SPH Alumni Newsletter

applegate allen

Message from your Alumni Society President

It is an exciting time at the UNTHSC School of Public Health.  The SPH has come a long way in the past few years, adding new programs and growing with new students and faculty.  To support the momentum, a new Alumni Society Board is in place, and we are making great progress in reinvigorating the society, supporting students, engaging in recruitment and most importantly, re-engaging with you, our fellow alumni.

First, allow me to introduce myself – Allen Applegate, a 2006 MPH graduate with a concentration in Health Management and Policy and your Alumni Society president for the 2010 – 2011 year.  Melissa Oden, a friend and fellow 2006 MPH graduate with a concentration in Social and Behavioral Health, serves as your vice president.  Thenisha Smith is a 2001 MPH graduate with a concentration in Environmental Health and serves as secretary.  We are joined on the board by Lynn Breaux (DrPH 2005), Sharon Walker (MPH 1997), Samia Meyand-Fritchman (MPH 2001), Marcus Mitias (MPH 2007), Harrison Ndetan (DrPH 2007), Kirti Salwa (MPH 2009), Liz Trevino (MPH 2005), and Mehendra Nehra (MPH 2010).

Over the past year, this dedicated board has been hard at work formulating strategies to increase the level of alumni involvement, better support students and recruit students and future alumni to the SPH.  We have formed three workgroups to address these issues and have been successful in moving forward with ambitious plans.  We are working with the Office of Student and Academic Affairs to develop a recruitment toolkit for alumni to utilize, participated in recruitment events such as career fairs and are working with the students and faculty on a “violence as a public health issue” project, among many other exciting activities.  Perhaps what I am most proud of is that 100% of your board contributed to this year’s fundraising campaign.  The funds collected every year in this campaign support the very talented students and future alumni currently at the SPH, such as Sandy-Asari Hogan, our featured student in this issue’s Student Spotlight.  We hope you will join us in giving during the upcoming campaign – any amount from $5 to $500 supports our future public health workforce!

We hope you enjoy this first edition of the SPH Alumni Society Newsletter – just one of many things we are working on to re-engage and reconnect you to the UNTHSC School of Public Health.  You will be seeing much more in the future. If there are things you would like to see, please let us know!

Until next time, thank you for your dedication to our profession and mission in protecting the public’s health!

Most sincerely,

Allen Applegate, MPH
President, SPH Alumni Society Board

P.S. Reconnect with your fellow alumni on Facebook today!

Alumni Involvement Opportunities

Alumni are the School of Public Health's most important partners, and your help with recruitment and outreach would be very much appreciated. If you would, please take a moment to complete the Alumni Volunteer Form to let us know that you're interested in helping and to select the opportunities you're most interested in.

Below are SPH spring recruiting events that we would love for alumni to participate in. We realize you may not be available to make the entire event on a particular day, however we encourage you to participate, even if only for 30 minutes or an hour. If you're interested in joining any of these events, please email Dianna.Garcia@unthsc.edu or use the Alumni Volunteer Form to specify which event(s) and timeframe you would like to help out with.

Spring 2011 Recruiting Events

April 7, 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. - Preview Day at the UNT Health Science Center

DFW Swing Health Professions Fairs
April 12, noon-3:00 p.m. - TCU (Fort Worth)
April 12, 5:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. - SMU (Dallas)
April 13, noon-2:00 p.m. - UTA (Arlington)
April 13, 4:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m. - UTD (Richardson)
April 14, 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. - Austin College (Sherman)
April 14, 5:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. - UNT (Denton)

If you plan to attend any of these events, feel free to review updated information about the School of Public Health in the Alumni Recruitment Toolkit. We've also made a list of Frequently Asked Questions that potential students typically bring up.

If you or someone in your organization would like to do a presentation on a public health topic during Tuesday Interludes, which are held each Tuesday from 4:00 p.m to 5:30 p.m., please contact Misty.Smethers@unthsc.edu.

