Leadership & Faculty
MPH@SIMMONS

Our professors are distinguished educators and public health leaders who are devoted to improving health across different populations. They are deeply committed to advancing health equity and are involved in health equity initiatives locally, nationally, and globally. All are dedicated teachers who are committed to excellence and who take pride in mentoring their students.

To learn more about our leadership and faculty team, click on the images below or contact an admission counselor at 1-844-622-2872Phone Number:1-844-622-2872 or email us.

Felipe Agudelo
Assistant Professor
Sharrelle Barber
Course Designer
Chris Chanyasulkit
Course Designer
Alice Fidden-Green
Course Designer
Kristin Osiecki
Course Designer
John Quattrochi
Interim Program Director, Assistant Professor
Tralonda Triplett
Course Designer
Meenakshi Verma-Agrawal
Assistant Program Director
Shelley White
Program Director (Sabbatical 2020-2021), Associate Professor

Steering Committee

MPH@Simmons is fortunate to benefit from expert advisors from our campus community. Our MPH Steering Committee is composed of an interdisciplinary team of accomplished Simmons faculty and administrators who helped to envision and implement this unique curriculum. The committee plays an integral role in the ongoing development of our program, including our curriculum, applied experiences, and student success.

Joanna Almeida
MPH Steering Committee Member
Donna Cole
MPH Steering Committee Member
Susan Duty
MPH Steering Committee Member
Valerie Leiter
MPH Steering Committee Member
Elizabeth Scott
MPH Steering Committee Member

Advisory Committee

During the development of MPH@Simmons, we gathered critical input from community leaders and advisors. Our standing MPH Advisory Committee represents an impressive array of public health leaders who provide ongoing invaluable feedback on tailoring the MPH program to the current job market and making sure that the program helps address areas of need in public health and health equity.

Nalani Brown
MPH Advisory Committee Member
Hector Carrasco
MPH Advisory Committee Member
Phillipe Copeland
MPH Advisory Committee Member
Mike Farabaugh
MPH Advisory Committee Member
Barry Levy
MPH Advisory Committee Member
Abigail Ortiz
MPH Advisory Committee Member
Carlene Pavlos
MPH Advisory Committee Member
Jo-Anna L. Rorie
MPH Advisory Committee Member
Liz Salomon
MPH Advisory Committee Member
Renée White
MPH Advisory Committee Member

Felipe Agudelo

Assistant Professor

Education

Doctor of Education, DePaul University
Master of Public Health, National School of Public Health at University of Antioquia (Colombia)

Felipe Agudelo is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health at Simmons University. He began his career in public health with community projects focused on sanitation in rural areas in Colombia. Upon completing his MPH, he worked on various projects related to homeless children and civil rights and health conditions among sex workers. This experience led him to become coordinator of the Sexual Violence Observatory in Medellin, Colombia, where he continued to develop his passion for community health education and communication strategies to effectively reach vulnerable populations. He was drawn to education, specifically to curriculum studies, to better understand the role of education as a social determinant of health and to explore the use of various pedagogical approaches for the education of future public health practitioners.

While he was completing his doctorate, Agudelo worked at the Social Science Research Center at DePaul University on projects related to needle exchange among heroin users and human trafficking. He also worked on topics related to race, incarceration, and the discipline gap. Following the completion of his doctorate, Agudelo taught a course on immigrant and refugee health to MPH students at Boston University School of Public Health, and he worked as an education program manager in the Community Health Sciences Department. He has also worked at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences as an adjunct professor teaching graduate courses.

Agudelo’s current research focuses on the school-to-prison pipeline and the role of schools in developing health inequities as well as pedagogical approaches to public health education. When he is not in the classroom, Agudelo enjoys running, playing the ukulele, and documentaries about World War II.

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Sharrelle Barber

Course Designer

Education

ScD in Society, Human Development, and Health with a concentration in Social Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Master of Public Health (MPH) in Health Behavior and Health Education, University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health
BS in Biology, Bennett College

Sharrelle Barber serves as course designer for Health Advocacy, Community Organizing, and Innovation, and she has also consulted on the development of the MPH program’s Health Equity Change Project. Her areas of expertise include social determinants of health inequalities, cardiovascular epidemiology, and community health. Her research focuses on the intersection of “place, race, and health” and examines the role of structural racism (i.e., concentrated economic disadvantage and residential segregation) in shaping health and racial/ethnic health inequalities among Blacks with a focus on the Southern United States and Brazil. To that end, she has conducted a series of empirical investigations in the Jackson Heart Study based in Jackson, Mississippi, and the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil), a multisite cohort study based in six urban centers across Brazil.

