiana University Fairbanks School of Public Health.

Paul Fleming, PhD 2015, is an assistant professor University of Michigan School of Public Health.
Twitter: @FlemingPaulJ

Jennifer Jansen, MPH 2015, is a project manager at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Kelly Knudtson, MPH 2015, is a project manager at the UNC Chapel Hill Institute of Global Health and Infectious Disease.

Joseph G. L. Lee, PhD 2015, works as an assistant professor at East Carolina University.

Elena (Pinzon) O’Quinn, MPH 2015, works as director of learning and evaluation at Latin American Youth Center, a youth development non-profit with sites and programs throughout the Washington, D.C., area. She leads a team of data and evaluation specialists who report on the program and the organization’s impact using data.

Soora Shriya, MPH 2015, works as a grant administrator at Baebies, Inc.

Julia (Bernstein) Simha, MPH 2015, works as a researcher at OMNI Institute.

Angela M. Stover, PhD 2015, is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at UNC Gillings.

Rachel Wilbur, MPH 2015, is a doctoral student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Steffani Bangel, MPH 2016, works as director of program strategy and integration, Division of Adolescent Sexual & Reproductive Health at the Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies. In this position, Bangel i directs strategy for a portfolio of federal- and foundation-funded adolescent sexual and reproductive health programs in New Orleans, Louisiana. A major achievement of the last year was project managing the writing, design and pilot evaluation of a human rights-informed, gender-transformative, trauma-informed comprehensive sexual health education program for middle and high school students.

Meridith Eastman, PhD 2016, is a postdoctoral fellow at Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University.

Janna Howard, MPH 2016, is a research program leader at Duke University.

Maija S. Leff, MPH 2016, works as a project director/total wellbeing coordinator at UNC Chapel Hill.

Joy Martin, MPH 2016, works as a quality coordinator in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. She provides project management for special projects, manages communications and conducts data collection, analysis, and interpretation for the Public Health Leadership Program.

Giuliana Morales, MPH 2016, works as a senior technical officer with FHI 360.

Marta Mulawa, PhD 2016, is a postdoctoral scholar at Duke University, she is also an adjunct faculty member with the Department of Health Behavior at Gillings.

Eleanor Wertman, MPH 2016, works as a program manager at UNC Health Alliance.


Shauna Ayres, MPH 2017, is a student at Ohio State University.

Alexis Hoyt, MPH 2017, works as a research associate at FHI 360.

Amy Rusch, MPH 2017, works as a research area specialist associate with Michigan Medicine.

Annie Schmidt, MPH 2017, is a health research/policy analyst at the National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health.

Ryan Seguin, MPH 2017, works as a cancer program research coordinator for UNC Project-Malawi. Seguin commented that he works under the direct supervision of a global oncology superstar in Lilongwe, Malawi. The team ­– led by a principal investigator and several Malawian junior investigators – is at the forefront of cancer research in sub-Saharan Africa. They manage several prospective, longitudinal cancer cohort studies that address a major data deficit in the region and provide a high standard of cancer care that would otherwise not be available.
“As research coordinator,” says Seguin, “I manage most of the behind-the-scenes necessities –IRB approvals, data audits, etc. I also assist in the roll out and management of studies that don’t require medical expertise and work with Malawian junior investigators to produce research outputs leading to co-authorship on several peer-reviewed publications.”

Yael Symes, PhD 2017, works as an integrated product development associate at Rho. Syms joined Rho, a contract research organization in Chapel Hill, in July 2018. “This training position is exposing me to the world of drug development in a wide variety of therapeutic areas including rare diseases,” says Symes. “The skills I learned in health behavior, have prepared me well in my work at Rho.”


Kait Atkins, MPH 2018, is a doctoral (PhD) student at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Allison Balmes, MPH 2018, works as a violence prevention specialist at the Virginia Department of Health.

Kendra Braudt, MPH 2018, works as a research assistant at the Carolina Population Center.

Conner Channon, MPH 2018, is a nursing student.

Emily Donovan, MPH 2018, research associate at the Truth Initiative.

Adeline Dorough, MPH 2018, works as a research coordinator, at UNC Kidney Center.

Michelle Huang, MPH 2018, works as a program associate at PolicyLink.

Julie Kafka, MPH 2018, is a research assistant and doctoral student in the Department of Health Behavior at UNC Gillings.

Meagan Meekins, MPH 2018, works as a MERLA associate at RTI International.

Shelby Rimmler, MPH 2018, is director of community outreach at Triangle Ecycling.

Brittany Schwartz, MPH 2018, fellow at The Duke Endowment. As a fellow, Schwartz actively engages with leaders in the philanthropic sector to learn about a wide array of opportunities and issues facing the Carolinas. During the two-year fellowship, she will be exposed to all aspects of philanthropy in the endowment’s four program areas –higher education, health care, child care, and rural churches. She is currently in the higher education rotation, which allows her to work with the four named schools in the indenture of James B. Duke – Davidson College, Duke University, Furman University, and Johnson C. Smith University – to advance their missions and strengthen their institutions to provide a quality education. Schwartz says, “My MPH in Health Behavior enables me to address complex problems with evidence-based or informed practices, work collaboratively and consider shared goals, and strategically plan and evaluate programs.”

Imari Z. Smith, MPH 2018, holds a full time position at the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity where she examines the relationships between gender, race/ethnicity, social determinants of health, policy and health inequities. Smith works on three research projects: an NIH-funded study on race, religiosity and cardiovascular disease; a research brief on obesity and social mobility; and a manuscript on infant and maternal mortality. “While I do miss my cohort,” says Smith, “I enjoy my position and workplace because I am encouraged to collaborate across disciplines and get to contribute to nuanced conversations around health disparities and inequities.” Smith looks forward to seeing other members of the Gillings community at the APHA conference in November. She hopes to see some familiar health behavior faces at her poster presentation “Fighting at birth: The need for high-risk approaches to eradicate black infant mortality.”

Hannah Tuttle, MPH 2018, works as a product manager at Rally Health where she leads strategy, development and management of the JOIN for ME childhood obesity program. She establishes collaborative relationships with external and internal stakeholders and evaluates product performance for enhancement.