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September 2014
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Alumni Newsletter 

Message From The Dean

I’m feeling energized about this new school year.

Just ten years ago, we welcomed our first few students to the MPH program.
As we mark this 10
th anniversary milestone, it provides us not only with the chance to marvel at how we have grown, but also to recognize how we have distinguished ourselves in our ability to offer an affordable, flexible graduate education that prepares our students to address the most pressing public health challenges of our time. 

As we kick off a year of celebration around our 10th anniversary, we are committed to keeping alumni and friends of the School of Public Health connected. 

This newsletter, which will be distributed quarterly, is designed to share recent school news as well as information about events open to alumni and others in the community who are interested in the work of advancing public health. You’ll also find links that will allow you to keep us informed about your own news and professional achievements.

Fundraiser For Ebola Suits

As you likely know, the School community has introduced a fundraiser to send protective suits to health care workers who are fighting the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
We set a goal of raising enough money for 250 protective suits to send to health care workers in the hardest-hit countries. That translates into $3,750.
So far, we have raised more than $3,500 in just a few weeks.
This has been a tremendous effort that has helped to bring us together as a school, and is helping us to build a new relationship with Georgia-based MAP International, a nonprofit devoted to supporting public health work internationally.
It only costs $15 to buy a protective suit. If you haven’t had a chance to donate, I ask you to take a moment to give what you can. We ask you to give even if the goal has been met by the time you read this. The more we raise, the more protective suits we can send to our brave colleagues on the front lines.

And please share this with others who care about advancing public health. As many experts have noted, if health care workers in Africa keep getting infected, this outbreak will continue to spread.
To support this effort, please go to

New Faculty

As the School of Public Health continues to grow, we are pleased to welcome six new members with expertise in epidemiology and biostatistics, health management and policy studies and health promotion and behavior to our outstanding faculty this year. Read more about their work here.
Katherine Masyn, Associate Professor, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, comes to the School of Public Health from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. Masyn’s research focuses on the development and application of latent variable statistical models.
Mark Chaffin, Professor, Health Promotion and Behavior, was most recently a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City. His practice, teaching, research and publications focus mainly on the development, adaptation and implementation of evidence-based service models in youth-serving prevention and social services systems, such as child welfare, juvenile justice and early childhood developmental disabilities systems.
Matt Hayat, Associate Professor, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, comes to the School of Public Health after serving as a biostatistician and faculty member in the College of Nursing at Rutgers University. His research interests include biostatistics education, the application of science to the way biostatistics is taught, advanced statistical methods for analysis of correlated data, interdisciplinary collaboration and consulting, and complementary and alternative medicine research.
Matthew Magee, Assistant Professor, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, was recently a post-doctoral Fellow in the Departments of Epidemiology and Global Health at Emory University. His research interests focus on the intersection of metabolic disorders and infectious diseases, principally the relationship between diabetes mellitus and tuberculosis.
Shanta R. Dube, Associate Professor, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, comes to the School after a 14-year career at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where she worked in tobacco control surveillance and research. Her main public health research focus is behavioral epidemiology, especially related to Adverse Childhood Experiences.
Eric R. Wright, Professor, Health Management and Policy Studies, is a Professor of Sociology with a joint appointment with public health. He comes from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. As a medical sociologist, his research interests center on public policy and social responses to health and illness, particularly mental health and illness, substance use and sexual health. 

Accreditation: Your Help Is Needed

Dr. Lindy Parker has joined the Dean’s Office as Director of Accreditation and Evaluation. The School of Public Health retains the accredited status that it earned as the Institute of Public Health through 2019. Dr. Parker will direct all ongoing and future accreditation, assessment and evaluation efforts, including our work toward accreditation under our new status a school.