Her current research interests involve understanding the role of structural racism, including concentrated economic disadvantage and racial residential segregation, in shaping cardiovascular disease risk and onset among African Americans with a particular focus on residential environments in the Southern United States. To that end, she has conducted both qualitative and quantitative research in several Southern communities including rural, eastern North Carolina; Mobile, Alabama; and Jackson, Mississippi. Barber is currently working on several projects that examine residential segregation and CVD risk in the Jackson Heart Study (JHS) and the ELSA-Brasil.

In addition to her role at Simmons University, Barber is an assistant research professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health. As one with a strong passion for social justice, Barber is committed to conducting research that broadens our understanding of the role residential environments play in shaping health and contributing to health inequities among racial/ethnic minority groups both domestically and abroad. Ultimately, she hopes to work with communities through research and advocacy to address the underlying structural determinants of health through social and economic policy initiatives.

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Christ Chanyasulkit

Course Designer

Education

PhD in Political Science, Northeastern University
Master of Public Health, Boston University School of Public Health
Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Art History, Boston University

Chris Chanyasulkit PhD, MPH, serves as course designer for Socio-Structural Determinants of Health and Health Policy Analysis and Change. Chanyasulkit comes to Simmons with a background in policy advocacy that is grounded in a strong belief in eliminating the structural barriers to equity for vulnerable populations. She holds leadership positions with local, state, regional, and national governance and civic engagement organizations, working to promote racial and gender equity and policy advocacy.

In addition to currently co-chairing the Brookline Commission for Women, Chanyasulkit was a gubernatorial appointee to both the Massachusetts Asian American Commission and the Commission on the Status of Women. In that capacity, she advocated for the needs of Asian Americans and women throughout the commonwealth.

Prior to joining Simmons University, Chanyasulkit served as the assistant director of the Brookline Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Relations. After earning her bachelor of arts at Boston University, with dual majors in biology and art history, she joined AmeriCorps and assisted nonprofits in developing and maintaining technological competency in the administration and delivery of services. Following her service in the nonprofit field, she returned to the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) and completed a master’s degree in public health, concentrating in maternal and child health care. After graduating from BUSPH, she worked in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health for over 10 years. She also holds a doctoral degree in political science with a concentration in public policy from Northeastern University, where she conducted research on health disparities. Chanyasulkit has taught courses in health disparities, American government, international affairs, and globalization at Bentley University, Northeastern University, and Babson College. She is a regular guest lecturer at local colleges, universities, and community groups.

In addition to serving on several state and national boards, Chanyasulkit also serves as:

  • An elected Brookline town meeting member
  • Trustee for the library board of Brookline
  • A Brookline Community Emergency Response Team member
  • A Brookline Medical Reserve Corps member
  • A steering committee member of the Brookline Asian American Family Network
  • A steering committee member of the West Suburban Community Health Network Area
  • A member of the community advisory board of the Institute for Asian American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston
  • A mentor mom for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s Parent Connection program

With a proven public health background, Chanyasulkit served as chair of the education board, co-chair of the joint policy committee, and was recently elected to the executive board of the American Public Health Association. With a commitment to ending health disparities, she is also an appointed member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Regional Health Equity Council for New England. When she’s not at Simmons, you can likely find her running around one of Brookline’s many parks with her husband and three young children.

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Alice Fiddian-Green

Course Designer

Education

PhD candidate, University of Massachusetts Amherst, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, Department of Health Promotion and Policy
Master of Public Health (MPH), University of Massachusetts Amherst, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, Department of Health Policy and Management

Alice Fiddian-Green serves as course designer for Community-Based Research for Health Equity. Her areas of expertise include inequities in reproductive health; substance misuse and treatment; community-based inquiry; and engaged, visual research methods, including PhotoVoice and digital storytelling. In addition to her role at Simmons University, Fiddian-Green is a teaching associate at the UMass Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences, where she teaches Health Inequities, History of Public Health, Principles of Community Health Education, and Maternal and Child Health in the Developing World.

Additionally, Fiddian-Green consults with a range of local, national, and international health organizations to research and develop sustainable programs and policies that promote health equity and justice. Her dissertation research is a mixed-methods study examining trauma, substance misuse, and coexisting mental health conditions among women of childbearing age.

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Kristin Osiecki

Course Designer

Education

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Rice University
PhD in Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health
MS in Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health
BS in Health Education, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Kristin Osiecki serves as course designer for Environmental Health and Justice, as well as the elective course, GIS, Spatial Analysis and Health. Her goal is to encourage students to actively participate in the exchange of ideas looking at population health problems through multiple lenses. She wants students to become engaged and responsible citizens who believe that they can be an integral part of the process to help people and promote healthy changes in our communities.

Osiecki’s research focuses on projects that investigate the mechanisms and mediating factors to assess the associations between disease incidence and social and environmental covariates in disadvantaged communities. Space and place matter, requiring a multidisciplinary approach to investigate complex and challenging public health issues that relate to the built and physical environment, such as pollution, land use, age of housing, green space, or food deserts. These factors shape the way in which we live, work, and play. Osiecki works with collaborative teams to investigate social vulnerability and environmental burden in both urban and rural areas.

