Dear friends and supporters of the School of Public Health:
I am delighted to begin a new academic year and to celebrate the many new additions to our wonderful school. Joining us this fall are 234 new students across our graduate and undergraduate programs. We are privileged that they all have chosen Georgia State and the School of Public Health. We have also added seven new faculty and 12 new staff to our ranks.
The School of Public Health continues to grow and achieve distinction through its accomplishments. Over the past year, student enrollment reached a new high of 780 students, with undergraduate enrollment increasing by 53%. We conferred 73 undergraduate and 119 graduate degrees, totaling a record number of 192, and our Doctor of Public Health degree program launched with an impressive inaugural class. Our faculty led five successful study abroad programs in Brazil, the Dominican Republic, India, Japan, and Uganda, and for the third year in a row, a public health student won the university-wide Three Minute Thesis (3MT™) Competition. U.S. News & World Report has also ranked our School in their list of Best Graduate Schools 2020.
Our research impact includes prolific scholarship by our faculty and $9.8 million in sponsored funding, with recent large grants in smoking prevention, sexual violence prevention, and mindfulness-based intervention, and a highly competitive and prestigious CDC-funded award to establish a Prevention Research Center focused on migrant and refugee health in Clarkston, Georgia. With over $30 million in pending grant applications, the School is poised for continued development along a strong, upward trajectory. We were honored to host Dr. Judith Carta earlier last month for the John R. Lutzker Lecture Series to advance understanding of public health solutions that reduce violence and promote healthy development and well-being of children, youth, and families. We hope you will join us this November for our annual Kreuter Katz Lecture on Health Equity, featuring Dr. Vanessa Northington Gamble.
In the year ahead, our major focus will be to optimize operational functions and to strengthen the School’s infrastructure. This priority is grounded in an effort to ensure the School is positioned for long-term, sustainable growth and will be informed by organizational assessments and evaluation. External facilitators will lead us in completing a SWOT analysis, and we will continue the tradition of surveying faculty, staff, and graduating students to assess satisfaction and opportunities for improvement. These initiatives will be anchored by a focus on our core functions—providing first-rate academic programs that translate to impactful public health careers and producing cutting edge research that advances health and wellbeing locally and globally.
As we focus on strengthening the School, we will also begin to envision the future and to contemplate long-term aspirations, identifying our unique strengths and innovative and strategic opportunities to raise the School’s profile, reach, and impact. Over the past 15 years, we have grown from a fledgling academic unit with a single degree program, 30 students, and a handful of faculty and staff. Today we are a nationally accredited school of public health with 6 stand-alone and dual-degree programs, 780 students, and 125 faculty and staff. We have a bright, talented, and diverse student body, a faculty of highly trained researchers, educators, and leaders, and a team of professional and committed staff. Through the collective efforts of our students, faculty, and staff, and with your generous support, the School of Public Health is prepared for remarkable achievement in the years ahead.
Rodney Lyn, Ph.D., MS
IN THIS ISSUE
With expertise ranging from disability health disparities to methods for meta-analysis, seven new faculty were welcomed to the School of Public Health this fall.
Dr. Amanda Gimore, a clinical psychologist and assistant professor in the Mark Chaffin Center for Healthy Development and department of Health Policy & Behavioral Sciences, comes to Georgia State University from the Medical University of South Carolina’s College of Nursing. She earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Washington in 2015. Dr. Gilmore’s specializations include prevention of alcohol and drug use, sexual assault, and sexual risk behaviors among high-risk groups, reducing barriers to accessing treatment through technology-based interventions, and secondary prevention programs for individuals who experienced recent sexual assault. She is also affiliated with the department of Psychology and the Center for Research on Interpersonal Violence in the College of Arts & Sciences.
Dr. Alexander Kirpich, a biostatistician and an assistant professor in the department of Population Health Sciences, comes to Georgia State University from the University of Florida, where he also earned his Ph.D. in biostatistics in 2015. His research interests and goals are in application of statistical methods to public health research questions and policies and to address statistical challenges, such as missing data, asymptomatic infections, underreporting, and noise. Dr. Kirpich is also a member of the Biostatistics Research Team.
Dr. Justin Luningham, currently a postdoctoral fellow at Emory University, will begin his role as a research assistant professor in the department of Population Health Sciences on November 1, 2019. He earned his Ph.D. in quantitative psychology from the University of Notre Dame in 2018. At Emory, he develops quantitative methods for integrating functional genomic data into genome-wide association studies and works on applications of advanced methods to the study of psychiatric and behavioral genetics.
