Tania Basta, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor in Community Health Services
Ohio University, School of Public Health Sciences and Professions, Athens, OH
Tania Basta is an Assistant Professor in a tenure track position in the School of Public Health Sciences and Professions at Ohio University in Athens, OH. She is responsible for coordinating the undergraduate Community Health Services program, advising students, as well as teaching undergraduate and graduate community health courses. In addition, to her teaching responsibilities, Tania is involved with research focusing on increasing the quality of life among individuals living with HIV. She has presented and published several peer-reviewed publications related to HIV and mental health and HIV and exercise behavior. Furthermore, she is involved with a multi-million dollar project funded by USAID, Communication for Change (C-Change), which involves several international and domestic partners, including Ohio University.
Value of my MPH
I strongly believe that I am where I am today because of the MPH program at Indiana University. I initially pursued an MPH to further my career in worksite health; however, after becoming involved in research projects with IU faculty, I decided to pursue a Ph.D. in health behavior at the University of Georgia. My MPH degree not only prepared me for coursework at the Ph.D. level, but also helped me secure my tenure track position at Ohio University. One of the things I learned from my MPH program, that has been invaluable, is the importance of engaging community members in research and evaluation. I am often consulted by other faculty members who did not get this training or experience; therefore, I feel confident that my MPH program, coupled with Ph.D., has provided me with a unique set of community-based participatory skills.
Desiree Goetze, MPH, CHES, CPP
Research Associate and Assistant Project Manager
Indiana Problem Gambling Awareness Program, Indiana Prevention Resource Center, Indiana University, Department of Applied Health Science, Bloomington, Indiana
Desiree Goetze is a research associate and assistant project manager for the Indiana Problem Gambling Awareness Program at the Indiana Prevention Resource Center. She is responsible for the development, coordination and implementation of problem gambling outreach and awareness activities. In addition, she provides consultation with problem gambling prevention providers and problem gambling counselors. She creates awareness materials including management of the website updates. Desiree is involved with research focusing on youth access to tobacco. After obtaining her MPH, she worked for several years with the Tobacco Retailer Inspection Program. She has presented at several national conferences on youth access to tobacco. Furthermore, she serves on the board of the Indiana Addictions Issues Coalition and the State of Indiana’s prevention planning council.
Value of my MPH
There’s no doubt that obtaining my MPH degree lead me on my current career path. When I left the working world to pursue my MPH, I knew I wanted to do research at the program level. From the moment I became involved with the program, I knew the MPH from Indiana University would prepare me for working in the community yet still give me the skills needed to pursue my research interests. One of the most important things I learned in the MPH program is that public health bridges the gap between research and practice. It’s possible to have a career that focuses on research and still work in the community. I still look to the MPH faculty and members of my MPH cohort for advice and partnerships. I believe my experience as an MPH student at Indiana University has shaped my views, beliefs, and practice in public health today.
Iliana Kiourkas, MPH
Health Communications Fellow
National Cancer Institute
Illiana Kiourkas is completing a year-long fellowship program under the National Cancer Institute’s Health Communications Internship Program at the National Institutes of Health. She is the Health Communications Fellow in the Office of Partnerships and Dissemination Initiatives (OPDI), in which she works with both the Partnership component and the Multicultural Media Outreach team. She is currently assisting in the phased development of a new central web-based repository for staff of the Office of Communications and Education (OCE) to track partnership-related activities.
Illiana participates on the team developing a virtual community of practice for the Research to Reality component of Cancer Control P.L.A.N.E.T (Plan, Link, Act, Network with Evidence-Based Tools). Cancer Control P.L.A.N.E.T web-based portal is a collaborative effort aimed at providing access to data and resources that can help cancer control planners, health educators, program staff, and researchers design, implement, and evaluate evidence-based cancer control programs. Illiana also assists with the review and refinement of a self-study cancer control and prevention curriculum for public health practitioners. She assists with the development and planning of several web-based seminar sessions on cancer-related issues. Along with her experience with multicultural media outreach, she assists the public affairs specialist in the OPDI office with organizing and planning interviews between minority media outlets and NCI researchers and specialists on various topics that address minority communities and underserved populations. Illiana received her Bachelor of Science in Health Science from Towson University and her Master of Public Health from Indiana University Bloomington.