After earning her PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Osiecki was a two-year post-doctoral fellow at Rice University working on a multi-university collaboration with sociology and civil and environmental engineering faculty from Rice University, atmospheric science faculty from the University of Houston, and biomedical informatics specialists at the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHealth) at Houston as a part of the Houston Aerosol Characterization and Health Experiment (HACHE). The study investigated which Houston neighborhoods are most at risk for negative health effects due to air pollution from traffic and industry. Her interdisciplinary background in public health and geographic information systems allowed her to work on multiple facets of the study providing expertise on the relationship between air pollution exposures and increased health risks associated with respiratory and heart disease.

She spent two years as an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield incorporating experiential learning into public health curriculum. Osiecki currently teaches a variety of public health courses and is expanding her research interests to study the pedagogy of public health teaching. She believes in the importance of integrative learning to help public health professionals address inequities in our neighborhoods.

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John Quattrochi

Interim Program Director
Assistant Professor

Education

Doctor of Science, Harvard School of Public Health
BS in Economics, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

During the 2020-2021 Academic Year, Professor Quattrochi is serving as the Interim Program Director for MPH@Simmons while Professor White completes a research sabbatical examining immigration justice movements at the US-Mexico border.

John Quattrochi is a quantitative social scientist and an Assistant Professor of Public Health at Simmons University. His teaching and research are motivated by questions such as, “Why do people in some parts of the world die so much younger, fall ill so much more often, and earn so much less money than people in other parts of the world? Is there anything we should or can do about it?”

To answer these and other questions, Quattrochi uses theory and methods from epidemiology, economics, demography, and political science. Much of his work focuses on one particular part of the world to better understand the local politics, culture, and economy and build strong relationships with local scientists, policymakers, and activists. He focuses on the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) because it is relatively understudied. Quattrochi is a research fellow with the International Center for Advanced Research and Training at Panzi Hospital and the Evangelical University in Africa. He also often works with the Catholic University of Bukavu.

After earning his bachelor’s degree from the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania, Quattrochi studied ecology and evolutionary biology for one year at the University of Naples (Italy) Federico II as a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar. Seeking practical research experience, he managed an aquatic ecology lab at Florida International University, looking at how food webs respond to human impacts. Then, wanting to apply ecology to global health, he spent a year studying malaria mosquito ecology at the Uganda Virus Research Institute as a Fulbright Fellow. Quattrochi completed his doctoral training at Harvard School of Public Health. He wrote his dissertation on child mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa, during which time he lived for six months in The Gambia. He then lived in Bukavu (DRC) for a year as a research fellow in development economics for Wageningen University (Netherlands). Along the way, he worked as a community organizer, waiter, sandwich-maker, barista, landscaper, newspaper deliverer, camp counselor, and tutor.

Quattrochi is currently researching the eastern DRC, studying gender-based violence, security, and female empowerment as well as humanitarian assistance to build resilience. He is committed to building research capacity in partnership with local organizations while pursuing a research agenda that draws generalizable lessons from locally tailored studies of the relationships among illness, poverty, and human security.

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Tralonda Triplett

Course Designer

Education

PhD in Epidemiology, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine
Master of Public Health (MPH), University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine
BS in Industrial Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
BA in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing, Clark Atlanta University

Dr. Tralonda Triplett joins Simmons University as course designer for Public Health Leadership & Management. Prior to joining Simmons, she earned undergraduate honors in Business Administration and Industrial and Systems Engineering from Clark Atlanta University and Georgia Tech respectively. She is honored as a McKnight Doctoral Fellow and Distinguished Alumna of the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine where she earned her Master of Public Health (MPH) and PhD in Epidemiology.

Her dissertation, titled “Praying Hands: Influences of Religiosity and Spirituality on Sexual Risk-Taking Among Black, College-Attending Emerging Adults,” enhanced existing HIV risk profiles of this unique subpopulation and revealed associations of spirituality and religiosity with sexual risk behaviors and socio-sexual networks. Her research philosophy has since focused on initiating and sustaining health behaviors among college-attending emerging adult populations.

A social epidemiologist and public health ethicist, Dr. Triplett brings unique approaches to health promotion and disease prevention in her current role as global health consultant and director of operations for the Institute for Successful Leadership. Dr. Triplett has invested more than two decades into her signature style of developing health research, communication, and behavioral interventions that are theoretically sound, culturally competent, and geared toward comprehensive wellness for all populations. Her prevention interventions have spanned myriad health priorities, including HIV/AIDS/STIs, violence against women, unwanted/unintended pregnancy, gang participation, substance abuse, sexual assault, and a range of chronic and infectious diseases. She has also authored professional development programs for global health professionals at Population Services International and served as a national coach and technical assistance provider for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Work@Health® workplace health promotion program. Her passion and commitment to contributing to public health policy, planning, and practice led to her to the International Journal of Ethnic College Health for which she serves as editor-in-chief. She also provides keynote presentations promoting ecological approaches to disease prevention across the life span.

