See how graduates of the School of Health Sciences are making a difference in their lives and the lives of others.

March 2015

Dr. Tyra Norris-Ellis ’08, ’11, an MS and PhD in Public Health graduate, was recently named director of the High Blood Pressure Program at the Greater Southeast Affiliate of the American Heart Association in Marietta, Georgia.

November 2014

Dr. Anita Alston Ellis ’11, a PhD in Public Health graduate, published From Abandonment to Abundance, which tells the true life story of how she was abandoned as a child but was determined to live a life of abundance. Dr. Ellis, who was brought up in foster care until her adoption, announced the upcoming release of her book during National Adoption Month. The book provides insight into the world of foster care and how Dr. Ellis overcame challenges on her road to empowerment.

October 2014

Jonas Nguh ’13, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) Completion Program and PhD in Public Health graduate, recently obtained Fellow status from the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE). He was also appointed editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Healthcare Policy, where he will be responsible for editorial control and maintaining academic quality of the journal.

September 2014

Mercy Chikhosi Nyirongo ’14, a Master of Public Health (MPH) graduate, was the subject of a feature article on her work as a healthcare coordinator in her home country of Malawi. The article was published on the United Methodist Church’s website.

Dr. Bruce Furr ’13, a Master of Public Health (MPH) and PhD in Health Services graduate, was appointed to the board of directors of the peer-reviewed American Orthoptic Journal. He also co-authored an article in the journal and presented his research at the American Association of Certified Orthoptists regional meeting in Cleveland.

Dr. Tony Cappello ’12, a PhD in Public Health graduate and a faculty member in the School of Health Sciences, was appointed to the State Board of Health by the governor of Colorado. Dr. Cappello is the public health director for the Northeast Colorado Health Department in Sterling.

Benjamin Banks ’10, a Master of Public Health (MPH) graduate, published an article in Time magazine about his success having a healthy biological child with his wife despite being HIV positive since childhood. He is an ambassador for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to preventing pediatric HIV infection and eliminating pediatric AIDS through research, advocacy, and prevention, care, and treatment programs.

July 2014

Dr. Heather Craig Alonge ’13, a PhD in Health Services and Master of Public Health (MPH) graduate, will present her dissertation research, Using Diffusion of Innovation Theory to Determine Missouri Providers’ Perceptions of Telemedicine, during a poster presentation at the American Public Health Association’s annual meeting and exposition in New Orleans in November.

June 2014

Steven Rich '12, a Master of Public Health (MPH) graduate, received the 2014 State of Ohio Publications Award for his paper "Epidemiological Research of La Crosse Encephalitis for Holmes and Wayne Counties, Ohio" published in the Ohio Journal of Environmental Health (Vol. 4, 2013). Rich is a registered public health sanitarian.

April 2014

Dr. Stefany H. Almaden ’12, a PhD in Health Services graduate, published A Blood-Tinged Diary: Culture Crossings (CreateSpace, 2013). Dr. Almaden is the president and CEO of The Almaden Group Inc., a healthcare consulting business in Pasadena, Calif.

Dr. Rabeh Robert Hijazi ’11, a PhD in Public Health graduate, recently received the American College of Clinical Engineering’s 2014 Tom O’Dea Advocacy Award in recognition of his work as an advocate. He serves on various committees and mentors younger clinical engineers. Dr. Hijazi is the chief clinical engineer at the William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia, S.C.

Dr. Christie Osuagwu ’11, a PhD in Public Health graduate, was hired as a certified family nurse practitioner at UT Physicians of Tyler, Texas. She previously held various administrative and nursing positions at UT Health Northeast. Dr. Osuagwu is also an adjunct assistant professor of community health and preventive medicine at UT Health as well as a family nurse practitioner on UT Health’s Mobile Pediatric Asthma Clinic.

