Master of Public Health Alumni

View a list of MPH Alumni thesis projects.
Please help us keep your email addresses current. Send updates to Katie Frost.

MPH Graduates (alphabetical order)

  Jennifer Adams (2010) email
Kathy Allely Kathy Allely (2008) email / 907-694-4185

Kathy Allely completed her thesis "Early Intensive Intervention for Alaskan Children with Autism: A Policy Analysis" in Spring 2007. Since graduation, Kathy has found time to enjoy her knitting hobby, as well as camp, take hikes, and walks - all a welcome respite from the nights in front of the computer during school.
    Kathy is the Chief of the Section of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in the Division of Public Health for the State of Alaska. The Section houses programs addressing tobacco and obesity prevention and control, and manages several chronic disease, injury prevention, and health promotion programs. The Section also collects data on youth and adult risk behaviors as well as performing cancer surveillance. Updated 12/11

Kathy Anderson

Kathy Anderson (2009) email

Kathy Anderson completed her MPH in May 2009. Her background is in “corporate America,” in high technology; she retired in 1998 from AT&T in the Lower 48 as VP of Business Internet Services. Going into the MPH program, she had a BS in Math, a vintage 1970s MS in Computer Science, and an executive MBA from Harvard. For the last five years, she has been teaching marketing in the MBA program at Alaska Pacific University. The confluence of marketing and public health, along with all things quantitative, interest Kathy, and she hopes to establish herself as a free-lance program evaluation consultant in Alaska.
    She and her software-guru husband, Patrick Speranza, are currently consulting with the State Division of Public Health performing an ongoing program evaluation of the CDC-funded Breast and Cervical Health Check program. This assignment is actually a continuation of her thesis work, which compared the practices of cervical cancer screening providers in the BCHC program to national practice guidelines. Kathy feels fortunate to be presenting her thesis and follow-on work to the CDC and at the national APHA convention in Philadelphia in November, and also at the Alaska Health Summit in December. In her spare time, Kathy writes for Fish Alaska magazine and does pro-bono strategic planning consulting for non-profits. She and Patrick split their time between Anchorage and Homer, and  they fish whenever they can. Updated 11/09

Adrienne Ari Dr. Adrienne Ari (2005) email

Adrienne Ari graduated in the Spring of 2005 and was one of the first two graduates from the MPH program. She is a Major in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps, and was previously in charge of the Troop Medical Clinic at Fort Richardson. She published her Master’s Thesis “Eye Injuries on the Battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan: Public Health Implications” in Optometry: Journal of the American Optometric Association. Her work was instrumental in convincing the Department of Defense to continue to issue combat eye protection to deploying service members.
    After completing her degree, Adrienne was posted to Fort Rucker, Alabama, the home of Army Aviation. As an optometrist, she was responsible for the management of the occupational visual requirements for all Army Aviators. In October 2007, Adrienne was selected as the Optometry Residency Director and moved to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.  Here, she initiated a program to provide neuro-optometric care to the wounded warriors returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with traumatic brain injuries.
    Adrienne and her husband Jerry enjoy traveling and scuba diving. They have two sons: Chris, who recently joined the Army and is assigned to South Korea, and Stephen, who is completing his senior year in high school and plans to attend Texas A&M in Galveston. Adrienne is expecting twin girls in January 2009. Updated 11/08

Lisa Balivet Lisa Balivet (2008) email

Lisa Balivet completed her thesis defense in November 2007, and has since presented her thesis in two public meetings: the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Advisory Committee Annual Meeting and the Arctic Health Sciences Seminar. Lisa’s thesis centered on hearing loss in Alaskan infants and toddlers.  For the past six years, she has served on a statewide committee to improve early hearing loss detection and intervention. 
    Lisa works for the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Office of Children’s Services, Infant Learning Program. Her role as a program monitor takes her out to 18 regions around the state, providing technical assistance and evaluation services for early intervention/infant learning program grantees.  These agencies are funded by state and federal grants, and offer early childhood developmental evaluations, parent support, special instruction, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language services, and family service coordination to children with developmental delays. Lisa is also responsible for data management and federal compliance reporting. She has especially enjoyed developing a new web-based data system for grantees. 
    Lisa’s next academic goal is to investigate the world of public health informatics, honing her data management skills. She sends kudos to the UAA Public Health Masters program for an academically stimulating and career enhancing curriculum, and a special thanks to her friends and family for their unending support throughout the program. Updated 4/08

