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Alumni Profiles

Sundermann keeps asking 'why?'

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ALEX SUNDERMANN (IDM) is the featured MPH profile in the fall issue of Prevention Strategist, a magazine issued by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. When asked about the best advice he ever received, he said, 'keep asking 'why?'"  

BCHS alumna Kavanaugh shares her passion for reproductive health (video)

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MEGAN KAVANAUGH (BCHS ’08) became a principal research scientist at the Guttmacher Institute in 2017. Her research portfolio has focused on contraceptive use and service delivery, unintended pregnancy and abortion. In her most recent studies, she has been tracking national trends in contraceptive use, examining the consequences of unintended pregnancy and understanding the impact of travel on women seeking abortions.  

BCHS alumna Ncube shares her educational journey (video)

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COLLETTE NCUBE (BCHS ’14) is a future faculty fellow in the Department of Health Sciences and the Institute of Urban Health Research and Practice at Northeastern University. Ncube’s research focuses on determinants of racial/ethnic disparities in adverse birth and pregnancy outcomes and later life cardiovascular/metabolic disorders, with particular focus on lifecourse and intergenerational factors.   

BCHS alumnus Wei shares interest in HIV research (video)

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CHONGYI WEI (BCHS '09) recently moved from the University of California, San Francisco to join the faculty at the Rutgers School of Public Health. His primary research focuses on the epidemiology and prevention of HIV/AIDS among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Asia and in the U.S. He is interested in creating innovative strategies to increase HIV testing uptake among MSM and improve access to care and treatment among HIV-infected MSM.  

BCHS alumna Wilds shares her experiences working at the Highmark Foundation (video)

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CHRISTINA WILDS (BCHS '06) serves as senior program officer of the Highmark Foundation. Prior to joining Highmark, Wilds served as program evaluator in Highmark Inc.'s division of community affairs, where she was responsible for all phases of program evaluation. Before joining Highmark, she worked for a world-class medical center where she served in various fundraising positions.   

BCHS alumna Bhargava discusses the issues with current standards of student success (video)

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Kent State College of Public Health faculty member, TINA BHARGAVA (BCHS, '12) is the coordinator for the Prevention and Control of Diseases course, which is taught online. She is interested in improving online teaching methods. Her research interests include health behavior change and the cognitive limitations that may affect success with behavior change. Her current work focuses on re-envisioning the standard for student success.  

Alumni profile: Bill Sollecito (MSHyg BIOST, '70)

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PITT PUBLIC HEALTH MAGAZINE - “The phrase ‘If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere,’ certainly applies to me,” says Brooklyn, N.Y., native BILL SOLLECITO. However, it was his formative years spent in Pittsburgh at Pitt Public Health that made him—both personally and professionally—who he is today.  

Meet HPM alumna, Johanna Bellon

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JOHANNA BELLON (HPM '15) is the Senior Director of Quality Analytics and Performance at the UPMC Wolff Center. UPMC is a 40+ hospital integrated finance and delivery system with over 3,500 providers and a multitude of clinical sites.  

Felter: 2018 Delta Omega Inductee

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ELIZABETH FELTER (BCHS ’09) joined the faculty as assistant professor in 2010. She has been a Certified Health Education Specialist since 2001 and leads the department’s health communication/health risk communication curriculum. Her teaching portfolio has expanded to include development of infographics, preparation of public service announcements, and use of video for public health communication. 

Chalhoub: 2018 Delta Omega Inductee

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DIDIER CHALHOUB (MMPH ’12, EPI ’15) is a postdoctoral research fellow at the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging Interdisciplinary Studies Aging Section. His areas of research include aging, osteoporosis, and sarcopenia, concentrating on osteoporosis and body composition with a special interest in understanding the effect of muscle-bone interaction on outcomes such as fractures. 

Buchanich: 2018 Delta Omega Inductee

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While completing her MPH and PhD degrees, JEANINE BUCHANICH (EPI ’98, ’07) worked full time for the Department of Biostatistics at Pitt Public Health and was appointed research assistant professor and deputy director of the Center for Occupational Biostatistics and Epidemiology in 2008. She has served as principal investigator or coinvestigator on many studies in occupational health epidemiology, vital status systems and tracing, and other topic ... 

Bear: 2018 Delta Omega Inductee

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TODD BEAR (BCHS ’07, ’13) joined the Pitt Public Health faculty as an assistant professor immediately upon earning his PhD in 2013. His primary research interest is the study of adversity, including child maltreatment and exposure to violence, and its effects on health over the lifespan. He utilizes a life-course perspective to study the behavioral and psychosocial pathways by which childhood adversity affects adolescent and adult health. 

