Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health

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Georgia State offers students who seek a career in research or academia the only public doctoral program in metro Atlanta, one of the world’s great global cities and home to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Depending on the interest area, graduates of a PhD in Public Health program often teach in universities, lead research laboratories, or direct research projects at the federal, state, or local level.  At Georgia State, PhD candidates find unique opportunities to engage in cutting-edge research on public health issues impacting urban areas, ties to the community that offer real-world experience to complement the required 62 credit hours of coursework, and the flexibility of a part-time option to suit working public health professionals.

The objective of the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Public Health in the School of Public Health (SPH) is to educate the next generation of public health leaders capable of conducting independent research in academia, governmental public health, health care organizations and the private sector. A graduate of the PhD program in Public Health will contribute new public health knowledge and develop interventions to promote health, reduce health disparities and ameliorate critical health problems at the population, societal and global level.

Prerequisites: Basic Public Health Core: 15 credit hours

Applicants to the Doctor of Philosophy must provide documentation of successful completion of the five core public health competencies on the graduate level. The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) designates the following competencies as public health core knowledge areas: Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Environmental Health, Health Services Administration, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. Applicants can waive these courses if they enter the PhD program with a MPH or for those who successfully completed a comparable course(s) with a grade of B or better.

 Summary of PhD Degree Requirements: 62 credit hours

The PhD program requires completion of a minimum of 62 credit hours of course work and a declared concentration in a public health core area. Students are also required to complete a dissertation. The candidates must satisfy the course requirements and credit hours in the following areas:

Core Courses, 15 credit hours required:

  • PH 7031: Epidemiologic Methods II (3)
  • PH 8027: Biostatistics II (3)
  • PH 8120: Theory and Practice in Health and Prevention (3)
  • PH 8140: Advanced Research Methods (3)
  • PH 8150: Public Health Ethics (3)

Public Health Concentrations

Research/Applied Practicum & Culminating Experience, 12 credit hours required:

  • PH9960: Doctoral Practicum (3)
  • PH9990: Doctoral Dissertation (9)

Professional Seminars, 5 credit hours required

  • PH8180: Doctoral Professional and Research Seminar I (3)
  • PH8181: Doctoral Professional and Research Seminar II (3)

Doctoral Self-Assessments
Students will complete a self-assessment questionnaire upon entering the program and at the end of their second year to rate their competence in relation to the overarching program objectives.

Annual Review of Doctoral Students
The SPH Graduate Faculty will meet annually to evaluate the progress of doctoral students toward completion of their degrees. Students will be notified in writing about their progress toward degree completion. If progress is unsatisfactory, the student will plan a course of action with their advisor and Graduate Coordinator to improve their progress. If the student demonstrates unsatisfactory progress in the second year, he or she may be withdrawn from the program.

Comprehensive Doctoral Examination
Doctoral students must pass formal, comprehensive written and oral examinations before being admitted to candidacy. The purpose of comprehensive examinations is to ascertain the student’s readiness to conduct the dissertation research.

1. The written comprehensive examination is developed and administered by the student’s Advisory Committee in accordance with the student’s plan of study.

2. After the student passes the written portion of the comprehensive examination, the oral comprehensive examination is given. The oral examination will focus primarily on a discussion of the content of the written comprehensive examination. However, it may include the entire field of study. This examination may also include discussion of the dissertation prospectus.

1. Do you offer financial support?

All admitted, doctoral students who plan to study full-time will be considered for Graduate Research Assistantships (GRAs) and/or Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs). Assistantships cover the cost of tuition and provide an annual stipend of $22,000 for at least three years.

2. What is a Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA)?

GRAs provide full-time students with an opportunity to work with a faculty member on research projects, gaining valuable experience in their chosen field.

3. What are the requirements to qualify for an assistantship, if selected?

The following criteria must be met and maintained for a student to be a GRA or GTA.

  • Students must have and maintain a 3.2 or higher cumulative grade point average.
  • Students must be enrolled in the minimum hours deemed a full-time load (nine semester hours during the regular academic year and six semester hours in the summer).
  • Concurrent with the assistantship appointment, doctoral students should not be engaged in other significant outside employment. Students in this situation should request approval for hire through the head of the academic unit and director of the doctoral program.