  Kathryn Bhagatram Jackson (2010) email
Ambrosia Bowlus Ambrosia Bowlus (2011) email / 907-334-4471

Ambrosia Bowlus earned her MPH degree in 2011. Her thesis evaluated VakTrAK, a new immunization registry created and managed by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.
     Ambrosia grew up in Anchorage and earned her bachelor's degree in medical technology from UAA in 2005. She then went to Washington and worked as a microbiologist at the University of Washington. She also spent the entire 2007 baseball season watching games at most of the country's baseball fields.
     Ambrosia returned to Anchorage to complete her MPH degree. She recently finished her first year as the manager of the Alaska Trauma Registry for the Department of Health and Social Services. Her job is to collect and manage trauma-related statistics, such as falls, drownings, and motor vehicle accidents, submitted from 24 hospitals across the state. These statistics are used for injury prevention purposes and research. Ambrosia said MPH students or alumni who are interested in doing a research project using this data should contact her.
     When she is not working, Ambrosia likes to cross country ski and downhill ski. Updated 12/11

Sara Buchanan

Sara Buchanan (2008) email

Sara Buchanan completed her MPH in December 2008. Her thesis, entitled “Improving Child Survival through Behavioral Change and Community Engagement: The Farta Child Survival Project,” was based on a project she helped monitor while working with CARE International in Ethiopia from 2007 to 2008. 
    While completing her coursework, Sara worked with CARE on program development and gender issues in Afghanistan and Ethiopia before joining the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Uzbekistan, where she is currently employed as a Development Assistance Specialist.  In her present position, Sara manages democracy and governance programs, leads strategy development and operational planning initiatives for US government agencies in Uzbekistan, and designs new assistance programs.
    This summer, Sara will join the Foreign Service as a Crisis, Stabilization, and Governance Officer with USAID. The new position will allow Sara to use her skills gained in the MPH program in areas such as emergency and disaster response and food security in developing countries.
    Sara lives in Tashkent with her husband, Jeremy, and her Ethiopian cat, Snegurochka. Updated 4/10

Jody Carmen

Jody Carman (2009) email

Jody Carman completed her MPH in May 2009. For her thesis, she researched the association of body mass index and sleep duration.
    Jody works for the US Coast Guard in Kodiak, Alaska as the Regional Health Promotion Manager.  She provides health awareness, education, and intervention activities in the areas of physical fitness, nutrition, weight management, stress management, tobacco cessation, and health risk appraisals. She also coordinates the Unit Health Promotion Coordinator School which trains US Coast Guard active duty members to administer health promotion activities and assistance at their respective units.
    Jody's daughter Linzee is a freshman at UAA, and her daughter Maggie is a 10th grader at Kodiak High School. Her husband Rick is a recreation specialist for the US Coast Guard. Jody and Rick enjoy playing volleyball and hiking with their Jack Russell Terrier, Daisy. Recently, Jody relocated to Cleveland, OH, with the Coast Guard. Updated 8/10

photo_cheryl-case Cheryl Case (2011) email
  Margaret Cobey (2011) email
  Amanda Cooper (2012) email
  Lisa Davis (2010) email
  Jennifer DeVanna (2010) email
Tricia Franklin Tricia Franklin (2006) email