Talkowski: 2018 Early Career Excellence Award

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MICHAEL TALKOWSKI (HUGEN ’08) is associate professor of neurology (genetics) at Harvard Medical School and the Center for Genomic Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and an associate member of the Broad Institute of the Massachusettes Institute of Technology and Harvard where he directs the Broad Structural Variation and Assembly Group. His research has led to paradigm-shifting discoveries that have left a mark on the field of genetics. 

Farmartino: 2018 Early Career Excellence Award

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In 2012, a year before completing her MPH, CHRISTINA FARMARTINO (IDM ’13) was hired as executive director of The Open Door, which provides supportive housing and representative payee services to individuals living with HIV/AIDS—including active injection drug users—to improve their health and housing stability. Among other duties, Farmartino has raised more than $250,000 over three years in additional, diversified funding. 

Peter: 2018 Margaret F. Gloninger Service Award

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BERNADINE PETER (EPI ’88) is population health coordinator and registered dietitian at Val Verde Regional Medical Center in Del Rio, Texas. She previously served at Franklin Primary Health Center Inc. in Mobile, Ala., where she educated patients with diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure, in addition to securing nutrition and wellness grants for the underserved. 

Murphy: 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award for Teaching and Dissemination

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FREDRICK MURPHY (MSHyg ’77) is executive director of Atlanta, Ga.-based Lifelong Health Inc., a nonprofit serving inner-city communities around public health and social justice issues. He served for more than 28 years as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), active and inactive, and adjunct faculty member in the Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine at Morehouse School of Medicine.  

Norris: 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award for Research

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JILL NORRIS (EPI ’88, ’90) is professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology in the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Her research focuses on the relationship of environment in the development of autoimmune diseases, including type I diabetes, celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus in genetically susceptible individuals. 

Modzelewski: 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award for Practice

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A two-time breast cancer survivor, RUTH MODZELEWSKI (HUGEN ’96) has served as mission coordinator for Susan G. Komen Pittsburgh since 2009, when she went from researching cancer at the University of Pittsburgh to practicing and promoting cancer prevention and treatment throughout Western Pennsylvania. She oversees the Komen Pittsburgh community-based health grants program which annually gives close to $1 million back to the community. 

Meet alumna Inmaculada Hernandez from HPM

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INMACULADA HERNANDEZ (HPM ‘16) is working on developing her own independent research program at Pitt's School of Pharmacy, which is built at the intersection of pharmaceutical health services and outcomes research, pharmacoepidemiology, pharmacoeconomics and pharmaceutical policy.  

Meet HPM alumnus, Tri Le

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TRI LE (HPM '16) is currently a research analyst in the Quality Measurement and Health Policy program at RTI International. He is part of a team that develops, maintains, re-evaluates, and implements outcome, structural, process, and composite quality measures for the Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH), Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility (IRF), Skilled Nursing Facility (SNFs), and nursing home post-acute care quality programs.  

Meet alumna Carroline Lobo from HPM

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CARROLINE LOBO (HPM '17) joined Cepheid, a bio-molecular diagnostics company located in the heart of Silicon Valley, in December 2017. Carroline reports to the vice president of Cepheid’s Government Affairs division, providing expert analytical support to guide reimbursement and market access related decisions.   

Meet alumna Ana Progovac from HPM

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ANA PROGOVAC (HPM '15) is currently an instructor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and senior scientist at the Health Equity Research Lab at Cambridge Health Alliance, which is a health system in Massachusetts serving Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston's Metro North Region.  

Meet alumnus Manik Razdan from HPM

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MANIK RAZDAN (HPM '14) is currently working at Caring Health Center, Springfield, Massachusetts as a public health dentist. His work entails delivering dental care and oral health education to the underserved including people with limited financial means, African Americans, Hispanics and refugees. Manik also supervises fourth year dental students from Boston University during their externship rotations at the health center.  

Meet Yomei Shaw, HPM alum

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After completing her dissertation about treatment decision making in rheumatoid arthritis, YOMEI SHAW (HPM 16) continues to work in rheumatology research in the context of two rheumatic diseases registries, the NDB in the U.S., and the Swiss Clinical Quality Management in Rheumatic Diseases registry in Switzerland.  

Meet Yan Tang, HPM alum

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YAN TANG (HPM '15) works at RTI International as a health services researcher. Much of her current work focuses on pay for performance initiatives in the U.S. health care system.   