4. What are my chances of receiving an assistantship?

Assistantships are awarded competitively based on the applicant pool and their qualifications. A variety of factors are considered when evaluating an applicant’s qualifications: research or professional experience, academic record, and the correlation between the applicant’s specific experience and the particular assistantship positions that are available. Once selected, students normally retain the award through the duration of their degree, subject to performance. A select number of students will be nominated for University Doctoral Fellowships. Final selection of these appointments will be made by the Office of the Provost and the Office of Research and Economic Development, respectively.

5. What are the requirements to qualify for an assistantship, if selected?

In order to qualify for a GRA, students must be enrolled for a minimum of nine credit hours during the fall or spring semesters or six credit hours during the summer term.

6. Am I eligible for other types of financial aid such as student loans?

To determine eligibility for financial aid, please visit the University’s Financial Aid Office website here.

7. What are the tuition and fees?

Information about current graduate tuition and fees can be found here. Tuition is assessed based on in-state or out-of-state residency and the total number of credit hours registered for in a given semester.

Georgia State Funding Resources

 

PhD Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I apply for the PhD in Public Health program?

The PhD application is processed through SOPHAS. Click here for PhD Admission Information.

2. Will you accept applicants in the Spring?

No, applicants will only be admitted in the Fall. The application and credentials deadline is January 15.

3. What are the application requirements?

The following list is a summary of application requirements. All documents should be submitted through SOPHAS.

  •  One copy of an official transcript from all colleges and/or universities attended.
  • Three references from individuals knowledgeable of the applicant’s academic, professional and intellectual abilities. One of the letters must be an academic reference.
  •  A Statement of Interest and Professional Intent.
  •  Official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Applicants with an earned doctorate (including an M.D. or J.D.) from an accredited institution in the U.S. do not need to take either examination.
  •  Additional requirements for international students are found here.

4. Will you only accept the GRE/GMAT?

SPH only accepts scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Scores must not be more than 5 years old. MCAT and LSAT scores will not be accepted as substitutes for the GRE/GMAT. Visit the following sites for more details: GRE Registration: http://www.ets.org/ and GMAT Registration: http://www.gmac.com.

5. Are GRE/GMAT scores waived?
Applicants with an earned doctorate (including an M.D. or J.D.) from an accredited institution in the U.S. do not need to take either examination.

6. What are the codes for sending my standardized test scores?

Official GRE scores should be sent directly to SOPHAS from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) by using the code 3750. There is not currently a SOPHAS code for the GMAT, so GMAT scores should be sent directly to Georgia State University from ETS using the code 5251. Score reports from third parties will not be accepted.

7. What is the minimum required GRE to enter the PhD program?

Competitive GRE test scores (Quantitative, Verbal, and Analytical Writing) should range in the 60th – 70th percentile for all sections. The School of Public Health does not have a minimum score requirement, but applicants with scores below 300 are unlikely to be admitted.

8. What is the minimum required GPA (undergraduate & graduate) to enter the PhD program?

While no minimum GPAs are required, applicants with a cumulative undergraduate and graduate GPA of 3.2, respectively, are considered more competitive. The Admissions Committee will also take into account the rigor of the academic program and degree.

9. Are there different admissions requirements for citizens of countries other than the U.S.?

For international applicants from countries/education programs in which English is not the official language, scores from the TOEFL or IELTS exam are required. Click here for requirements for international applicants. For information on Georgia State University’s International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS), click here.

10. I am an international student and have a Masters degree from a U.S. school. Do I need to take the TOEFL exam?

The TOEFL is not required of international applicants who have received a degree from an accredited U.S. institution.

11. Can I be admitted to the PhD program without a MPH degree?

Admission preference will be given to students who have already acquired a Masters in Public Health (MPH) or equivalent degree. All other students will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

12. How competitive is the admissions process?

We anticipate the PhD program to be as least as competitive as the MPH program with an acceptance rate of 25% to 30%.