Dr. Karen Nielsen, assistant professor of Biostatistics in the department of Population Health Sciences, comes to Georgia State University from the University of Michigan’s BioSocial Methods Collaborative. She earned a Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Michigan in 2017. Her research interests include the development and application of new statistical techniques for modern data challenges, such as integrating and interpreting multiple data sources with differing timescales, and adapting existing techniques to new use cases. Dr. Nielsen is also a member of the Biostatistics Research Team.
Dr. Terri Pigott, professor in the department of Population Health Sciences, comes to Georgia State University from the Loyola University Chicago where she was formerly the associate provost for research and professor of research methodology. She earned a Ph.D. in measurement, evaluation and statistical analysis from the University of Chicago. Her research focuses on methods for meta-analysis, including power, missing data and individual participant meta-analysis. Dr. Pigott holds a joint appointment in the College of Education & Human Development.
Dr. Susan Snyder, assistant professor in the department of Health Policy & Behavioral Sciences, comes to Georgia State University from the Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania. Dr. Snyder served as an associate professor and director of the Health Economics Research and Evaluation Core in her former role. She earned a Ph.D. in economics from Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. Dr. Snyder previously held various positions at Georgia State from 1992 – 2000, including research associate for the Georgia Health Policy Center.
Dr. Erin Vinoski Thomas is a research assistant professor in the Center for Leadership in Disability and the department of Health Policy & Behavioral Sciences. She previously served as a Disability and Health Fellow with the National Association of County and City Health Officials, as well as a research associate in the Center for Leadership in Disability from 2012 – 2015. She earned a Ph.D. in public health sciences from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2019. Dr. Vinoski Thomas’ research focuses on disability health disparities, with an emphasis on identifying and promoting holistic health behaviors particularly among women and girls with disabilities.
From Maryland to Madagascar, the School of Public Health welcomed new and returning students from 26 U.S. states and 29 countries for the 2019 – 2020 academic year.
Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH)
- 464 students
- 22 average age
- 81% female
- 19% male
- 76% Georgia residents
- 21% non-residents
- 3% international
- Countries represented: Chad, Gambia, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Norway, Korea, Sri Lanka, United States, and Vietnam
Master of Public Health (MPH)
- 246 students
- 27 average age
- 76% female
- 24% male
- 74% Georgia residents
- 15% non-residents
- 11% international
- Countries represented: Angola, Botswana, China, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mexico, Mongolia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Tunisia, Ukraine, United States, and Venezuela
Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
- 23 students
- 38 average age
- 74% female
- 26% male
- 87% Georgia residents
- 13% non-residents
- 0% international
- Countries represented: United States
Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health (PhD)
- 47 students
- 35 average age
- 85% female
- 15% male
- 60% Georgia residents
- 19% non-residents
- 21% international
- Countries represented: China, Georgia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Korea, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam
Since April 2019, the School of Public Health has welcomed 12 new staff members to the team and announced new roles for several current staff.
- Sharrill Bell, Research Associate I, Health Policy & Behavioral Sciences
- Michaela Cotner, Research Coordinator II, Health Policy & Behavioral Sciences
- Brian Greer, Director of Development, Dean’s Office
- Krishna Kota, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Mark Chaffin Center for Healthy Development
- Ruschelle Leone, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Health Policy & Behavioral Sciences
- Zach Massey, Postdoctoral Research Associate
- Taelor Moran, Research Assistant, Center for Leadership in Disability
- Jeanette Meyer, Project Coordinator, Prevent Child Abuse Georgia
- David Oesterle, Program Coordinator, Health Policy & Behavioral Sciences
- Melissa Osborne, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Mark Chaffin Center for Healthy Development
- Homma Rafi, Director of Communications, Dean’s Office
- Raynell Washington, Research Coordinator II, Center for Leadership in Disability
- Lacell Joseph, Accreditation and Certification Manager, Mark Chaffin Center for Healthy Development
- Elizabeth McAdam, Accreditation and Certification Manager, Mark Chaffin Center for Healthy Development
- Josephine Mhende, Research Associate I, Health Policy & Behavioral Sciences
- Ramatu Muhammad, Community Services Specialist II, Center for Leadership in Disability
- Brenda Muñoz, Bilingual Community Services Specialist II, Center for Leadership in Disability
- Anne Marie Schipani-McLaughlin, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Health Policy & Behavioral Sciences
Georgia State University is ranked the second most innovative university and third for its commitment to undergraduate teaching in the 2020 Best Colleges edition of U.S. News & World Report magazine. It’s the second year in a row Georgia State is ranked the second most innovative institution. It’s also the second year in a row the university has been ranked in the top three among national universities for its “unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching.” Georgia State ranked first among public universities in the category. Click here to learn more.