Tricia Franklin received her MPH in May 2006.  She has worked at the State of Alaska Public Health Laboratory (ASPHL) in Anchorage since 2001 as a Public Health Microbiologist. The MPH has enabled her to advance in her current job and collaborate effectively with health care providers, non-laboratorians, and agencies all over Alaska. 
    Trish's thesis focused on improving sputa sample quality for tuberculosis (TB) testing at ASPHL. She also participated in an annual TB health fair in Savoonga, Alaska. The insight gained from her research culminated in the  development of a new Alaska State Public Health Lab Services Manual, making good sample collection information available to all health care providers in Alaska. Trish presented her findings to the State of Alaska Department of Epidemiology Tuberculosis Team, and as a poster at the National TB Education and Training Network Conference in Atlanta, GA in 2006.  
    Trish has been instrumental in implementing a new Laboratory Information Management System at ASPHL. This project is a work in progress, documenting laboratory workflow, incorporating statistical analysis for incidence, work load, and quality assurance, then translating this for computer programmers to design tests in LIMS. Trish presented this work at two User Group conferences. 
    In Fall 2008, Trish began teaching undergraduate Human Biology (BIOL A100) at the UAA Eagle River Campus. In the summers, Trish enjoys long motorcycle trips on her 2005 Harley Davidson Road Glide. Updated 4/09

  Ranjodh Gill (2010) email
Yvonne Goldsmith Yvonne Goldsmith (2010)

Yvonne's thesis investigated the use of interrupted time series analysis to evaluate the PCV7 vaccine in Medicaid-enrolled children under 2 years of age.
    Yvonne is the Unit Manager of the Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology Unit at the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health. She tracks MCH health status indicators (such as the Title V MCH national and state performance measures and the Healthy Alaska indicators) which are used for grant proposals, program evaluation, and resource-based accountability reporting. She also conducts surveillance of pediatric indicators using administrative data sets, develops needs assessments, and provides assistance on evaluation and data analysis.
    Her two grown daughters have thankfully returned to Anchorage after completing their education. Yvonne is an avid year-round bike commuter and enjoys touring the world on two wheels with her husband, Prof. Scott Goldsmith. Updated 1/12

Hannah Hawkins Hannah Hawkins (2006) email

Hannah Hawkins graduated in the MPH program in Spring 2006. She is currently in her second year at the University of Washington School of Medicine. As an “Alaska WWAMI” student, Hannah spent her first year of medical school in Alaska and then moved to Seattle for her second year. She is looking forward to returning to Alaska for her third and fourth years because the mountains are just too far away from Seattle!
    Last summer, Hannah participated in her school’s International Health Opportunities Program. She received a stipend to live and work for 10 weeks in Palau, located east of the Philippines. Hannah worked with Belau National Hospital’s Bureau of Public Health on a project she designed to assess Palau’s Reportable Disease Surveillance System for remote site data. Hannah jumped at the opportunity to integrate the qualitiative research design and analysis skills she acquired from her MPH program thesis project. Hannah’s favorite part of her summer research was traveling to the remote clinics and talking with the health care workers about the process for reporting communicable diseases. Hannah’s interest and enthusiasm for proactive, community-based approaches to health and wellness continues.
    Keep your eyes open on the skiing and running trails because you’ll probably see Hannah enjoying Alaska with her friends, family, and puppy Nelchina! Updated 11/07

Allyson Kelly

Allyson Hinkel (2006) email

Allyson Kelley completed her MPH in December 2006. With a background in environmental health, community health, and American Indian/Alaska Native public health, she works as the Community Engagement Director at the Center for Native Health Partnerships in Bozeman, Montana. Working directly with tribal communities to build community health research capacity, her work takes on many forms. This includes teaching classes and workshops in environmental health, data analysis, grant writing, and strategic planning for health programs. In her spare time, Allyson enjoys hiking, reading, and spending time with her family. Updated 11/09