13. Is there an interview process?

Yes. Once a pool of competitive applicants is selected and notified, individual in-person or phone interviews will be scheduled. Final selection decisions will be made subsequent to the completion of all interviews.

14. Who can I contact in the School of Public Health for further information?

Please e-mail your questions to publichealth@gsu.edu.

WHAT DOES THE COMMITTEE LOOK FOR IN AN APPLICANT?

1. What criteria do you consider in the admission process?

The admissions committee will consider a variety of criteria in the selection of doctoral students including official GRE/GMAT scores, academic performance in previous degree programs, academic and professional background and experiences, recommendation letters, and the applicant’s personal statement. Additionally, competitive applicants will interview with SPH faculty in order to further determine research interests and academic potential.

2. What is the typical background of a successful applicant?

Although the selection of applicants is based on a variety of criteria, a successful PhD applicant will exhibit a solid academic and professional background, with evidence of meaningful experience in the field of public health or a closely related field. This experience should be reflected in a personal statement that demonstrates a significant motivation for conducting and sharing public health research. Additionally, letters of recommendation should provide clear evidence of the applicant’s potential as an independent researcher. Successful applicants will also show above-average performance on the GRE/GMAT.

ACADEMICS

1. What can I do to prepare for the PhD program?

Although not required, a Masters in Public Health (MPH) or an equivalent degree is highly recommended for students pursuing a PhD in Public Health. Not only does an MPH provide students with a solid foundation of public health competencies, many MPH students are able to gain research experience through research assistantships or other work opportunities. These experiences offer students the opportunity to determine a preferred focus for their PhD studies. For those prospective students without a MPH degree, previous research experience in rigorous academic or professional opportunities in the public health field is highly recommended.

2. Is a PhD program right for me?

A PhD in Public Health prepares students with specific public health research interests for a career in research or academia. Depending on the interest area, graduates of a PhD in Public Health program often teach in universities, lead research laboratories, or direct research projects at the federal, state, or local level. A PhD program requires a substantial time commitment and a significant interest in advancing one’s skills as a researcher in a particular field.

3. Do I need a research background to be successful in the PhD program?

A research background is not required for success in the program, but some experience in research is recommended. Potential applicants without a research background should be able to demonstrate a capacity to perform independent research through evidence of previous academic success, strong recommendation letters, and satisfactory GRE/GMAT scores.

4. What are the areas of study?

At this time, accepted doctoral students will pursue a PhD in Public Health. The specialized coursework will depend on the individual student’s research interests and will be determined by the student, his/her Major Professor, and his/her Doctoral Advisory Committee.

5. How is the program structured?

Visit the main page for the Doctor of Philosophy and click on “Core Curriculum” for more information.

6. Is the program a full-time program?

In order to fulfill the significant commitment required of doctoral students, it is highly recommended that students maintain full-time student status for the duration of the PhD program. Part-time will be considered for admission, especially for those working in a public health setting.

7. Can I study part-time?

At this time, applicants who can commit to full-time study will receive preference in the selection process. However, part-time applicants with especially strong academic or professional backgrounds may be considered.

8. How long does it take to complete the PhD degree program?

The amount of time required to complete the PhD program will largely depend upon the number of courses a student is able to take each semester and the amount of time he/she needs to complete and defend a dissertation. On average, however, a full-time student who enters the program with all the necessary prerequisite courses can complete the required coursework in 2 years and complete and defend a dissertation in an additional 12-18 months. It is reasonable to expect to take 3-5 years to complete the PhD program. The Institute requires that students complete all degree requirements within 9 years of the student’s semester of matriculation.

9. When do I enroll in Dissertation Research?

Prior to enrolling in Dissertation Research, a student must be accepted into candidacy.