Her varied expertise effecting positive change in population health status and policy from public, private, governmental, academic, and global perspectives make her an excellent addition to the Simmons University faculty. She eagerly welcomes the opportunity to impart the benefits of her experience to emerging leaders in the field of public health.

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Meenakshi Verma-Agrawal

Assistant Program Director

Education

Master of Public Health (MPH), University of Massachusetts Amherst
BS in Biology, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Meenakshi Verma-Agrawal is the Assistant Program Director and Associate Professor of Practice at MPH@Simmons. Prof. Verma-Agrawal began working with Simmons University in 2018 as the course designer for the Boston immersion: Racism, Oppression, and Health. Her areas of expertise include public health, organizational development, and racial justice. In addition to her role at Simmons University, Professor Verma-Agrawal provides trainings to community-based organizations, public agencies, and corporations on how to lead with a racial justice analysis. Her clients include Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers and Brigham and Women's Hospital's Center for Community Health and Health Equity. She has been on the board of the Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center for the last 10 years. Professor Verma-Agrawal’s work in racial justice is grounded in the training and mentorship from the Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center’s Health Promotion Center, which focuses on the work of racial justice both inside and outside the health center. In 2016, Verma-Agrawal co-led The Summit on Race and Equity, a two-day conference held in Boston. From 2016-2017, she was a Fellow with Blue Cross Blue Shield's Massachusetts Institute for Community Health Leadership, with a cohort of some the most impactful leaders in public health, government, nonprofits and health care.

For the past 15 years, Professor Verma-Agrawal has worked with family foundations, small and large nonprofits, and start-up organizations, both locally and internationally. While working in Bombay, India, Professor Verma-Agrawal conducted a citywide public health analysis resulting in systemic changes in the city’s approach to patients’ rights and regulations. As a Professor, consultant and trainer, racial justice is the common thread throughout her work. Professor Verma-Agrawal racializes as Asian and is ethnically Indian and is an immigrant; and her work is rooted in building solidarity with other people of color in a collective movement toward liberation.

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Shelley White

Program Director (Sabbatical 2020-2021), Associate Professor

Education

PhD in Sociology, Boston College
Master of Public Health (MPH) in International Health, Boston University
Bachelor’s in Occupational Therapy, Boston University

During the 2020-2021 Academic Year, Professor White is completing a research sabbatical examining immigration justice movements at the US-Mexico border.

Shelley White is an Associate Professor of Public Health and Sociology and the Program Director of the online Master of Public Health program. An interdisciplinary scholar, White completed her PhD in Sociology, her Master of Public Health in International Health, and her bachelor’s in Occupational Therapy. The common vein of her career is a commitment to health and human rights.

White began her career as a pediatric occupational therapist, supporting bilingual and integrative public school programs for children with complex learning needs, many of whom were recent immigrants to the Boston area. Having also worked with migrant youth in Mexico, she discovered her passion for global health. Upon completing her MPH, she worked on HIV/AIDS policy and programming, overseeing federal and state HIV care programs for the state of Maine and implementing early response programs in Lesotho, southern Africa. White was drawn to sociology to better understand global and domestic inequalities, power dynamics in society, and the promise of social movements. She greatly enjoys working with her students as they develop their own critical analyses in learning about health and social inequalities and understanding how collectives mobilize for social change. She is the proud recipient of Simmons’ 2013 Professor of the Year Award. White is enthusiastic about directing the online MPH program at Simmons, which focuses on health equity and racial equity, and prepares graduates for leadership roles in addressing the socio-structural determinants of health.

White continues to engage in global health, human rights, and development practice. She has served as a board member and pro-bono consultant for a number of global and domestic organizations, including WE Charity, an international nonprofit engaged in partnered international development and youth empowerment; SocMed, which teaches and promotes the practice of social medicine in Uganda, Haiti, and the U.S.; and Fair Trade Campaigns, which promotes economic, gender and environmental justice in trade practices. She served as inaugural director of academic development for the AP® with WE service-learning program; founding chair of the Public Health Working Group on Primary Prevention of War; past chair of the American Public Health Association’s Trade and Health Forum; and past co-chair of the Steering Committee for Human Rights Cities: Boston and Beyond. She was honored as the American Public Health Association’s 2019 recipient of the Victor Sidel and Barry Levy Award for Peace.

