Your Alumni Newsletter - Sept. 2015
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A Message From the Dean

As we enter a new academic year, we are proud to announce that the School of Public Health at Georgia State University now has 500 alumni of our programs. 

You are part of a powerful and growing network.

As you know, the School is fortunate to be located in Atlanta, the capital of the public health universe. As our alumni, your careers are well represented at the organizations that make up this robust landscape: the CDC and its related contractors, the American Cancer Society, the Task Force for Global Health, area health departments and many others.

We are proud to call you our alumni as you represent us across these outstanding organizations. We hope that the school will continue to be an important partner in your success, and that you will extend that success to our current and future students who benefit greatly from your experiences. We are committing ourselves to building a vibrant public health professional network to serve you throughout your careers. 

As we embark on this endeavor to create meaningful engagements for you, I hope you will join us at the variety of networking, professional, academic and social activities and events that you will be invited to participate in throughout the year.

I also hope you will do us the honor of supporting us in our accreditation as a School of Public Health by providing the crucial feedback requested below. 

And as you read about the accomplishments of your fellow alumni, I hope you will also continue to share your news of professional and personal achievements with us so that we can celebrate you as well. As we begin our 11th year of public health education at Georgia State, we are so grateful to have you as members of our community.


The Georgia State University School of Public Health will participate in a review for a change in our category of accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). Specifically, we are seeking a change from accredited program in public health to accredited school of public health. As part of our review process, we will host CEPH site visitors from December 2 – 4, 2015.

CEPH will accept third-party comments from students, alumni, faculty, staff, community partners, and members of the general public about the school’s programs, practices, and procedures up to 30 days prior to the scheduled site visit. Therefore, the deadline for submitting comments to CEPH is November 2, 2015. Comments will be accepted by email sent to: Samantha-Rae Dickenson, Accreditation Specialist (, or by postal mail sent to her attention at: Council on Education for Public Health, 1010 Wayne Avenue, Suite 220, Silver Spring, MD 20910-5660.

You can review the documents at the following links:


Ashton Potter Wright (MPH ’10, pictured above) has set out to improve the health of residents, as well as the economic health of local food growers, in Central Kentucky. Read about her journey to her dream job.


Ethan Johnson (MPH ‘14) won the Rookie of the Year Award for outstanding accomplishments in environmental health from the Florida Environmental Health Association. Ethan is an environmental specialist with the Florida Department of Health, based in Volusia County, Fla.  

David Yankey (MPH ‘14) co-authored National, State, and Selected Local Area Vaccination Coverage Among Children Aged 19–35 Months — United States, published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

Amy Jewett (MPH ’08) was the lead author on the study Alcohol-Impaired Driving Among Adults — United States, 2012 published in the MMWR.

Share Your Good News!

We want to make sure you have the opportunity to connect with us, and most importantly, share your story. Let us know about your personal and professional updates and accomplishments. Click the button below to add your class note. 


Whether you're job hunting or not, adding the School of Public Health to your LinkedIn profile is an easy way to maximize your connections with fellow alumni and others in the field of public health. Here are some easy instructions from LinkedIn on how to do it: 

One tip -- when you get to the step under "Add education," enter the words "School of Public Health Georgia State." Yes, it seems a little backward, but that's the way we're listed at LinkedIn. When you see the blue icon pictured below, click on it because you've found your network!



Former student Nta Henshaw (MPH, 2013) died on July 7 from cancer. Nta was an MPH student under the mentorship of Dr. Ike S. Okosun.

He was also graduate of the Medical College of Georgia, where he obtained an MD degree. He is survived by a wife and two children.

Dr. Mark Chaffin, a professor of health promotion and behavior, died Aug. 23. He is survived by his wife, Barbara, and daughter, Roxanne. Mark was a nationally recognized leader in the field of child maltreatment.

In his year at the school, Mark touched the hearts of many students, his fellow faculty, staff and others who worked closely with him. A memorial will be held in his honor on Sept. 12 in Oklahoma City. 



