Your Alumni Newsletter - May 2016
View this email in your browser

A Message From The Dean

Dear, Alumni -

I'm writing you at the end of another academic year full of inspirational moments.

Last weekend, we graduated more than 50 students, our largest class of MPH and PhD graduates ever. Soon, we'll have an alumni network of 600 people, a large and growing community that you can be proud of. We've established a special alumni network for Georgia State graduates who work at the CDC. And just yesterday, the School of Public Health won approval to launch a new Bachelors of Science program in public health.

I hope you're as excited as I am by the growth and progress we've made. I invite you to read this newsletter to learn more about what your fellow alumni are up to, and ways that you can stay connected with the School. Have a healthy and happy summer, and please stay in touch.


Cheryl Johnson, who earned a graduate certificate in public health in 2011, helped the World Health Organization develop HIV self-testing guidelines. Her work won her recognition as one of Forbes' 30 under 30 for Healthcare. Read her story.


  • Amanda Gailey, (MPH, '15), Program Officer at the CDC Foundation, co-authored an article titled "A Comparison Among 5 Methods for the Clinical Diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders" in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
  • Kadija Fofana (MPH, '15) co-authored an article titled "Acceptability of Couples’ Voluntary HIV Testing Among HIV-infected Patients in Care and Their HIV-negative Partners in the United States" in the Open AIDs Journal.
  • Fatima Abdirizak (MPH, '16) has begun work as a program analyst at the CDC's National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.
  • Ashwini Tiwari (PhD, '16) has accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at the Offord Centre for Child Studies at McMaster University. 
  • Tracy Ayers (PhD, '16) will join the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Francis B Annor  (PhD, '15) has also been selected for the CDC's highly competitive EIS program, working on a number of public health topical areas including suicide prevention, sexual violence, child maltreatment and elder abuse. 
  • Tia McGill Rogers (PhD, '16) will begin a postdoctoral research fellowship at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health. 
  • Na'Taki Osborne Jelks (PhD, '16) has accepted a position as a visiting professor of environmental health at Agnes Scott College.

Share Your Good News!

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


The School will offer a new bachelor of science degree in public health with an emphasis on urban and global health issues. Some undergrad courses will be offered this fall. Read more
The School's 10th Convocation ceremony on May 7 saw the biggest class of MPH and PhD graduates in our history. Read more about some of our extraordinary new graduates.
The School was a major partner in a recent survey that found more than 3,300 homeless youth in metro Atlanta. Most are African American and male, with just over 25 percent identifying as LGBT. Read more
Our researchers also got media attention for their work to partner with corner stores in Atlanta's "food desert" neighborhoods to increase healthy offerings for neighborhood residents. Read more

Help Us Meet Our Fundraising Deadline!

Georgia State University’s fundraising year ends June 30th, so please visit our giving page now to make a one-time gift to the School of Public Health and help us finish this year with our strongest alumni support to-date. You can also start a monthly gift for as little as $5 or $10 per month that will not only count for this year, but will give us a head start when the new year begins July 1st. With support from our alumni, the School is expanding opportunities for alumni engagement with a slate of events and activities throughout the year. Your gift to the School of Public Health also helps us recruit top-notch faculty and provide enrichment opportunities for current students. Thank you for your commitment to our continued growth with your support!

Working At CDC? Join Our New
Panthers @ Work Group

On April 14, the Georgia State University Alumni Association hosted an evening reception at the David J. Sencer CDC Museum featuring President Mark Becker, along with Dean Michael Eriksen and Alumni Board member and CDC employee Susan Laird to officially kick off the new CDC Panthers @ Work group. Panthers @ Work is a program to champion Panther pride and connect Georgia State alumni in the workplace. Any Georgia State alum working with CDC in any professional capacity is eligible to join this new professional network. Please let us know if you’d like to be involved in participating in this great new program. You can choose to be involved in the formation and direction of the group, or just let us know you’d like to be included once they begin planning activities. If you’d like more information on how to participate, please contact Aimee Ahmed, director of development in the School of Public Health at

Help Our Current Students With Their Practicum

As our alumni know, all students in the School of Public Health are required to complete a practicum experience as part of their academic degree requirements. The main objective is to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate competencies from their concentration coursework to community-based research and service in a practice setting. As the School continues to grow, we 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 of Public Health. If you or your organization have a project or program you think could serve as a practicum, contact Jessica Pratt at with project details and preferred qualifications and skills. Forms with additional practicum information can be found online at

Share Your Career Experiences,

Help Current Students

We are looking for alumni to share their career experiences by speaking to students on a variety of topics each semester. Hearing from alumni about their career paths is an incredibly valuable experience for current students. Please contact Jessica Pratt at if you are interested in serving on a panel, leading a discussion, or participating in a student-alumni networking opportunity.

Follow Our Study Abroad Students
In Uganda And Brazil

For the third year in a row, the School is sending students to overseas to enrich their public health education. This year, groups of students will be in Brazil and Uganda during Maymester. The Brazil program, "Global Public Health Seminar in Salvador, Brazil" marks the second year that the School has taken students to the Bahia region of Brazil, which is known for its Afro-Brazilian culture. The Uganda program, "Alcohol and Alcohol-Related Harm in the Global Context: Prevention and Policy Strategies, Kampala, Uganda" is the first time the School has taken a group to Africa.

You can follow the students' blog posts, which will start publishing in coming days, and offer your notes of encouragement, at these websites:

Have you missed a newsletter?

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

Show Your SPH Pride!

Did you know? 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.
Copyright © 2016 School of Public Health at Georgia State University, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list