White’s research focuses on political economic factors shaping health, health inequities, and health policy. Her recent studies examine immigration justice and social movements intersectionality at the US-Mexico border; the impacts of economic globalization, corporations, extractive economy, and trade; HIV responses and practice paradigms; FDA regulation of gendered medical devices; social movements for single-payer health care; and primary preventive approaches to war and militarism. She engages sociological theories of knowledge and professions, and scholarship on social movements and social change, to understand how institutions and collectives respond to upstream factors shaping health and social outcomes. Her recent publications appear in the American Journal of Public Health; Journal of Human Rights Practice; Health, Risk & Society; Education, Citizenship and Social Justice; Interface; Critical Public Health; and Public Health Reports. White has also authored and edited books focused on leveraging sociological skills for social change, including The Engaged Sociologist: Connecting the Classroom to the Community (Sage, 2020), Sociologists in Action: Sociology, Social Change, and Social Justice (Sage, 2011, 2013), and Sociologists in Action on Inequalities: Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality (Sage 2014).

When she is not in the classroom, White enjoys playing tennis, doing artwork, spending time on the water, and particularly loves spending time with her 13 nieces and nephews.

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Joanna Almeida

MPH Steering Committee Member

Education

Doctor of Science (ScD), Harvard School of Public Health
Master of Social Work (MSW), Boston University
Master of Public Health (MPH), Boston University

Joanna Almeida is an Assistant Professor at Simmons School of Social Work. Before beginning her faculty position, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Institute on Urban Health Research at Northeastern University.

After earning her master’s degrees, Almeida was a fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where she conducted public health research at the local, state, and federal levels. As part of her fellowship, she conducted epidemiologic research for the Miami-Dade County Health Department on risk factors for Hepatitis C among clients of a public STD clinic, and she helped identify unique risk factors for childhood lead poisoning among recently arrived immigrants in Miami, Florida. This research informed the development of lead poisoning screening guidelines for health care practitioners in Miami-Dade County.

Recently, Almeida completed a National Institute on Drug Abuse/National Institutes of Health fellowship on substance use among Latino immigrants. Almeida’s primary research is focused on understanding social factors such as social networks/social support, poverty, discrimination, and neighborhood conditions that influence the deterioration of immigrants’ health after arrival in the U.S. Her work has been covered by The Boston Globe and by Boston Public Radio. In addition, she was invited to discuss her research findings at the State Library of Massachusetts.

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Donna Cole

MPH Steering Committee Member

Education

PhD in Sociology, Northeastern University
Master of Public Health (MPH), University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Donna Cole currently teaches a course on HIV/AIDS in the Department of Sociology at Central Connecticut State University. Prior to teaching at Central, she worked for two years at Suffolk University as a lecturer in the Department of Sociology, where she taught courses on social medicine and HIV/AIDS for the Master of Arts in Women’s Health program. In addition, she served as a mentor to students interested in minority women’s health and served as practicum coordinator for students who were conducting research on HIV/AIDS among African American women. Cole's research examines the impact of mental health on adherence among HIV-positive African-American women.

In 2010, Cole earned her Master of Public Health at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) School of Community Health Sciences, where she worked closely with faculty on a variety of issues including sexual assault prevention and HIV/AIDS. She also serves as a reviewer for the Journal of Health Disparities and assisted in the data collection of a CDC-funded study on primary sexual assault and violence prevention. The majority of her work in the Epidemiology program at UNLV focused on the importance of structural intervention in the prevention of HIV/AIDS in southern Africa.

Cole’s doctoral studies focused on the status of health and education in post-colonial Botswana. While in Botswana she worked with the CDC Global AIDS Program to provide health education strategies. Her work there led her to draw parallels between the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS among women in Sub-Saharan Africa and African-American women in the United States.

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Susan Duty

MPH Steering Committee Member

Education

Doctor of Science (ScD), Harvard School of Public Health
Master of Science in Nursing, Simmons University

Susan Duty teaches in the nursing program at Simmons University. She is an associate professor and teaches across the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs. She is also certified as an Adult Nurse Practitioner with specialization in Occupational Health.

In addition to her teaching responsibilities at Simmons, Duty works clinically at South Shore Hospital as a nurse research scientist and is a visiting scholar at the Harvard School of Public Health. Her research agenda explores environmental exposures to plasticizers, including phthalates and bisphenol A, and she works collaboratively with students and multidisciplinary faculty on studies exploring Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization of people, pets, and surfaces. She is the author of numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and has presented her work regionally, nationally, and internationally. Recently she extended her scholarly activity into clinical research translation aimed at reducing 30-day readmissions, enhancing mammography compliance, improving satisfaction with patient care, and reducing hospital-acquired adverse outcomes.

Duty has secured grant funding from highly competitive sources, including the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the Simmons University President’s Fund as well as from private foundations such as the Passport Foundation and the New England Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association. She recently received a $250,000 workforce development grant from the Commonwealth Corporation to improve the infrastructure for palliative care education at Simmons University and at our practice partner sites.