An article by Dr. Gerardo Chowell and doctoral student Amna Tariq, entitled A novel sub-epidemic modeling framework for short-term forecasting epidemic waves, was recently published in BMC Medicine’s spatial epidemiology research collection. Based on the model in this article, the team, in collaboration with Dr. James “Mac” Hyman of Tulane University, produces short-term forecasts of the weekly incidence trend of the Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). An updated Ebola incidence forecast of the epidemic, also based on the World Health Organization’s External Situation Reports, is published weekly. Click here to learn more.
Georgia State Research has launched The Research Podcast, where Georgia State faculty explain how they’re tackling interesting and innovative research topics that affect the public. In Episode 1, Dr. Michael Eriksen, the Interim Vice President for Research & Economic Development and founding dean of the School of Public Health at Georgia State, discusses the public health impact — and growing popularity — of e-cigarettes in “The Dangers of Vaping.” Click here to learn more.
Dr. Daniel Crimmins, professor of public health and director of the Center for Leadership in Disability (CLD), a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), was a selected by the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) to receive the coveted 2019 George S. Jesien Distinguished Achievement Award.
This George S. Jesien Distinguished Achievement Award recognizes a UCEDD, LEND or IDDRC executive, faculty or staff member who has demonstrated a distinguished career of excellence and leadership in support of AUCD’s mission to advance policy and practice for and with people living with developmental and other disabilities, their families and communities. Candidates are selected based on accomplishments in research, education and service. Click here to learn more.
Alumni in Public Health
Dr. Priscilla Oliver was named the new president of the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA)’s Board of Directors. She received her Masters in Public Administration (MPA) from the Georgia State University Policy School (now the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies) in 1981 and her Ph.D. from the Georgia State University College of Education & Human Performance (now the College of Education & Human Development) in 1989. Dr. Oliver is currently a Senior Life Scientist with the Office of the Regional Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Atlanta. She joined the NEHA in 1993, and since then, has served as Co-Chair, Chair and Technical Advisor of the Hazardous Materials and Toxic Substances Section. She also received the NEHA Presidential Citation and letters of appreciation for her longtime service to the NEHA Technical Editorial Advisory Board and as a peer reviewer for the Journal of Environmental Health. In 2014, NSF International named Dr. Oliver the recipient of the distinguished Walter F. Snyder Environmental Health Award, honoring her four decades of significant and lasting contributions to environmental and public health through education, leadership, dedication and community service. Click here to learn more.
Syretta Shealey was named a recipient of the inaugural 40 Under 40 in Public Health by the de Beaumont Foundation. A native of Georgia, Shealey holds a Bachelors degree from Georgia State University and a Master of Public Health in community health from DePaul University. Over the last seven years, she has worked to improve the health of hundreds of thousands of youth across Chicago. Starting her public health career as a program facilitator with the Teen Outreach Program, Shealey empowered high school students to develop skills in healthy decision making necessary for them to become thriving adults. Through this evidence-based youth development program, she not only educated young people on comprehensive sexual health education, but also coordinated efforts in helping students implement service learning projects in collaboration with local nonprofits within the city, totaling more than 13,000 hours of service. Shealey has made it her personal mission to improve the health of Chicago’s students. She actively volunteers as a member of the Metropolitan Board of the Chicago Urban League and Link Unlimited President’s Advisory Board. Click here to learn more.
IN THE HEADLINES
News coverage is an important method of sharing the work of the School of Public Health with a broad audience, building recognition of our research and educational programs regionally, nationally and internationally.
Media mentions are featured in chronological order.
Inset: Janhavi Dubhashi (BS ’18) earned her Bachelors of Science in Biological Sciences from Georgia State University in May 2018 and is currently enrolled in the Masters of Public Health program with a Health Management and Policy concentration. Janhavi is the 2018-2019 recipient of the School of Public Health’s Rhodes Haverty Scholarship.