The following is a complete list of requirements for admission to candidacy:

  •  All prerequisites set as a condition to admission to the PhD program have been satisfactorily completed.
  • The residence requirement (30 hours of consecutive coursework) has been met.
  •  A GPA of 3.2 (B) has been maintained for all graduate courses taken and for all completed courses in the program of study.
  • The Doctoral Advisory Committee, the Graduate Coordinator, and the Institute have approved the final program of study.
  • Written and oral comprehensive examinations have been passed and reported to the Graduate School.
  • The Doctoral Advisory Committee is confirmed and all members have been notified of their appointment.

10. Do I have to complete a teaching requirement?

Yes. All doctoral students are required to teach at least two courses under the supervision of an IPH faculty member and to participate in regular teaching supervision meetings during the semester(s) of teaching. Students may waive the teaching requirement if they can demonstrate previous experience of college-level teaching in which they were responsible for all aspects of the course, including developing the syllabus, preparing and teaching lectures and other class activities, and grading the students.

FUNDING

1. What are the tuition and fees?

Information about graduate tuition and fees can be found here.

2. Do you offer financial support?

All admitted, doctoral students who plan to study full-time will be considered for Graduate Research Assistantships (GRAs) and/or Teaching Assistantships (TAs). Assistantships cover the cost of tuition and provide a monthly stipend. Students are still responsible for university student fees. The Institute cannot guarantee this funding for all students.

3. Am I eligible for financial aid?

To determine eligibility for financial aid, please visit the University’s Financial Aid Office website at http://www.gsu.edu/financialaid/.

All Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health applicants must complete an application through SOPHAS.

Please do not submit supporting documents to the School of Public Health. All components of the PhD application must be submitted directly through SOPHAS, with exception to the Residency Form.

After applying, you can check your admissions status here. Please allow two weeks after you have submitted your application for the system to update.

The following is a list of requirements for a complete application:

Resume or Curriculum Vitae
Transcripts
  • One official transcript from each college and/or university attended (including Georgia State University, if you attended GSU while earning a different degree). Transcripts are required regardless of length of stay or if the grades are listed on another school’s transcript.
Statement of Interest and Professional Intent
    The following issues should be addressed in your Statement of Interest:

  • Your previous academic and professional experiences as well as any work in the area of health or health care
  • Your career and personal goals and how you believe the degree you are seeking will help you achieve these goals
  • Your specific interest in the Georgia State University program
Reference Letters
  • When completing the online application in SOPHAS, you will submit the names and email addresses for three individuals knowledgeable of your academic and/or professional abilities. Your recommenders will automatically be sent instructions via email on how to submit their recommendations through the secured application server.
  • It is strongly recommended that at least one reference letter is an academic reference, especially if your college graduation has occurred in the last three years. However, three professional references will be acceptable if you are unable to obtain an academic reference.
GRE or GMAT scores
  • To submit your GRE scores to SOPHAS, use the code 3750 for Georgia State University. A departmental code is not used. Please note that GRE scores over five years old cannot be accepted.
  • Students submitting GMAT scores cannot submit through SOPHAS at this time. GMAT scores should be sent from the GMAT website directly to Georgia State University’s School of Public Health.
  • For information on the GRE, visit their website at www.gre.org or call 1-800-GRE-CALL. For GMAT information, visit their website at www.gmac.org.
  • We recommend that you take the test no later than two months prior to the application deadline to ensure that your scores arrive in time.
  • Applicants with an earned doctorate (including an M.D. or J.D.) from an accredited institution in the U.S. do not need to take either examination.
Residency Form
  • Applicants must submit the Residency Form at the time of admission. This document should be sent directly to the Office of Academic Assistance & Career Admissions. You can e-mail the completed form to sphadmissions@gsu.edu.
International Applicants
  • Official TOEFL score (for applicants whose native language is not English). If available, please include a copy of your TOEFL score in your application packet.
  • International credential evaluation (for applicants who have completed any education outside the U.S.). See International Applicants document.
  • Foreign Student Financial Statement (for international applicants seeking a student visa).
Certificate of Immunization
  • This is required for accepted applicants who have never attended Georgia State University. If admitted, you must submit this form to Georgia State University Health Services prior to registration. The form can be printed from the Student Health Clinic’s Immunization Page.
Citizenship Verification
  • The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia requires that any student applying to Georgia State University will be required to provide verification of their lawful presence in the United States before their admission to the university can be finalized. Learn more about the documents accepted.