As SPH Alumni, your participation adds tremendous value. We look forward to collaborating with you and truly appreciate your leadership.

mitias marcusSPH Alumni Spotlight: Marcus Mitias, MPH

Marcus J. Mitias received his Master’s degree in Public Health with a focus in Health Management and Policy from the UNT Health Science Center’s School of Public Health in 2007. Marcus also holds a master’s in Business Administration from the Else School of Management (2004), as well as a bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and History from Millsaps College (2001).  Before moving to Texas six years ago from Atlanta, Georgia, he worked with nonprofit organizations on issues related to grassroots organizing, coalition building, and advocacy, including serving ten months in an AmeriCorps State and National Program in Atlanta at a homeless shelter.  It was during this life-changing experience that he became interested in the intersection between public policy and health issues.

For almost four years, Marcus has worked in the Government Affairs and Advocacy Department at Texas Health Resources, one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care systems in the country.  Working closely with the Director of Government Affairs and Advocacy, he advocates on behalf of the organization at all levels of government to enhance health care delivery and strengthen the organization's capacity to improve the health of the people in the communities he serves. Marcus believes evidenced-based health policy can significantly impact the viability of the health care system to advance the health and well-being of individuals and families. Since the passage of the health care reform law, Marcus spends a great of deal of time informing and educating lawmakers, community leaders, and employees on the law’s 10-year implementation timeline so that they can develop strategies to address its impact. Marcus describes his health policy work at the federal level as both exciting and challenging.

As a member of the Government Affairs and Advocacy Department, Marcus says he provides a "unified voice" for his organization at all levels of government in many ways.  Marcus helps to formulate the organization’s public policy agenda by identifying issues and evaluating their potential impact on the organization.  He engages employees, physicians, trustees, volunteers, and various community partners in developing and carrying out Texas Health’s public policy agenda.  And he collaborates with key federal and state associations, industry groups, and other partners to maximize the organization’s effectiveness in the legislative and regulatory areas.

Marcus’s involvement in health policy and reform reflects a sincere desire to contribute to a sustained improvement in health care delivery on the state and federal level.  He has not only held leadership roles while a public health student but is also an active member of the Alumni Society for the School of Public Health. His enthusiasm for bringing together SPH alumni and recruiting new public health students is commendable.

SPH Student Spotlight: Sandy-Asari Hogan, MPH, CHES

sandy asari hogan

Sandy is from the Houston-Sugar Land area of Texas and is a first year public health doctoral student.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Forensic Science from Baylor University and a Master of Public Health (MPH) from the UNT Health Science Center with a focus in Community Health.  

As a student at UNTHSC, she says she has been reminded of the importance of not just relying on classroom education.  Her education here has been invaluable and a catalyst for her interests in social determinants of health as they affect women and adolescents, as well as the role of social infrastructure in health outcomes.

Sandy is currently a graduate research assistant and holds various leadership roles including interim vice president of the Public Health Student Association, president of the Society of Black Public Health Professionals, APHA Student Assembly Campus Liaison, and co-chair for the APHA PHEHP Section-Student Workgroup.   She has served on various planning committees in the Fort Worth area, [participated in?] volunteer/outreach activities as well as served in other supportive roles in other organizations.  She was a 2010 Bob Crow Award Recipient for Outstanding Student in Leadership and Service, is a member of Delta Omega, an honorary society in Public Health and is a member of other professional organizations.

Dr. Martin Luther King once said that “an individual has not started living until [s]he can rise above the narrow confines of [her] individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity,” and no truer words have been spoken.  This is Sandy’s motivation for pursuing a career in public health.  The daughter of immigrant parents, she has learned the importance of education and community.  Realizing that health is not relegated to just the individual, Sandy is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of communities, locally as well as globally, and aspires to work with local and federal government for organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or local non-profit organizations that focus on social determinants of health.