Vanessa Hiratsuku

Vanessa Hiratsuka (2007) email

Vanessa Hiratsuka received her MPH in 2007.  She is interested in American Indian and Alaska Native health promotion and chronic disease prevention. Vanessa started her graduate studies in UAF’s Masters in Rural Development program and then transferred into the UAA MPH program. In 2007, Vanessa was one of four MPH students who received a travel grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Fogarty International Center to attend the 13th International Congress on Circumpolar Health in Novosibirsk, Siberia where she presented a poster on “Alaska Native Women’s Cardiovascular Health Intervention Research Project.” Vanessa’s thesis was titled "Changes in Attitudes, Beliefs and Behavior in Physical Activity Due to the Traditions of the Heart WISEWOMAN Intervention," a research project conducted in Anchorage by Southcentral Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  
    After graduating from the MPH program, Vanessa worked as a grants program evaluator for the State of Alaska’s Tobacco Prevention and Control program. There she worked with other UAA MPH program alumni, including Gail Schiemann. In December 2008, Vanessa left her job with the State and resumed employment with Southcentral Foundation. Vanessa currently works on qualitative and quantitative health services research. Updated 8/09

  Kelby Holtfreter Murphy (2011) email

Shawne Johnson

Shawne Johnson (2010) email / 262-781-7312

Shawne Johnson earned her MPH degree in August 2010. Her thesis explored the attitudes and beliefs of African American breastfeeding mothers enrolled in the Wisconsin WIC program, with regards to administering infant vitamin D supplements. As the Assistant Director of Nursing at a health department in Wisconsin, she provides support and training to public health nurses and WIC dieticians, and is the mentor for Spanish-speaking community health workers (Promotoras). Shawne is having a lot of fun facilitating her community's community garden committee, learning to write grants, and working on her health department's public health accreditation team. 
    Shawne lives with her husband in Wisconsin, but travels back and forth between Wisconsin and Alaska. She hopes to relocate to Alaska, since one of her sons is a  teacher at Lake Otis Elementary School in Anchorage. She enjoys gardening, hiking, biking, and cross country skiing. Updated 12/11

Stacy Kelley Stacy Kelley (2010) email

Stacy Kelley completed her MPH in May 2010. For her thesis, she conducted both a process and outcome evaluation of a men’s retreat for prostate and testicular cancer survivors. 
    Since 2002, Stacy has been employed by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.  She is currently a Cancer Program Partnership Coordinator and develops new cancer education resources and programs for the Alaska Native Tribal System. She also provides program evaluation and technical assistance for tribal and non tribal cancer programs.
    Stacy lives in Girdwood, Alaska with her husband who manages an eco tourism company and her son Cooper John who was born April 1, 2010. Updated 12/10

Dan Kiley Dr. Dan Kiley (2006) email

Dan Kiley was a member of the initial cohort admitted to the fledgling MPH program in 2002 as he continued to operate his Anchorage dental practice. For his thesis, Dan developed a simulation model to analyze how changes in public health program variables affect clinical outcomes. He graduated in August 2006.
    At UAA, Dan was a Hartig Fellow and worked for more than a year on a health policy analysis project for local think-tank Commonwealth North. He said, “After graduation, some of the connections I made during that project led to the opportunity to serve on the new governor’s transition team for the Department of Health and Social Service.” 
    Last February, Dr. Kiley was appointed to the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee in the Division of Health Care Services. The “P&T” committee is responsible for determining the preferred drug list for the state’s medicaid program. “Thoughtful efficiency allows the program to serve more beneficiaries with the same limited resources,” Dan said. “Making informed policy choices based on evidence is what my thesis was all about.”
    Due to contractual restrictions of the university, Kiley’s thesis cannot be publicly released for more than a year. He is still eager to see his work in the library. Dan laughs that he is proud to have made the “banned reading list” with his first effort! Updated 11/07