Value of my MPH and advice for MPH students
The MPH allowed me to gain further education, training, and development in the realm of the public health arena that I was introduced to as an undergraduate student. I now have the capacity and confidence to complete a variety of tasks that are pivotal to my office’s outreach and mission of disseminating research results to the public to improve the lives of those affected by cancer. I am able to assist with the planning, development, and evaluation of materials and resources containing the latest, evidence-based cancer information that are to be disseminated to diverse audiences. The MPH is a degree that is the most widely recognized professional credential for leadership in public health. Use your time in the MPH program to develop as a public health professional. Do not rely solely on the coursework to give you the most adequate preparation for the workforce that follows. Get involved in as many related opportunities to refine your skill set in public health. Apply yourself diligently in both the program’s coursework and professional development activities. Learn from your colleagues, advisors, mentors, and seek guidance from them as well. What you get out of the MPH program is based on the effort, time, and dedication you devote to it, therefore, never settle for complacency. Always strive to find ways to challenge yourself; it will benefit you, others, and your career as a public health professional.
E. Lisako McKyer, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor in Health Education
Department of Health and Kinesiology,College of Education and Human Development, Texas A&M University, TX
Lisako McKyer is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University. She is the founder of the new Child and Adolescent Health Research Lab (CAHRL), a research arm of the Department of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A&M University. Research undertaken by the CAHRL utilizes a socio-ecological approach to understanding and improving child and adolescent health. The focus is on micro and macro factors influencing health outcomes and health behaviors. Micro-level factors include personality, attitude, and knowledge. Macro-level factors include family and friends, neighborhoods, school, and even politics. Because many child and adolescent issues touch the world of politics, the CARHL looks at the possible costs to the health system now and in the future.
Jarret Thompson, MPH
University of Chicago HIV/AIDS
Mr. Jarret Thompson, MPH is currently the Administrative Director of the University of Illinois Chicago HIV/AIDS Community Clinic Network. He has over 10 years experience in non-profit, health care management, focusing on HIV/AIDS administrative operations. He provides fiscal, administrative, quality improvement and strategic planning operations and oversight to the UIC HIV/AIDS Community Clinic Network. Mr. Thompson sits on several committees including the AIDS Foundation of Chicago’s Executive Committee; Chicago Department of Public Health’s Part A Planning Council; and is a Chicago Department of Public Health, HRSA, AIDS Foundation of Chicago and National Institutes of Health grant proposal reviewer. Prior to UIC, Jarret was director of HIV/AIDS programs for Erie Family Health Center in Chicago and was the Shelter Plus Care Administrator for Wishard Health Services in Indianapolis, IN.
Value of my MPH
My MPH experience at Indiana University was individualized and exceptional. I was able to work full-time and attend classes full-time in both Bloomington and Indianapolis.
Stephanie Woodcox, MPH
State Adolescent Health Coordinator
Indiana State Department of Health
Stephanie Woodcox is the State Adolescent Health Coordinator in the Division of Maternal and Child Health at the Indiana State Department of Health. In this capacity, she serves as the Program Director for Indiana RESPECT, the state’s teen pregnancy prevention initiative; acts as a consultant to school-based adolescent health clinics and family planning clinics; provides oversight to the administration of the Indiana Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS); and facilitates the Indiana Coalition to Improve Adolescent Health. Stephanie also manages grants and contracts, prepares budgets and monitors expenditures, and provides training and technical assistance opportunities to grantees and communities. She received her BS from Ball State University and her MPH from Indiana University. Stephanie is also a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).
Value of my MPH
When accepted to the MPH program at Indiana University, my interest was in pursuing a career in occupational or worksite health. This changed shortly after beginning coursework, as I was introduced to the emerging field of adolescent health—its scope, complexity, and uniqueness to public health. For the duration of the MPH program, my focus was on the adolescent population (ages 10-24) and issues related to adolescents. The MPH internship afforded me the opportunity to teach sexuality education to adolescents and instill the skills, strengths, and competencies of positive youth development to these young people. The internship, coupled with the MPH coursework, provided valuable experience in program planning, collaboration, and evaluation. I believe that these experiences have propelled me to success in working with adolescents and community partners as the State Adolescent Health Coordinator.
Charlotte Woods, MPH
Department of Family and Community Medicine, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee
Ms. Charlotte Woods (formerly Charlotte Horner), MPH is currently working as the Program Coordinator in the Family & Community Medicine Department at Meharry Medical College. Before moving to Tennessee, she worked at the Social and Health Research Center in San Antonio after her internship over there. She still keeps in touch with the center.
Value of my MPH
My experience as an intern at the Social and Health Research Center in San Antonio assisted with my transition into a permanent position with the research center, organizing community health events, coordinating the implementation of school-based health programs, and playing a key role in a nationwide National Institutes of Health study.