Francis is a PhD student working under the supervision of Dr. Ike Okosun. He received his Master’s in Public Health degree in 2009 from Georgia State University. After his MPH, Francis worked for the Georgia Department of Public Health as a chronic disease epidemiologist. Francis enrolled in the PhD program in fall 2011. His research interests include psychosocial and oxidative stress in relation to hypertension and diabetes.Iris Feinberg, a second-year PhD student in Health Promotion and Behavior at the School of Public Health at Georgia State University, has an extensive professional and philanthropic background in helping individuals find and use information to make well-informed decisions. Ms. Feinberg was the founder and CEO of The Trillium Group, Ltd., a medical claims processing company serving medical clinics and physicians in the Southeastern United States from 1989-2010; she is currently on the boards of Literacy Action, Inc., Georgians for a Healthy Future and the Georgia Health Literacy Alliance. Prior health care related philanthropic work includes service on the State of Georgia Health Strategies Council and the Clinton Administration’s Administrative Health Care Task Force. Ms. Feinberg is developing an academic career that focuses on understanding and enhancing health literacy through behavior change interventions. She was the lead researcher on a GSU/CDC Seed Grant study in 2012-2013 that studied communications between patients with low health literacy and health care providers, and has presented several times on the study results at regional and national conferences. Additionally, she is a graduate research assistant at the Center for the Study of Adult Literacy (CSAL), a $10 million national research project funded by the Institute of Education Sciences at the Department of Education. Ms. Feinberg was recently awarded a commission from the American Institutes for Research (National Center for Education Statistics) to study how cognitive and non-cognitive factors affect health information seeking behaviors through data collected in the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), a household study of adults in 29 countries conducted under the auspices of the OECD. Ms. Feinberg holds a BBA in Corporate Finance and Marketing from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (1981), an MBA in Corporate Finance and Marketing from Temple University (1985) and a MA in Applied Linguistics from Georgia State University (2012). She has prior corporate experience in finance with Hewlett Packard, Ciba Vision, and Gould Inc. as well as being the founder and CEO of Chew on This, LLC, a micro-investment company specializing in women-owned businesses.Kate Guastaferro, MPH is a third cohort doctoral student concentrating in health promotion and behavior. She earned a Bachelors of Arts in Anthropology from Boston University in 2008 where her major was in medical and cultural anthropology with minors in African studies and psychology. While studying abroad in China as an undergraduate, Kate decided public health was a better fit for her interests, passions, and career goals. In 2011 she received her Masters in Public Health from Georgia State University with a concentration in health promotion. Her thesis sought to explore if teen mothers could be taught to identify developmental milestones in their two-year-old children as a means of child maltreatment prevention. Upon graduation, Kate was honored to accept a position as a project coordinator at the Center for Healthy Development where her primary responsibility was to spearhead a cluster randomized trial exploring the efficacy of systematically integrating two evidence-based parent-training programs. As a doctoral student she continues to assist with this grant and others, including an evaluation of a project enhancing family services in an adult drug court and its effect on child and family outcomes, as a graduate research assistant. Broadly, Kate’s research areas of interest include maternal and child health, violence prevention, implementation science, mixed methods, and evaluation.Matt C. Jackson graduated with his MPH from GSU in 2013 and started the PhD in Pubic Health in fall 2014. His concentration is health management & policy, with a specific interest in evidence-based practices and how they affect policy. He is currently working with Shannon Self-Brown, PhD on Dad2K, a modified version of Safecare focusing on fathers and positive parenting practices. Additionally, Matt was awarded a scholarship from the Emory Center for Injury Control to work on child injuries in a daycare setting. He is partnering with members of the injury control group at the Georgia Department of Public Health to investigate preventive efforts.Na’Taki Osborne Jelks is a doctoral candidate at the Georgia State University School of Public Health with a concentration in urban environmental health. Prior to starting her Ph.D. studies, Na’Taki gained over 15 years of community, non-profit, and government experience working to address environmental and health challenges facing communities of color. During that time, she co-founded the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance (WAWA) as a community effort to halt discriminatory wastewater treatment practices in West Atlanta. Since its inception, WAWA has grown to become an impactful force in