  Jessica Leston (2008) email
Dan Lien

Dan Lien (2007) email

Dan Lien graduated from the MPH program in Summer 2007 and has remained actively involved with the program, lauding the program to prospective students of public health. He currently serves as the president of UAA’s MPH Alumni Association, and has remained connected with former and current students.
    Outside of UAA, Dan works as a district manager for a pharmaceutical company and remains fascinated by the ongoing stress that chronic disease places on Alaska’s patients, health care programs, insurance programs, and finances.  
    His thesis project focused on a Medicare program that allows pharmacists to bill insurance for patient counseling services, and generated baseline data that will allow pharmacists statewide to see the benefits that Medication Therapy Management (MTM) can bring to Alaskans in the years ahead. He remains involved and interested in MTM.
    Dan and his family enjoy skiing, hiking, camping, and playing hockey and softball.
    "Every graduate should attend commencement and the Masters’ hooding ceremony," Dan said. "It’s a wonderful experience for a graduate’s family to experience – and a well-deserved reward for all the years of hard work!" Updated 4/08

  Erica Marley (2007) email
Stephanie Massay Stephanie Massay (2006) email

Stephanie Massay graduated from the MPH Program in Spring 2006. Her public heath practice is within the laboratory science field.  She is a board certified medical technologist employed as a Public Health Microbiologist with the State of Alaska Public Health Laboratory, Special Pathogens Branch. Stephanie conducts a variety of analytical procedures to diagnose and/or detect bioterrorism agents, emerging or re-emerging infectious diseases, or diseases endemic within Alaska. She also provides consultation to medical professionals and helps develop and provide public health preparedness training for clinical laboratorians and public safety first-responders. 
    Stephanie’s thesis project involved an evaluation of laboratory diagnostic techniques for pertussis (whooping cough). Her studies focused on molecular techniques for detecting the disease causing bacteria Bordetella pertussis, and its implications for public health intervention. She published part of her study findings “A Survey of State Public Health Laboratories for Pertussis Diagnostics” in LabMedicine.
    Shortly after Stephanie graduated, her husband was deployed overseas for 16 months with the National Guard. With these life changes, she decided to turn from academic to physical challenges. Stephanie has since completed two triathlons and two half-marathons. Stephanie and her husband are currently building a new home in Palmer. Updated 4/09

  Genevieve Maurits (2010) email
Lisa McGuire

Lisa McGuire (2008) email

Lisa McGuire completed her MPH in December 2008. She is currently an independent consultant working with local nonprofit and tribal organizations on environmental health and management training, preparation of grant proposals, program implementation, and other professional services in the public health arena. Her business name is McGuire Community Health Strategies, which can be found on the web at www.mcguirehealth.com.
    Lisa is also busy seeking employment overseas and hopes to obtain a short-term assignment in Africa this coming fall or winter. In keeping with the theme of her thesis, which evaluated a local HIV/AIDS education program, she hopes to work in the health education and disease prevention field abroad. Lisa continues to teach local HIV prevention and education classes through the American Red Cross, Alaska Chapter.
    Lisa and her husband Frank are looking forward to selling their condo in Anchorage and finally finishing and moving into their cabin in Meadow Lakes. Lisa is also looking forward to a summer filled with mountain biking, hiking, camping, pack rafting, and simply enjoying the beauty and outdoors of Alaska. That is, if Mt. Redoubt cooperates. Updated 4/09

  Virginia Mongeau (2012) email
Bruce Myers Bruce Myers (2011) email

Bruce will receive his MPH in May 2011. He has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 20 years in a variety of sales, marketing, and managed health care roles. Bruce is currently a Regional Sales Director with Biogen Idec and is responsible for managing sales, reimbursement, and nurse teams in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana.
    Bruce has owned and operated a small business with nine employees and learned first-hand the struggle small employers have providing affordable health care benefits. He has also served on the board of a health-related non-profit and spent time lobbying the Washington state legislature for improved health insurance on behalf of their clients.
    Bruce completed his MPH in the spring of 2011. His thesis, “Managed Care Perspectives on Biosimilars,” focused on the perceptions and plans of key decision-makers at managed health care insurers on a new class of generic-like biological medicines. “Public health is all of our responsibility--not only the role of the dedicated public health professional. I am proud of my UAA MPH degree and hope to leverage it to bring change to my industry.” Specifically, Bruce is interested in increasing patient access to biological therapies by reducing their cost through the development of a robust market for “bio-generic” or “biosimilar” biological therapies.
    In his spare time, Bruce enjoys kayaking and motorcycle riding with his wife, playing with their four granddaughters, and daily exercise. He resides in the Seattle area. Updated 4/11