Duty is a member of the Organization of Nurse Leaders Research Council. She also serves as a peer reviewer for many top-tier journals. She received the Theresa LaPlante Award for Excellence in Administration from Sigma Theta Tau and is treasurer of the Theta-at-Large Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International.

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Valerie Leiter

MPH Steering Committee Member

Education

PhD in Sociology and Social Policy, Brandeis University

Valerie Leiter teaches courses on medical sociology, research methods, and sociology of childhood and youth. These topics dovetail with her research on children and youth with disabilities, medicalization, and gender and health. At Simmons, Leiter is the Co-Chair of the Institutional Review Board, Co-Director of the Public Health program, and a member of the steering committee for the Master in Public Policy program.

Leiter’s first book, Their Time Has Come: Youth with Disabilities on the Cusp of Adulthood, was published in 2012, a result of her William T. Grant Foundation Scholars project on the “Transition to Adulthood Among Youth with Disabilities.” The Sociology of Health & Illness: Critical Perspectives (9th edition), co-edited with Peter Conrad, was also published in 2012.

Leiter is active in the Society for the Study of Social Problems and the American Sociological Association (ASA), where she has multiple leadership positions, including membership on ASA’s Committee on Professional Ethics and the Editorial Advisory Board of Social Problems. She received the Irving K. Zola Award for Emerging Scholars in Disability Studies in 2004 for her work on “Parental Activism, Professional Dominance, and Early Childhood Disability.”

Leiter mentors several students each year on their independent research projects. Recent topics include women’s body images, health care for refugees and asylees, the role of faith and spirituality in medical care, calorie count menu policies, youth culture in Korea, and STDs among women who have sex with women.

Leiter is also a dedicated student of Iyengar yoga, learning from multiple teachers in the Boston area.

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Elizabeth Scott

MPH Steering Committee Member

Education

PhD in Microbiology, King’s College London

At Simmons, Elizabeth Scott is an Associate Professor of Biology, and a Co-Director of the Undergraduate Program in Public Health. She is also the co-director and founder of the Simmons Center for Hygiene and Health in Home and Community.

Scott’s research looks at broad issues associated with the transmission of microbial pathogens in the indoor environment. Her applied research allows undergraduate students to get involved in developing and piloting research methodologies and get published in peer review journals.

Scott serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene and on the editorial board of the American Journal of Infection Control. She disseminates information on matters of hygiene and infection control and is frequently quoted in the press.

Her passion for microbiology and public health is shown by her rigorous preparation of Simmons students for graduate programs and careers in this field. She is also deeply committed to finding strategies to inform the public on aspects of microbiology and infection control as well as keeping women in the STEM disciplines, including strengthening the STEM pipeline for women from school through to post-doctoral careers.

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Nalani Brown

MPH Advisory Committee Member

Education

MPH, Boston University

Title

Public Health Consultant

Nalani Brown, MPH, currently works as an independent public health consultant. She previously served as a Fiscal Coordinator for the Boston Public Health Commission. Over her career, Nalani has worked on programs targeting obesity as well as initiatives to improve healthcare and insurance access. Ms. Brown received her Bachelors in Public Health from Simmons and her MPH in Social Behavior from Boston University. Nalani is passionate about advancing optimal health opportunity and equity for all communities through improving access to fundamental health resources in underserved communities, particularly through identifying and dismantling the root causes of systemic racial health inequities.

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Hector Carrasco

MPH Advisory Committee Member

Education

MD, Tecnologico de Monterrey (ITESM)
MPH, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Title

Consultant

Organization

Partners in Health México, Pan American Health Organization

Hector Carrasco is a physician and public health professional with a strong interest in health systems strengthening and bio-politics through community engagement.

After finishing his medical training, Hector worked as a physician and program coordinator for Partners In Health (PIH) in a mountainous region of the poorest state of Mexico, Chiapas. For more than three years, he designed, co-created, and implemented community health worker programs to address child malnutrition and non-communicable diseases.

Currently, Hector is a third year Doctor of Public Health candidate at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. His research focuses on three main areas: global health education and training, social preferences for health policies and community organizing as a tool to improve health and promote wellbeing. He also holds an M.D. from the Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM) and a Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University.

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Phillipe Copeland

MPH Advisory Committee Member

Education

BA, University of Massachusetts
MSW, Simmons College
MTS, Harvard University School of Divinity
PhD, Simmons College

Organization

Boston University School of Social Work

Dr. Phillipe Copeland is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Boston University School of Social Work. His scholarship, teaching and practice focus on the intersections of social justice, democracy, and social welfare with an emphasis on anti-racism education. Areas include racial capitalism, the Black Lives Matter Movement, mass incarceration, and health justice. He is also a licensed, practicing clinical social worker specializing in Adult Behavioral Health.