Dr. Amy Swango-Wilson ’07, a PhD in Health Services graduate and a faculty member in the School of Nursing, presented “Agreement Between Self-Report and Medical Record Prevalence of 16 Chronic Conditions in the Alaska EARTH Study” in February at Tennessee’s Milligan College, where she serves as associate professor of nursing.

March 2014

Steven Rich ’12, a Master of Public Health (MPH) graduate, published “Epidemiological Research of La Crosse Encephalitis for Holmes and Wayne Counties, Ohio” in the Ohio Journal of Environmental Health (Vol. 4, 2013). Rich is a registered public health sanitarian who is responsible for public health programs in the environmental health field in Ohio.

Dr. Preston Long ’02, a PhD in Health Services graduate, recently published Chiropractic Abuse: An Insider’s Lament (American Council on Science & Health, 2013) to provide a perspective on the education and training, and unethical behaviors of chiropractors. Dr. Long is a licensed chiropractor near Phoenix and an associate professor at Bryan University.

February 2014

Dr. Nikki Zogg ’13, a PhD in Public Health graduate, recently became the director of the Coos County Public Health Department in Oregon. A native of Coos Bay, she previously served as a division director in the Central District Health Department in Boise, Idaho, and was involved in public health as a member of the U.S. Air Force.

Dr. Joy Guthrie ’12, a PhD in Public Health graduate and director of the diagnostic medical sonography program at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, Calif., recently received the Kenneth R. Gottesfeld Award from the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Given annually, the award recognizes superior writing and contributions to the Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Dr. Guthrie was honored for her article “The Prediction of Liver Disease Status Using a Combination of Sonographic and Doppler-Derived Observations of the Portal Venous System,” which was published in 2012, as well as for the third-place article, “A Case-Control Study to Compare the Likelihood of Detecting Liver Disorders Using Coincident Measures of Doppler-Derived Portal Vein Pressure Gradients, Hepatic Venous Waveforms, and the Echogenicity of Liver Parenchyma,” which she co-authored.

Dr. Gayle Walter ’10, a Master of Public Health (MPH) and PhD in Public Health graduate, co-authored the “Protective Factors and College Student Drinking Patterns in Pre- and Post-Katrina New Orleans” in Health (Vol. 5, No. 12) with the late Dr. John Kowalczyk, a former faculty member in the School of Health Sciences, and Dr. Peter Anderson, a faculty member in the School of Health Sciences. Focusing on students at a public commuter university in New Orleans, the authors examined how attitudes, personal characteristics, and behaviors could play a role in reducing alcohol and drug use among college students.

Dr. Phyllis Wallace ’07, a PhD in Public Health graduate, co-authored “Views of Mammography Screening Among U.S. Black and Hispanic Immigrant Women and Their Providers” in the journal Health Care for Women International (January 2014). The paper examines barriers to cancer screening by exploring the perceptions and experiences of Haitian, Hispanic, Portuguese, and Somali women related to mammography and breast health services. Dr. Wallace is a research assistant professor at Boston University.

Dr. Norma Bowe ’93, a PhD in Health Services graduate, who designed and teaches a popular “Death in Perspective” course at Kean University in Union, N.J., inspired The Death Class: A True Story About Life (Simon & Schuster, 2014) by Erika Hayasaki. The book describes the experiential nature of Dr. Bowe’s class, which includes visits to hospices, cemeteries, and prisons as well as assignments that ask students to write their own eulogies and funeral plans, while communicating how learning about death can help people lead life to its fullest potential.

Dr. Vali Hawkins Mitchell ’93, a PhD in Health Services graduate, authored The Cost of Emotions in the Workplace: The Bottom Line Value of Emotional Continuity Management (Rothstein Associates Inc., 2013). In the book, she details how managers should understand the full range of employees’ potential emotional responses to ensure effective planning and business continuity before, during, and after a major disaster. The CEO of ImproVizion Consulting, Dr. Mitchell has trained or counseled first responders and victims following 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina.

Read accomplishments from previous years.