  Margaret Nye (2011) email
  Wendy Parsons (2012) email
  Patricia Peshel (2012) email

Mark Peterson

Mark Peterson (2007) email

Mark Peterson received his MPH in December 2007. He is interested in international health, and developed this interest by visiting the developing world to provide health care. He quickly realized that in countries with very limited resources it is far more cost-effective to combine clinical care with a population-based public health approach. Specifically, his thesis project outlined an approach to treating HIV in rural Kenya.
    Since graduation, Mark has continued to work as a family physician at SEARHC, the Alaska Native health corporation in Juneau. He has also continued to provide short term health care in the developing world and plans to return to Honduras again this fall. Mark has two children who have either completed college or are in graduate school, and his youngest daughter will soon finish high school. Once his home nest is empty, Mark plans to start his second career working in the developing world. Updated 8/08

Ann Potempa

Ann Potempa (2009) email / 907-269-7957

Ann Potempa earned her MPH in 2009. Her thesis focused on helping the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) improve its communication with healthcare providers who share health messages with their patients.
     Ann has been a public information officer with DHSS since 2007. Her job is to share department news with many audiences--from the general public to health care providers. Ann has helped public health officials communicate information about foodborne outbreaks, sexually transmitted diseases, vaccine availability and efficacy, environmental contaminants, and H1N1 influenza. In 2011 and 2012, she is overseeing a communication campaign to improve awareness about Alaska's childhood obesity problem and promote physical activity among children and their families.
    Before her position with DHSS, Ann worked for over a decade as a newspaper and magazine reporter. She lives in Anchorage with her husband, Marc, a photographer, and her two sons, Dane and Quinn. Updated 12/11
  Kerry Pride (2010) email
Wendy Rainey Wendy Rainey (2008) email

In 2001, after a successful marketing and public relations career, Wendy Rainey changed paths and accepted a position with Maternal Child and Family Health (MCH). It was that experience that inspired her to return to school and earn her MPH.
    Wendy’s thesis, “An Analysis of Issues Surrounding the Administration of Medication in Out-of-Home Child Care in the Municipality of Anchorage,” was conducted to help ensure that local medication administration practice protocols are appropriately inclusive for families with children needing medication administered in out-of-home child care. During this time, Wendy also completed the Rocky Mountain Public Health Education Consortium’s 12-month MCH leadership certificate program.
    Wendy lives in the Mat-Su Valley with her husband of 23 years, their two teenage children, five dogs, and two cats. She continues to provide education and outreach on STIs at the Mat-Su Public Health Center and is thrilled to again have time for passions such as working with youth and recreational dog mushing.
    Wendy reports that, while in the MPH program, she was blessed with a great study group that kept her going. “We encouraged each other and laughed a lot. Everyone in the program should seek that same type of support; it made the road a richer experience.” Updated 4/10

  Lillian Ruedrich (2011) email
Jenny Salcido-Austin

Jenny Salcido-Austin (2007) email

Jenny Salcido-Austin received her MPH in August 2007.  Her thesis focused on nutrition education through dietitians to help reduce cases of anemia in Alaskan children participating in the WIC (Women, Infant, and Children) Program. Jenny currently lives in Yorktown, Virginia with her husband who is in the Air Force, two children (Jacob 3 years and Rosie 9 months), two dogs, and an orange tabby cat. 
    She works as a Nutrition Consultant specializing in pediatric and geriatric nutrition, menu and recipe development, and food safety.  She also continues to work with the Alaska Salvation Army as a Nutrition Consultant.  Some of her job assignments include developing menus and special diets for those who are diabetic, developing recipes, developing food safety protocols for employees working in the kitchen, and composing nutrition articles for a health newsletter. 
    When Jenny is not busy with her family and career, she enjoys reading and researching anything nutrition-related, traveling, going to the beach (although she really misses hiking and the beautiful mountains in Alaska), going to Busch Gardens, and learning how to make jewelry. Updated 11/09