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Mike Farabaugh

MPH Advisory Committee Member

Education

MPH, Boston University

Title

Institutional Development Director

Organization

Himalayan Cataract Project

Mike Farabaugh is the Director of Institutional Development at the Himalayan Cataract Project, focusing on increasing foundation, government, and corporate support to eliminate preventable blindness (cureblindness.org). Previously, Mike was the Director of Programs at the St. Boniface Haiti Foundation, working in southern Haiti. He was a Senior Advisor for 12 years at John Snow, Inc., concentrating projects focused on HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. In this, Mike provided strategic and operational oversight, project management, and technical direction to the projects. Before pursuing a graduate degree in global health, he directed HIV prevention work with at-risk youth in Tanzania; worked in refugee resettlement in Vermont; helped to start a charter school in Houston; and was a Teach For America corps member, teaching fourth grade on the Mexican border. He has a BA in History/Anthropology from James Madison University and an MPH in global health from Boston University School of Public Health.

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Barry Levy

MPH Advisory Committee Member

Education

MD, Cornell University
MPH, Harvard University

Title

Adjunct Professor

Organization

Tufts University School of Medicine

Barry S. Levy, M.D., M.P.H., a physician and epidemiologist, is an Adjunct Professor of Public Health at Tufts University School of Medicine and an independent consultant in occupational and environmental health. Dr. Levy has served as a medical epidemiologist with the CDC, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and a director of several international health programs and projects. He has authored more than 200 articles and book chapters and co-edited 20 books, primarily on occupational and environmental health and the public health impacts of climate change, social injustice, war, and terrorism. He has served as president of the American Public Health Association and has received its highest award.

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Abigail Ortiz

MPH Advisory Committee Member

Education

MSW, Boston University
MPH, Boston University

Title

Director of Community Health Programs

Organization

Southern JP Health Center

Abigail Ortiz, MSW, MPH, has worked at Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center (SJPHC) since 2003. She has more than 17 years of experience working with youth, youth organizing, and teaching. She has master’s degrees in social work and public health from Boston University with a focus on program management, community organizing, and racial justice and equity. She is committed to eliminating racial inequities in health through public health strategies; community engagement; and youth-driven, youth-authored programs. As Director of Community Health Programs, Ortiz currently oversees numerous health promotion programs and has extended SJPHC’s youth programming and engagement by expanding their peer leadership model and further developing relationships with community partners. Ortiz oversees the Health Promotion Center, next door to the health center, where a number of in- and out-of-house public health initiatives are offered, such as family planning, nutrition and movement classes, youth organizing efforts, and the Racial Reconciliation and Healing Project. Ortiz facilitates trainings on health equity, the impact of racism on health, and racial justice framing locally and nationally.

She is the recipient of multiple awards and honors, including the Community Change Inc’s Antiracism Leadership Award in 2019, Boston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 recognition for social entrepreneurship in 2013, the 2010 Change Maker Award from The City School, and the Hubie Jones Urban Service Award from Boston University School of Social Work in 2008.

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Carlene Pavlos

MPH Advisory Committee Member

Education

BS, Lafayette College,
Masters of Theological Studies, Harvard Divinity School

Title

Executive Director

Organization

Massachusetts Public Health Association

Carlene Pavlos is the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Public Health Association, a statewide advocacy organization promoting policies that address the social and environmental conditions that determine health. MPHA is committed to health and racial equity and utilizes health equity framing in identifying policy goals. Prior to joining MPHA in April of 2018, Ms. Pavlos spent nearly 20 years at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, most recently as the Director of the Bureau of Community Health and Prevention. As the Bureau Director she oversaw the Department’s work in the areas of violence prevention and services, suicide prevention, child fatality review, unintentional injury prevention, school and adolescent health, health access, nutrition and physical activity, tobacco control and prevention, chronic disease prevention and health systems transformation. Ms. Pavlos brings to her work a commitment to social justice and addressing health inequities – including racism, misogyny, homophobia/heterosexism, classism, and transphobia. She also has extensive experience working with incarcerated women, a population at particular risk for violent victimization and its associated health impacts. Ms. Pavlos holds a B.S. from Lafayette College and a Masters of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School.

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Jo-Anna L. Rorie

MPH Advisory Committee Member

Education

MSN, Simmons College
MPH
PhD

Title

Program Coordinator Bridges to Moms

Organization

Boston Medical Center: Associate Professor
Health Care Without Walls: Bridges to Moms Program-Program Coordinator

Past Title and Organization of Significance

Associate Professor Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health.