The School welcomed 9 new PhD students and nearly 80 MPH students for the fall semester, setting a new record for the size of the MPH class.

To see the goals that some of them have set for themselves and offer our new students some encouragement in their public health studies, go to:


Rosemarie “Rosie” Henson, Senior Vice President for Prevention and Early Detection at the American Cancer Society, has joined the Board of Advisors for the School.

In this role, Henson will be part of an expert panel, shaping curriculum and internship experiences for students by providing valuable insight into the practice needs of the public health community. Henson’s career in public health and policy spans more than 20 years. Read more ...


The school has received nearly $400,000 in grant funds to support a three-year effort to reduce rates of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in African-American neighborhoods in southwest Atlanta.

The work will be conducted in partnership with the Morehouse School of Medicine’s Prevention Research Center and the Satcher Health Leadership Institute as part of a REACH grant funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). REACH, which stands for Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health, is one of the CDC’s key efforts to address gaps in healthcare access and outcomes for racial and ethnic minorities. Read more ...


The School has agreed to help the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness conduct research on the prevalence of smoking and attitudes toward secondhand smoke in Fulton, the most populous county in Georgia.

The school will receive $485,000 for the first year of work on the 3-year project. Read more ...


The School's Linkage to Care Peer Guide Training Program graduated its first group of community peer guides. The program is funded by a grant from the Elton John AIDS Foundation with a mission to train community members to provide emotional support, encouragement, and direction to others in need of treatment for HIV/AIDS.

The program is recruiting its second class of peer guides. Read more ...


Alumni and friends of the School are invited to attend the following events:


Prevent Child Abuse Georgia 2015 Conference

This one-day conference features workshops that cover a range of topics related to preventing child abuse and neglect, contributing to the healthy development of children, and helping strengthen families and communities.

Date: Sept. 10
Time: All day
Place: Atlanta Marriott Century Center
2000 Century Boulevard Northeast
To Register:

Georgia State at CDC Happy Hour

Alumni are encouraged to join us at Marlow's Tavern for an evening that will bring together Georgia State grads now working at the CDC. Each guest will receive a free drink and appetizers.

Date: Sept. 10
Time: 5:30-7:30 pm
Place: Marlow's Tavern at Emory Point
1520 Avenue Pl, Atlanta, GA 30322
To RSVP: email by Sept. 8

Kaiser Permanente Run/Walk

The School of Public Health and Employee Development and Wellness Services are co-sponsoring the Georgia State Panthers team. We invite alumni to join our faculty, staff and students on the team.

Date: Sept. 24
Time: 5:30 pm
Place: Downtown
755 Hank Aaron Dr., 
Atlanta, GA 30315
To Register:
  • Select ‘Corporate Teams’
  • Then search for ‘Georgia State Panthers’

2015 Urban Health Lecture

Tim Keane, Commissioner of Atlanta’s Department of Planning and Community Development, will be the keynote speaker for this year's Urban Health Lecture. Alumni and friends of the university are invited.

Date: Oct. 7
Time: 10:30 am-noon
Place: Centennial Hall Auditorium
100 Auburn Ave.

25th Annual AIDS Walk Atlanta

Georgia State's Public Health Student Association is sponsoring a team for this fundraiser to support local agencies that provide treatment, medications, prevention education, meals, mental health services and more for people with and at risk of HIV/AIDS. Alumni are welcome to walk with us.

Date: Oct. 18
Time: 11 am
Place: 10th Street between Monroe and Charles Allen
To Register:

APHA Alumni Reception 

If you're attending the American Public Health Association annual conference in Chicago this fall, we hope you'll make time to stop by our reception. 

Nov. 2
Time: 6:30-8 pm 
Place: McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks
41 E Chestnut Street
Chicago, IL 60611


Show Your SPH Pride!

We are proud to announce that we have opened 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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