Your Alumni News & Events - Spring 2017
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A Message From The Dean

Alumni and friends –

I am pleased to announce that we will be presenting Dr. Matthew Kreuter as the speaker for our 2017 Kreuter Katz Conversation on Health Equity this spring.

Matthew is the founder of the Health Communication Research Laboratory at Washington University in St. Louis, where he has worked for more than 20 years to develop messaging designed to eliminate health disparities for low-income and minority populations, especially related to cancer screening and treatment.

Matthew has spent his career considering how to frame messages that will resonate with real people, helping them to understand their health risks and act accordingly, without needlessly frightening them. One common theme in his work is the efficacy of hope as a motivator in public health messaging.

For those of you who don't know, Matthew is also the son of Marshall Kreuter and Martha Katz, for whom this annual lecture is named. Matthew has followed his inspirational parents in pursuing a distinguished career in public health, seeking solutions for health disparities. It is only fitting that in the 4th year of this series that we bring Matthew, an especially engaging and effective speaker, to continue this important discussion.

Whether you are working in research or as a practitioner, I think you will enjoy learning from him. I hope you will join us on April 3 for his talk and reception to follow. (Scroll down for more details and to RSVP.)


Laura Bracci  (MPH, ‘08) works at the American Heart Association, connecting more than 30,000 volunteers with their local lawmakers to work together on issues such as improving access to health care and exercise in neighborhoods. Read more…
Elif Alyanak (MPH, ’15), helps the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research the effectiveness of the current year's batch of flu vaccine. She sat down with us recently to answer some commonly-asked questions about flu vaccinations. Read more…


  • Brandon Talley (MPH, ’10), Chair of the School’s Alumni Board, was named Vice President for Programs at the CDC Foundation.
  • Phylliscia V. Gibson (MPH ‘16) joined the Florida Department of Public Health as a medical records specialist for birth defects related to Zika.
  • Cassie House (MPH, ’14) joined GNR Health as an Epidemiologist.
  • Edda Z. Cotto-Rivera (MPH, ’16) is a Nutrition Education Program Coordinator for SNAP-Ed at The University of Georgia. 
  • Jessie Marus (MPH ’15) was named a finalist for a Presidential Management Fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
  • Molly Dunham-Friel (MPH, ‘16) joined CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality and Promotion as a Health Communications Specialist III with Chenega-Time Solutions. 
  • Meg Watson (MPH, '06), was the senior author on the paper “The potential impact of reducing indoor tanning on melanoma prevention and treatment costs in the United States: An economic analysis,” published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 
  • Emilia Pasalic (MPH, ‘16) was first author on the paper “Air Pollution, Physical Activity, and Markers of Acute Airway Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Adolescents,” in the Journal of the Georgia Public Health Association. Co-authors are SPH faculty Dr. Matt Hayat, Associate Professor of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, and Dr. Roby Greenwald, Assistant Professor of Environmental Health. 
  • Dr. Katelyn Guastaferro (PhD, '16) was the lead author of the article titled "Systematic Braiding of 2 Evidence-Based Parent Training Programs: Qualitative Results From the Pilot Phase," working with researchers from the Mark Chaffin Center for Healthy Development for the study published in the Journal of Health Promotion & Maintenance.

Share Your Good News!

Let us know about your personal and professional updates and accomplishments. Click the button below to add your class note. 

Calling All DC-Area Alumni 

If you’re a School of Public Health grad living and working in the Washington, DC metro area, we want to invite you to a dinner with Dean Eriksen in Arlington on Wednesday, March 15th. Please email for details, to RSVP, and to connect with the School’s DC Alumni Network. 
public health baby bib.jpg

We Love Our Future Public Health Leaders!

This is Julian, son of Daniela Salas O’Connell (MPH, ’07), showing off his new School of Public Health bib. If you have or are expecting a baby, we’d like to send you one with our congratulations.

Please email your request to



CDC GSU PAW Kick-Off Event

Please join the Georgia State University Alumni Association as we kick off the newly-formed GSU PAW CDC Employee Association. Learn more about opportunities for Georgia State University Alumni and other staff at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to interact, network, and collaborate. This event is open to all CDC employees and contractors.

Date: March 9
Time: 4:30pm- 6:30pm 
Place: Marlow's Tavern, Emory Point 

For any questions, CLICK HERE 
Please RSVP

Kreuter Katz Conversation on Health Equity 

Matthew Kreuter is the Kahn Family Professor and Associate Dean for Public Health at the Brown School of Washington University in St. Louis. He is founder of the Health Communication Research Laboratory (HCRL), a leading center nationally that is now in its 22nd year of continuous funding.

Dr. Kreuter’s research seeks to identify and apply communication-based strategies to eliminate health disparities with an emphasis on finding ways to increase the reach and effectiveness of health information for low-income and minority populations, and using information and technology to connect them to needed health services.

Please join us for this talk, with reception to follow.

Date: April 3
Time: 2:30pm- 4:30pm 
Place: Georgia State University Law School Conference Center, 85 Park Place Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30303

To request disability accommodations, please email

Please RSVP

Georgia State Alumni 3d Thursday with the School of Public Health

On Thursday, May 18th, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., all our alumni are invited to come out to Marlow’s Tavern at Emory Point for a happy hour to connect with your fellow alumni, new graduates, and faculty.

Be on the lookout for an email invitation with RSVP information. We hope to see you there!


Environmental health researcher Roby Greenwald is studying the possible health effect of metro Atlanta's notorious air pollution on people who like to be physically active outdoors. Watch the video...
A team of child welfare experts from the School and the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy has won a federal grant to improve mental health services to child victims of commercial sex trafficking. Read more...

Are you looking for a new job,
or just looking to connect?

We can help! If you're on the hunt for a new position in public health, if you want to share job leads with other alumni of our school, or if you just want to connect, you have several options:

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Click here to go to our Alumni news hub and get caught up!

You Can Help Our Current Students

Share Your Career Experiences,
Or Suggest a Practicum Opportunity

We are always on the lookout for alumni willing to share their career experiences with current students. Hearing from alumni about their career paths is an incredibly valuable experience for current students. You can get involved by serving on a panel, leading a discussion, or participating in a student-alumni networking opportunity.

As the School continues to grow, we also have an ever-increasing need for practicum sites for our students, especially with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Helping connect our students to practicums is one of the most impactful ways our alumni can help the School.

If you would like to serve as as speaker, or if you or your organization have a potential practicum opportunity, please contact Jessica Pratt at

Show Your Public Health Pride!

We have a virtual Lands End store where alumni and friends can purchase a wide variety of clothing and other items with the School of Public Health logo. The link is:

Stay Connected! Share Your News!

You have several ways to keep up with news from the School of Public Health. Here are some options:
Want to suggest an item for the next alumni e-newsletter? Click here.
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