Lindsay Sanders Lindsay Sanders (2006) email

Lindsay Sanders received her MPH at UAA in December 2006. Her emphasis was in epidemiology, and her thesis work focused on public health surveillance, specifically within the Alaska Native community. While in graduate school, she also worked for UAA as a research and teaching assistant, as well as a consultant for the Alaska Center for Public Policy.
    Currently, Lindsay attends A.T. Still University as a second year medical student. The school is based in Mesa, Arizona, and Lindsay is in Portland completing her second year rotations. The focus of this particular medical school is graduating physicians who wish to remain in primary care and provide healthcare to underserved populations. In an effort to achieve this goal, the first year goes a full 12 months and is completed in Mesa; the remaining 3 years are completed at various community sites around the country.
    Medical school leaves little time for hobbies, but given some occasional time off, Lindsay enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family in Arizona. Updated 11/08

Gail Schiemann Gail Schiemann (2005)

Gail Schiemann graduated in the Spring of 2005 and was the first MPH student to defend a thesis in our program. At that time, Gail was working for the Rural Alaska Community Action Program as the Wellness Education Coordinator, managing their Early Decisions Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) education/prevention project. In 2006, with her new MPH in hand, she began working for the State of Alaska Tobacco Prevention and Control Program as the Community Prevention Grants Manager. In this capacity, she managed 20 grantees statewide working on tobacco prevention policy initiatives.
    Recently, Gail was promoted to Program Manager for the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program in the Section of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion within the Division of Public Health. She is also an active stakeholder with the National Network on Tobacco Prevention and Poverty.
    Gail enjoys spending time with her family and traveling. Over the last year, she traveled throughout the Lower 48 to cheer for her 9 year old daughter, Jocelyn, who was entered in eight Irish Dance competitions. Jocelyn is really happy that her mom is out of graduate school! If anyone would like a hood or gown for their very important commencement day, contact gail.schiemann@alaska.gov. Updated 8/08

Mariko Selle Mariko Selle (2007) email

Since completing her MPH degree, Mariko has joined several boards, taken up Pilates, become an active Rotarian, and even indulges in Thursday night television. In February 2008, she accepted a new position as Director of Development and Quality for the Wrangell Medical Center. Mariko credits the MPH program for preparing her for this new role, and for making her a viable candidate during the selection process.
    In this new position, Mariko will work towards building a strong culture for quality at the hospital, streamlining compliance-related activities, and establishing systems for strategically managing the hospital’s future. She will also be coordinating WMC’s participation in a multi-state performance improvement project. This project includes 3 other Alaskan Critical Access Hospitals, and over 100 Critical Access Hospitals across 7 states. The project is funded through the Rural Hospital Flexibility (FLEX) program and focuses on helping small rural hospitals develop stronger quality and performance improvement structures. Mariko also hopes to engage the hospital in community-wide wellness activities.
    Mariko says she is looking forward to working at the hospital and is excited about packing her rain gear and moving to Wrangell with her two Pomeranians. Until February, Mariko worked for the State of Alaska’s Health Planning and Systems Development Unit on the FLEX program and the Alaska Primary Care Office, addressing state-wide health care related issues such as rural access to health care, workforce development, and health care quality. Updated 4/08

  Desire' Shepler (2010) email
jacqueline_shirley Jacqueline "Aparpak" Shirley (2011) email

Jacqueline is a Tribal member of the Native Village of Hooper Bay. She completed her MPH in October 2011. For her thesis, Jacqueline conducted a multiple (5) policy analysis on the Management of Open Dumps in Rural Alaska and the Continuing Need for Public Health Action. Jacqueline is employed at Zender Environmental Health & Research Group, a non-profit organization dedicated to provide environmental program services for Tribal and isolated rural populations where the need exists. As a Senior Environmental Scientist, Jacqueline provides program environmental health policy and justice, capacity building, water and wastewater related issues, and solid waste management strategies and solutions for rural communities across the state. Jacqueline lives in Anchorage with her 6-year old son Tabaaha Cingliaq, one beautiful dog named "Half-face," and two bossy old cats named "Nini" & "6-toes." Updated 12/13/11