HPM grad Rick Anderson guides St. Luke's hospitals through decades of change

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THE MORNING CALL -- After over 30 years at the helm of St. Luke's University Health Network, RICHARD A. ANDERSON (HPM '71) is among a handful of the longest-serving top health care executives nationally. With Anderson at the helm, St. Luke's has grown from a single hospital with an annual budget of $73 million to a diversified health care organization with more than $1 billion in revenues and 9,000 employees, making it the second-biggest employer... 

Howard recognized for service

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Diane Howard will honored at the 2017 Alumni Awards Ceremony for her contributions to the school. She is associate professor and director of student development in the Department of Health Systems Management (HSM) at Rush University Medical Center, where she teaches courses in managed care, health care in America, and professionalism. She serves on the HSM career services, chairman’s council, curriculum, faculty appointments and promotions, recr... 

Eric Hulsey: 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award for Practice

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Eric Hulsey is manager of behavioral health analytics in the Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS) Office of Data Analysis, Research and Evaluation. In this role, he is responsible for working with key partners to evaluate behavioral health services administered by DHS and find practical applications for research, as well as for managing all research activities, implementation, and reporting efforts; designing and developing quanti... 

Michael Walsh: 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award for Practice

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Michael T. Walsh Jr. is founder and principal of 25 Strategies, a consulting firm focused on creating and deploying impact strategy for foundations, health systems, nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies, and social impact ventures that address public health challenges, strengthen health systems, and build resilient communities. Walsh is also interim chief of strategy and programs for the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’... 

Mary Ganguli: 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award for Research

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Mary Ganguli is professor of psychiatry and neurology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and professor of epidemiology at Pitt Public Health. Her research focuses on the epidemiology of late-life mental disorders, particularly neurocognitive disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease. She is the principal investigator of several National Institute on Aging (NIA)-funded, population-based investigations in the area of dementia and Al... 

Tammy Haley: 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award for Teaching and Dissemination

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Tammy Haley is director of nursing and radiological sciences, associate professor of nursing, and coordinator of the RN-BSN program in the Division of Biological and Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, where she has been a member of the nursing faculty since 2003. She teaches Physical Examination and Health Promotion and Community Health Nursing at the BSN level and teaches at all levels of the ASN program, in both the c... 

Annette Fetchko: 2017 Gloninger Service Award

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Annette Fetchko currently serves as the regional manager for the Center for Inclusion Health (CIH), a division of the Department of Medicine at Allegheny Health Network (AHN), with a mission to provide outstanding health care to all people in the region served by AHN, especially socially marginalized and vulnerable populations. Fetchko oversees the operational and strategic development of the programs within CIH. Prior to her role at CIH, Fet... 

Laura Gieraltowski: 2017 Early Career Excellence Award

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Laura B. Gieraltowski is serving as a lieutenant commander with the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) for which she is a epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Emerging and Infectious Zoonotic Diseases, Division of the Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases’ Outbreak Response and Prevention Branch (ORPB). She regularly leads teams of public health professiona... 

BCHS alumna Barkowitz shares her experiences as a UPMC health coach (video)

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A senior telephonic health coach for UPMC Health Plan, ELANA R. BARKOWITZ (BCHS ’11) also works part-time as an interviewer for the Pittsburgh Girls Study. She previously moonlighted as a paraprofessional counselor at Planned Parenthood of Western PA. Barkowitz is certified in public health (CPH) and credentialed as a Certified Health Education Specialist. She is happy to be growing her career in her hometown. 

Alumna Jennifer Jones bridges community and academia at CTSI (video)

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As community engagement coordinator for Pitt's Clinical and Translational Science Institute, JENNIFER JONES (BCHS ’11) bridges community and academia to build capacity and solidify partnerships. After working at public health non-profit in Washington, D.C., she realized she wanted to earn her own Master of Public Health--Pitt was her number-one choice! While an MPH student, Jones completed the community-based participatory research and practice c... 

Former Evans Scholar and Peace Corps volunteer, Melissa Knorr discusses combining social work and public health (video)

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MELISSA KNORR (BCHS ’16) is the operations manager at The Open Door, Inc., where she first interned in 2014. During her time at Pitt, Melissa was an Evans Fellow, pursuing the joint MPH/masters in social work. She also served as an administrative intern for Bridging the Gaps and a board member of the Global Health Student Association. Previously, Knorr served in the Peace Corps in Zambia, Belize, and Costa Rica in the health, education, and youth... 

Alumna TaylorDaphne Morsillo addresses working towards healthier communities - whether in Allegheny County or Africa (video)

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Even before completing her MPH and global health studies, TAYLORDAPHNE MORSILLO (BCHS ’16) began working on the Plan for a Healthier Allegheny at the Allegheny County Health Department where she also supports the epidemiologist and manager of special projects. Previously, she served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Mozambique where her assignment focused on community and local hospital health presentations and direct work with an I-NGO, a provi... 