As part of the ongoing process, Parker requests that alumni participate in two short surveys:

Faculty Awards And Recognition

Dr. Michael Eriksen, Dean of the School of Public Health, has been appointed as a Regents’ Professor and Dr. Richard Rothenberg, Professor of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, has been re-appointed to a second three-year term as a Regents’ Professor. The appointment is made by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia in recognition of significant achievement in scholarship, contributions to service and a sustained record of highly effective promotion of learning. Read more here
Dr. Betty Lai has been recognized with an Early Career Award from the American Psychological Association. She was also recently awarded the Mary Fran Myers Scholarship from the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado and was selected as a 2014 Scholar by the Academy on Violence and Abuse. Read more here
Dr. John Lutzker has been named as a Distinguished University Professor, the highest award bestowed by Georgia State. Lutzker, Director of the Center for Healthy Development, was recognized for sustained excellence in research, teaching and service. Read more here

External Funding 

The School of Public Health has made huge strides in external research funding over the past few years.

Between the 2012 and 2014 academic year, the school has increased external funding from $6.9 million to $11.7 million, a 70 percent gain.
Nationally, the School ranks 8th out of 51 in National Institutes of Health grant productivity per faculty member, a remarkable achievement for the newest School of Public Health in the country. In Fiscal Year 2014, the School brought in close to $289,000 per faculty member, well above the average for most schools of public health in the U.S.
Our target for sponsored grant funding was $8.7 million for 2014, and we have exceeded that by raising $11.7 million.
Here are some of the grants that have contributed to this success:

Upcoming Events 

CDC Alumni Happy Hour
For the second year, we will partner with the Georgia State Alumni Association for a happy hour with CDC employees. The event will take place at the Emory Point development, across from the Clifton Road entrance to the CDC.
Date: Tuesday, September 30
Time:  5:30-8 p.m.
Location: Marlowe’s Tavern
1520 Avenue Place, Atlanta, GA 30322
 Urban Health Disparities Lecture
Paul Morris

The School of Public Health is pleased to announce Paul Morris, President and CEO of the Atlanta Beltline Inc. (ABI), as the speaker for the upcoming Urban Health Disparities Lecture. Morris will address the topic " How the Atlanta Beltline is Improving Public Health." ABI is responsible for the development of the most comprehensive revitalization effort in the history of Atlanta and among the largest, most wide-ranging urban redevelopment and mobility projects in the United States.
Date: Wednesday, Oct. 1
Time:  10:30 a.m.-noon
Location: Centennial Hall
100 Auburn Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30303
10th Anniversary Global Speaker Series
Dr. Sandro Galea

Alumni and friends are invited to join us for a lecture by Dr. Sandro Galea, Chairman of the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, on the topic “Educating the Public Health Workforce.” During Dr. Galea's tenure as Chair, the Department of Epidemiology has started several new educational initiatives and substantially increased its focus on its core areas: chronic, infectious, injury, lifecourse, psychiatric/neurological, and social epidemiology. A reception will follow.
Date: Monday, Oct. 27
Time:  2-3 p.m.
Location: Centennial Hall
100 Auburn Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30303
10th Anniversary Global Speaker Series 
Dr. Geoffrey Anguyo

Geoffrey Anguyo, founder of the Kigezi Healthcare Foundation (KIHEFO), will speak at this event, which is open to alumni and friends. KIHEFO is a local non-governmental organization dedicated to community development in Kabale, southwest Uganda. KIHEFO takes care of orphan and vulnerable children, operates an AIDS clinic and general clinic, and works on economic development projects.
Date: Wednesday, Oct. 29
Time:  10:30-11:30 a.m.
Location: Speaker’s Auditorium, Student University Center
44 Courtland Street Southeast, Atlanta, GA 30303
Alumni Reception at the APHA Annual Conference
We are joining forces with the Georgia State University Alumni Association to offer this reception for alumni in the New Orleans area. Please join us whether you are attending the APHA conference or simply live nearby.
Date: Monday, Nov. 17
Time:  5-7:30 p.m.
Location: Gordon Biersch
200 Poydras Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

How To Get Involved – Mentor Students

We want to invite you to return to Georgia State to help guide current public health students as they prepare for their careers. The Office of Academic Assistance & Career Services is looking for alumni to serve as panelists or guest speakers for some of their events in their new Career Calendar of Events. Contact Jessica Pratt for more information.

How to Stay Connected

You have several ways to keep up with news from the School of Public Health. Here are some options:
And we want to hear from you. If you have a new job or other work-related milestone to share with the alumni community or the wider world, please email the School of Public Health communications team at
Want to suggest an item for the next Alumni e-newsletter? Click here.

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