Save the Date! The North Texas Health Forum is coming on April 7th & 8th

Topic: Embracing Our Community of African American Children
Please join us for the 4th annual North Texas Health Forum, April 7-8, 2011

Register online now! Seating is limited – advance registration is requested
Sponsored by the UNTHSC School of Public Health, (817) 735-2323

Who should attend? This event is free and open to the public.  Emotional well-being is a significant problem for African American children in Tarrant County. The North Texas Health Forum will present the root causes and begin investigating approaches to reduce this burden.

Thursday, April 7, 2011
 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. -- Keynote Address by Dr. Alwyn Cohall, Director of the Harlem Health Promotion Center, one of 37 national Prevention Research Centers established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to bridge acedamia and vulnerable communities
(Buffet reception to follow)

UNT Health Science Center campus, 1000 Montgomery St, Fort Worth, TX, 76107 Medical Education & Training Building (MET), South Auditorium

Friday, April 8, 2011
8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. -- Symposium
Panel presentations, roundtable breakouts, action session
(Program includes continental breakfast)

UNT Health Science Center campus, 1000 Montgomery St, Fort Worth, TX, 76107 Medical Education & Training Building (MET), Rooms 109/110/111

For campus maps and parking, please visit www.hsc.unt.edu

SPH Alumni Fundraising Update

Congratulations to you, our valued SPH alumni, for increasing the number of alumni donations made to the School of Public Health by 40% compared to last fall! We offer a heartfelt thank you to every SPH alumnus who participated by giving back. We encourage all alumni to give an annual gift at any level, because there truly is power in combined support. Let’s celebrate the kick-off of the second part of the alumni fundraising campaign, which begins in March, and set a goal to further increase the donations for scholarships. One hundred percent of your contribution benefits SPH, and if you’d like to make your donation now, please visit the online giving site at http://web.unthsc.edu/advancement and select your preference to either “Give Online Now” or “Give by Mail.” Thanks to all of you for your gifts and leadership.

susan jacksonPublic Health Student Association Year at a Glance

The theme for the for the Public Health Student Association’s 2010-2011 academic year is “professionalism.”  We have focused our efforts on engaging students and providing opportunities for students to get involved on campus and in the greater Tarrant County community.  We have partnered with other student organizations on campus to raise awareness for health issues such as Alzheimer’s disease and HIV/AIDS.  We have used our monthly meetings to discuss promoting professionalism and have hosted speakers on hospital administration, advocacy and professional organizations.  PHSA is excited about sponsoring Public Health Week during the first week in April and plans to host speakers, socials and networking events.  PHSA provided travel awards to the annual American Public Health Association (APHA) conference to six students during the fall semester and intends to continue to support student travel for professional development purposes.  Please continue to support PHSA efforts and show your school pride by purchasing the School of Public Health T-shirts, polo shirts and fleeces on sale!

Susan Jackson, MPH, CHES

President, PHSA

Check out the NEW Public Health Community Service Organization

michelle denison

The Public Health Community Service Organization’s (PHCSO) goal is to provide community service opportunities to UNTHSC students, staff, faculty, and alumni.  PHCSO aims to make community service meaningful and accessible to UNTHSC students, and therefore, contributing to personal character.  For Spring 2011, PHCSO has many volunteer opportunities.  In February, members visited Cook Children’s Hospital for a Valentines Craft Day complete with paper carnations and paper Valentines.  Later in February, PHCSO assisted with the Cowtown Marathon to cheer on UNTHSC students running while distributing water. PHCSO members will help Habitat for Humanity build a home in March. April will be PHCSO’s busiest month yet, filled with assisting the Public Health Student Organization with the annual Public Health Week, helping with March of Dimes’ March of Babies, and another soon to be announced event.  PHCSO will wrap up the semester by volunteering at the Special Olympics of Fort Worth, Texas, in May.  PHCSO invites any UNTHSC student (past or present), faculty, and staff to PHCSO events, and encourages all to become involved in their community and give back.

Michelle E. Denison, CHES
President of PHCSO
MPH, Class of Spring 2011

We want to help alumni keep in touch, so if you have new contact information or professional and personal updates that you'd like to share, please email them to alumni@unthsc.edu.
This page last updated 25th Jul 2013