community-centered sustainable development. Through her research, Na’Taki investigates the intersection of social determinants of population health and environmental health disparities; the impact of the built environment, zoning, planning, and community development on health; citizen science to advance social change; and community-based participatory research approaches to address disproportionate exposure to harmful environmental conditions experienced by low-income and minority populations. Na’Taki has published and lectured across the country on a wide range of topics including smart growth and equitable development, the environmental and community health impacts of urban infrastructure challenges, urban watershed restoration and health, connecting to nature as a tool for health promotion, and the role of women of color in activism for environmental health justice. Since beginning her doctoral studies, Na’Taki has received graduate fellowships and awards from Georgia State University, the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), and the Association for Accredited Public Health Programs. In 2014 she was recognized as a White House Champion of Change for her efforts to engage urban communities and youth of color in environmental stewardship through hands-on watershed and land restoration initiatives. She was also selected to participate in the 2014-15 Georgia State University Urban Fellows Program, an interdisciplinary initiative of the Center for the Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth in the GSU College of Law. Na’Taki completed undergraduate studies in Chemistry and Civil Engineering at Spelman College and the Georgia Institute of Technology and earned a Master’s in Environmental and Occupational Health from the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. Under the mentorship of Dr. Christine Stauber, Na’Taki is conducting dissertation research to help advance the field of cumulative risk assessment. This research will add to the growing number of approaches across the United States to characterize, analyze, and quantify the combined risks to human health from multiple environmental, biological, physical, and social stressors. Through a participatory approach Na’Taki is engaging community residents in Northwest Atlanta’s Proctor Creek Watershed as co-researchers and leveraging local, community knowledge to help identify and address environmental health challenges.Jamal Jones is a PhD student in the School of Public Health whose primary research interests are HIV prevention among minorities in urban communities and sexual health disparities experienced by minorities. He has coauthored manuscripts focused on HIV disease management and antiretroviral therapy adherence among indigent populations living with HIV. Prior to enrolling at GSU, Jones received both his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Public Health Degrees from the University of Miami. While a graduate student at the University of Miami, Jones worked as a Community Health Worker and Research Assistant for the Jay Weiss Institute of Health Equity at UM’s Miller School of Medicine. During his time at the University of Miami, Jones helped to develop and execute community-based initiatives including a community health fair, a community garden, and free physicals for children in the Overtown Community. He has also mentored high school and college students interested in public health careers and health disparities research. Jones was awarded a predoctoral fellowship from the Southern Region Education Board, State Doctoral Scholars Program. He is currently working with SPH faculty member, Dr. Laura Salazar on several projects including a social media marketing campaign aimed at increasing HIV testing among the African-American population in cities of the Deep South as well as determining how traumatic events and other psychological stressors impact telomere length among transgender women in the Atlanta area. He currently serves as the Vice President for UM’s Public Health Alumni Association as well as a member of the GSU SPH Technology Fee Committee.Alana Vivolo-Kantor is currently a third year PhD student and a full-time employee in the Division of Violence Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Her research portfolio over the past eight years has focused on youth violence, bullying, and teen dating violence research including etiology research, prevention program development, and rigorous evaluation. Her primary focus over the past several years has been to investigate the measurement and operationalization of bullying behaviors among youth. In 2010, she co-authored a CDC publication entitled, “Measuring Bullying Victimization, Perpetration, and Bystander Experiences: A Compendium of Assessment Tools,” which provided researchers and educators a comprehensive list of currently used bullying measurement tools. In continuing this work, she co-lead a joint CDC and Department of Education effort to develop the first uniform federal definition of bullying for research and surveillance. Mrs. Vivolo-Kantor has been involved in several large-scale and multi-site violence projects while at CDC and Emory University. Specifically she has conducted primary and secondary research on the protective and promotive factors associated with teen dating violence and bullying using both cross-sectional