Dr. Jo-Anna Rorie is the nurse coordinator for the Bridges to Moms program, one of three programs offered by Health Care Without Walls, a nonprofit volunteer program of physicians and nurse practitioners who offer free medical care to homeless women across the lifespan. The Bridges to Moms is a program specifically designed to support pregnant and postpartum women homeless and their families around 4 key social determinants of health, housing, food security, transportation and personal safety.She has an extensive background in nurse midwifery, public health, diversity workforce development, social justice advocacy and has held many well-known leadership roles in midwifery at the local, regional and national levels. Dr. Rorie began her career in the late 1980’s at a time in when Massachusetts was faced with an infant mortality crisis, especially in the Boston neighborhoods of North Dorchester, Mattapan and Roxbury. An extensive needs assessment led to a city-wide maternal and child health (MCH) agenda. Jo-Anna fingerprints were all over that agenda; and the subsequent recommendations calling for community-based perinatal initiatives that would utilize nurse-midwifery services as a critical element of care for underserved communities. Her zest to be part of the next generation of solutions to public health challenges has not wavered in the 35 years. She continues to do clinical practice as the post-partum rounder for the Nurse Midwifery practice at Boston Medical Center.

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Liz Salomon

MPH Advisory Committee Member

Education

EdM, Harvard University

Title

Program Director, Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study (PHACS) Data & Operations Center

Organization

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Liz Salomon, EdM began her career working in special education and discovered her love of research at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she focused her studies on education for social and political change and qualitative and participatory research.

Liz discovered her love of the field of public health and HIV research when she joined the Research and Evaluation Department at Fenway Community Health in 1998. There, she worked with increasing levels of responsibility on HIV vaccine, medical adherence, primary and secondary prevention, community needs assessment, and microbicide acceptability studies.

From 2008 - 2011 Liz served as the Assistant Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Clinical Research Program’s Education Unit where she directed the development and dissemination of investigator and study staff clinical research training. But missing her work with youth and in HIV, Liz returned to The Fenway Institute (TFI) at Fenway Health in 2011 to help lead their site of the Adolescent Trials Network (ATN).

As TFI’s Project Director for Community-Based Research, Liz helped direct the Boston site of Connect to Protect® (C2P): Building a Community-Based Infrastructure for HIV Prevention. Through her work on this project, Liz mobilized a cross-sector racial justice and health equity-focused coalition that worked to catalyze structural (program, policy and practice-level) changes in the Boston community. Liz also helped lead the Boston site of the Strategic Multisite Initiative for the Identification, Linkage and Engagement in Care of Youth with Undiagnosed HIV Infection (SMILE in Caring for Youth) which sought to support youth living with HIV in navigating and removing structural barriers to accessing the continuum of care.

As part of her work in the ATN Liz also lead Boston’s HIV Testing and Linkage to Prevention Services Pilot Project that worked to identify and address structural barriers to testing and linkage to care among young Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) and transgender youth of color in Boston. Liz also co-founded the ATN’s Transgender Advisory Group and served as a Co-Investigator for Assessing the Engagement of Transgender and Other Gender Minority Youth across the HIV Continuum of Care, a national project that examined barriers and facilitators to HIV care for transgender and other gender minority youth. While at TFI Liz also served as a facilitator and self-care interventionist for Our Health Matters, a project that sought to teach lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) youth of color participatory action research (PAR) methods and mindfulness as a means to address health disparities and inequities affecting this population.

From 2016-2018, Liz served as Director of Programs at Primary Care Progress, a national leadership development organization for primary care practitioners and students. Currently, Liz is the Program Director for the Data and Operations Center of the Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study at the Harvard School of Public Health — a project that examines the long-term impact of exposure to HIV and antiretroviral therapies in children, adolescents and young adults who were born to mothers living with HIV in 21 sites across the US.

Liz is a registered yoga teacher (RYT) and was trained in mindfulness-based stress reduction at the University of Massachusetts Medical School Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare, and Society. Outside of work, Liz loves to spend time with her partner and teenaged twins, ride her bike, swim, and practice yoga.

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Renée White

MPH Advisory Committee Member

Education

PhD, Yale University
MA, Yale University
AB, Brown University

Renée T. White, PhD, is the provost at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts. Previously, Dr. White served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) at Simmons University. As dean, she led the development of two new graduate programs, including the online MPH; aided in the revision of the undergraduate general education curriculum; and co-founded the first Vision 2020 college chapter in the nation. A graduate of Brown University, she earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in sociology from Yale University. As a faculty member, she has taught sociology, black studies, women’s studies, and urban studies at Purdue University, Central Connecticut State University, and Fairfield University, where she also served as academic coordinator for diversity and global citizenship. Dr. White is the author or editor of four books and served as the editor of the Journal of HIV/AIDS Prevention in Children & Youth. Her current research focuses on the impact that public discourse on reproductive rights has on social policy. Dr. White serves on the National Leadership Circle for Vision 2020, an organization dedicated to reducing gender inequality and attaining gender equity in the U.S.

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