Joni Stumpe Joni Stumpe (2007)

Joni Stumpe received her MPH in August 2007.  She is a manager at the Fairbanks Pioneer Home, where the average resident is 87 years young. She is an advocate for community seniors, and sits on the board of directors for the North Star Council on Aging.  Joni also provides mentoring to Certified Nurse Aides furthering their education through a statewide apprenticeship program offering specialties in long term care. 
    Joni’s thesis involved health promotion through nutrition education, and the program she developed was adopted by the Tanana Valley Cooperative Extension Service. She continues in this endeavor by teaching sessions of Live Well Alaska, a program that helps people to manage their chronic conditions. 
    The MPH program opened many doors and sparked new interests for Joni, and she says the hard work was well worth the outcome—a meaningful vocation. Now that she has graduated, Joni provides moral (and financial) support to three sons in college. She also enjoys pursuing her interests in restaurants and retail therapy in the Pacific Northwest. Updated 11/08

Chris Tofteberg

Chris Tofteberg (2006)

Chris Tofteberg has been active in the public health arena since graduating from the MPH program in the Summer 2006. Since 1999, he has worked for the Anchorage Department of Health and Human Services as program manager for the Food Safety & Sanitation section. Chris is currently a member of the Strategic Plan Action and Review Committee (SPARC) and was integral to realigning services in the Food Safety & Sanitation section. Chris has also helped develop new regulations for pesticides and noise and food safety in Anchorage.
    Chris has served on the board of directors for the Alaska Public Health Association since 2005, and chaired the environmental health track for the 2006 and 2007 Alaska Health Summit conferences. As a dyed-in-the-wool environmental health practitioner, he helps bring new perspectives to the environmental health topics at the conference.
    More recently, Chris was appointed to the UAA MPH Advisory Committee. This committee is comprised of people from various backgrounds who are interested in seeing the UAA MPH program flourish. As a recent graduate himself, Chris has first-hand experience with the program.
    Outside the public health scene, Chris is passionate about the Macintosh computer and serves on the board for the Alaskan Apple Users Group. Updated 11/07

Amanda Walch

Amanda Walch (2008) email

Amanda Walch completed her MPH in December 2008. With a background in food and nutrition, she has been working as an independent consultant at several clinics and hospitals in Alaska. Working directly with patients and groups, she teaches various health topics, including food safety, diabetes, nutrition, weight management, weight loss surgery, and kidney disease to help people improve their health and quality of life. Since her thesis and degree completion she continues to conduct research and seeks avenues which expand into the public health arena.
    Amanda, her husband Brian, and their four children lead a full and active life. The kids participate in activities such as swimming, soccer, and gymnastics. Amanda and Brian both enjoy running, participating in triathlons, working in the garden and drinking a good glass of wine. The family spends time traveling to see friends and look forward to more Alaskan experiences. Updated 8/09

Tammy Zulz

Tammy Zulz (2007) email

 

Tammy continues to work as a Public Health Analyst at CDC’s Arctic Investigations Program in Anchorage. As an alum, she is one of the founding members of the MPH Alumni Association and is still involved in the MPH program book club and serves on the admissions committee. The circumpolar tuberculosis surveillance project, which was the focus of her thesis work, continues to mature. One of the goals of this project was to engage the Russian Federation in sharing tuberculosis data with other circumpolar countries; representatives from two regions in Russia have since agreed to share data with an international circumpolar tuberculosis working group. Tammy was co-author on three articles in the January, 2008, Emerging Infectious Diseases journal which focused on the International Polar Year and authored a supplement in 2009 for the International Journal of Circumpolar Health on the International Circumpolar Surveillance project