and longitudinal datasets. However, Mrs. Vivolo-Kantor’s main interests include the implementation and evaluation of school-based programs and curricula to prevent the constellation of risky behaviors. To this end, she has assisted in the development, implementation, and evaluation of RealConsent, a web-based sexual violence prevention program for male college undergraduates. In addition, she assists in managing the multi-site implementation and evaluation of Dating Matters®, which is a comprehensive program developed by CDC to prevent teen dating violence among middle school-aged students in high-risk communities. Mrs. Vivolo-Kantor received her BA in Psychology from Boston College and her MPH in Behavioral Sciences and Health Education from Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health.Royal Kai Yee Law is an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Environmental Health. His work includes national surveillance of chemical and radiation exposures, and emergency response for public health incidents such as the 2011 Japan Radiological Incident and 2012 Superstorm Sandy Incident. His concentration in the Georgia State University School of Public Health is environmental health, and his interests include the epidemiology and surveillance of exposures to environmental hazards. He received his Masters of Public Health in Health Policy and Management at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health and his Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.Tia McGill is currently a fourth year doctoral candidate at the Georgia State University School of Public Health with a concentration in behavioral science. Prior to her doctoral training, Tia joined the National SafeCare® Training and Research Center (NSTRC) at Georgia State University as a Training Specialist where she worked—both nationally and internationally—to effectively educate and train health and human services professionals to implement the evidence-based SafeCare Parenting Program curriculum. Tia is a recipient of the University’s Second Century Initiative (2CI) Fellowship with the Center for Healthy Development. As a 2CI fellow, she serves as a graduate level behavioral scientist on projects related to the intersection of disability and the implementation and dissemination of evidence-based parenting prevention and intervention strategies targeting child maltreatment and neglect. Tia’s research interests include: child abuse and neglect prevention; implementation of evidence-based models for prevention of child maltreatment; the relationship between mental health variables and engagement, uptake, and outcomes of behavioral parent training interventions. She has served as an author on a number of peer-reviewed manuscripts as well as on book chapter on the development of SafeCare. Tia holds a BA in Psychology, with a mental health concentration from Spelman College, and an MPH from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. Since beginning her doctoral studies, Tia has been awarded several honors, including the Doris Duke Fellowship for the Promotion of Child Well-Being. Tia was also selected to participate in the Hebrew University’s Haruv Institute International PhD Workshop on Child Maltreatment in Jerusalem, Israel. Under the supervision of Dr. Daniel J. Whitaker, Tia is completing her dissertation research on The Impact of Parental Mental Health on Parental Responses to Child Maltreatment Prevention Programs.I completed my undergraduate studies in human biology and health studies at the University of Toronto, before moving to Georgia State University in 2008 to complete my MPH in epidemiology and MS in cell and molecular biology. My research interests in the PhD program are focused primarily on using my biological background to examine steroid hormone and genetic biomarkers of acute and chronic stress among high-risk populations. I am currently on working research that would potentially compare such biomarkers to self-report measures of stress among parents at risk of child abuse and neglect. In the future, I would like to continue along the lines of biomarker research in epidemiology by studying molecular and genetic mechanisms to understand the etiology of risk factors and health outcomes.Heather Zesiger is the Director of the Office of Health Promotion at the Emory Student Health and Counseling Services in the Division of Campus Life. She has received campus and national awards for her commitment to student well-being and health in higher education. In 2009–2010, Ms. Zesiger served as the chair of the Health Promotion section of the American College Health Association (ACHA). Prior to coming to Emory, Ms. Zesiger served as the health educator at The New School in New York City and prior to her graduate studies, she worked in public affairs consulting and environmental education in Washington, D.C. Ms. Zesiger graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Amherst College with BAs in Spanish and Sociology. She received her MPH from the Rollins School of Public Health, where she was a Woodruff Fellow. She’s pursuing her PhD in Public Health at Georgia State University. Her research interests include the impact of racial microaggressions on student wellbeing as well as defining characteristics of health promoting universities.

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