Alumna Katharine Horowitz speaks to sexual and reproductive health and our dynamic local communities (video)

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Vice president for education, KATHARINE HOROWITZ (BCHS ’12) has been with Planned Parenthood of Western PA for nearly five years. She is a born-and-bred Pittsburgher, driven to improve sexual and reproductive health outcomes for everyone in the dynamic communities that make up our city. Horowitz has worked in youth development for eight years, having started her career leading summer trail crews with the Student Conservation Association. While pu... 

Alumna Mara Leff shares experiences in aging, obesity prevention, and global/rural health (video)

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MARA LEFF (BCHS ’15) is a program associate for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation working on planning and implementation across projects, including support for the foundation’s Aging Agenda. Previously, she worked on an NIH-funded childhood obesity prevention campaign at Ogilvy Public Relations, a global marketing and communications firm in Washington, D.C. While an MPH student, she conducted practicum research in India, informing her thesis, “Th... 

Abunto joins NIH-Bethesda

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MARIA ABUNTO, MD, MPH (MMPH '16) recently assumed a new position with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland after completing her studies at Pitt Public Health. A medical doctor with years of experience in basic science and clinical research, Abunto pursued the MMPH and global health programs to augment clinical training and to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to serve in a public health leadership position.  

Rosemarie Ramos (EOH '03, '05)

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My positive experience at Pitt Public Health has had a lifelong impact on me as a public health professional. It’s given me the self-confidence to contribute to improvements in population health and health equity.    

#ItsGoodToGive: Kate Fletcher

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PITTSBURGH POST GAZETTE profiles Pitt Public Health alumna Kate Fletcher (HSA ‘80) as part of the #ItsGoodToGive series. After serving as a nun, primary school teacher, nursing home manager, and then adjunct professor, Fletcher decided at age 64 to follow destiny’s call to Kenya. In response to the plight of millions of orphans in sub-Sahara Africa, she has dedicated the last 14 years to establishing Hekima Place, a children’s home in Kenya f... 

Lopez (BCHS ‘90) profiled in Forward magazine

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FORWARD MAGAZINE - Pitt Public Health MPH alumna   Ivette Lopez (BCHS ‘90)  was recently recognized in Seton Hill’s Forward magazine for her work in addressing diverse health problems, including HIV/AIDS, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Lopez directs Latino Health Initiatives and serves as an associate professor of Public Health, Behavioral Science and Health Education at Florida A & M University. 

HOPE MULTIPLIED - David de la Cruz in Liberia fighting the largest Ebola outbreak in history

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PITT MAGAZINE - In fall 2014, President Barack Obama activated the USPHS Commissioned Corps, a uniformed service of public health officers. He called David de la Cruz (BCHS '91), a captain in the U.S. Public Health Service, and other Corps volunteers to be "hope multipliers" in Liberia, where the country was being ravaged by the West African Ebola outbreak. More than 10,000 people became infected in Liberia alone. Assigned as the deputy officer... 

Marcus Poindexter featured in Pitt magazine for community service

PITT MAGAZINE Marcus Poindexter (BCHS '10, SOC WK '10) was recently recognized in Pitt magazine--and in a local ad campaign--for helping to strengthen communities and address signifi­cant societal challenges. "Poindexter is among the hundreds of Pitt social work students who  annually log the collective equivalent of $6 million in services to the Pittsburgh area." 

Massoudi Receives Alumni Award for Practice

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Mehran Massoudi (EPI '92, '93) was awarded the Pitt Public Health Alumni Award for Practice on May 20, 2016, at the Alumni Awards dinner. 

Slaugenhaupt, Recipient of Alumni Award for Research

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Susan Slaugenhaupt (HUGEN '88, '91) was honored with the Alumni Award for Research on May 20, 2016, at the annual Alumni Awards dinner. 

Dorman Recognized with the 2016 Alumni Award for Teaching and Dissemination

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Janice Scully Dorman (HUGEN '81, EPI '83) was recognized on May 20, 2016, with the Alumni Award for Teaching and Dissemination at the annual Alumni Awards dinner. 

Blackwood Receives the Margaret F. Gloninger Service Award

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Michael Blackwood (HPM '80) was recognized on May 20, 2016, with the Margaret F. Gloninger Service Award at the annual Alumni Awards dinner. 

Dorsey Honored with Early Career Excellence Award

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Rashida R. Dorsey (BCHS '06) was recognized with the Early Career Excellence Award on May 20, 2016, at the annual Alumni Awards Dinner. 

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