Category Archives: #WeAreEmoryEPI

#WeAreEmoryEPI: Interdisciplinary EPI

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

Welcome back to #WeAreEmoryEPI! This week, we heard from first year MPH student Carson Bohl and second year EH-EPI student Seana Cleary to learn about their interdisciplinary interests within epidemiology!


Tell us about your academic history/where you went to school.

Carson: I went to Emory University for undergrad and studied psychology and human health.

Seana: Prior to coming to Rollins, I earned my B.S. in Biology & Public Health from The College of New Jersey in 2022.

What are your primary research interests, and how do you feel they intersect across multiple disciplines?

Carson: My primary interests lie in improving adolescent mental health through the development, implementation, and evaluation of structural/systems-level interventions in schools, workplaces, and the criminal justice system. This implementation science approach is inherently interdisciplinary because it relies on: 1) descriptive epidemiology and qualitative feedback to determine community needs and strengths and to develop culturally-tailored programs, and 2) analytic and methodological design considerations to evaluate the effectiveness, scalability, and generalizability of program implementation.

Seana: My main research interests lie within One Health, which focuses on the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health. My experiences in this field have allowed me to develop and use skills in ecology, epidemiology, data analysis, health communication, and more.

How have you been able to explore your interdisciplinary interests? 

Carson: For my APE and thesis, I am working in the context of school-based mental health grants to conduct community needs assessments, implement a multi-tiered trauma-informed intervention, and evaluate implementation effectiveness and sustainability. We are directly engaged with community stakeholders and will be addressing mental health disparities among LGBTQI+ students and students with disabilities. 

Seana: At Rollins, my APE and thesis focused on data management and predictors of mosquito-borne illnesses in children in Mexico. I also worked on community-engaged research with a cohort of people exposed to polybrominated biphenyls in Michigan and currently work with CDC’s One Health Office as a Surveillance and Epidemiology Intern. 

Is there a class you’ve taken at Rollins where you feel you’ve been able to explore your interests in multiple areas?

Carson: HPM592: Case Studies in Public Mental Health. This course focuses on a wide array of mental health case studies and students have the opportunity to develop interventions on the individual, health systems, and policy-levels. It incorporates descriptive epidemiology, behavioral and social sciences, and health policy and management. 

Seana: EHS 750: Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease has been such a great opportunity to explore some of my passions! I also highly recommend EPI 563: Spatial Epidemiology, DATA 550: Data Science Toolkit, and any coding class. You learn incredibly valuable programming skills in these classes, and professors let you choose what data you use in projects throughout the course.

What is your favorite part about earning your MPH at Emory?

Carson: I enjoy talking to students and professors about their public health interests and passions. Progress in public health requires creative collaboration and it’s important to critique current practices in the field to advance it forward. 

Seana: So many of the friends, faculty, and staff I’ve met here embody sunshine. I’ll carry the support system I’ve built with me forever. 

When applying, what were you looking for in a public health school, and what factors drove you to pick Rollins?

Carson: I was looking for a student-centered environment with opportunities to engage with the local community. I chose Rollins because staff and faculty seemed to genuinely care about the student experience. 

Seana: My three requirements for my graduate school were: 1) students had to be genuinely happy, 2) faculty had to be committed to student growth and learning, and 3) the surrounding area had to have opportunities for me to grow professionally. Rollins hit all 3. A scholarship and a visit to campus made the choice so obvious to me, and I have never once regretted my decision.

What advice do you have for people who may be interested in getting their MPH? 

Carson: Prepare yourself for the irony and dissonance that is inevitable when studying public health at an academic institution and then build a community of people who share your values.

Seana: Connect with students, alumni, and faculty, and ask about their journey. You’ll find that almost everyone has a place in public health, no matter their background.

What are three fun facts that you want people to know about you?


  1. I am originally from Seattle
  2. I love to read and write poetry
  3. I am passionate about the role of schools in public health


  1. I’ve fostered 12 kittens
  2. I spent a summer collecting ticks (and loved it)
  3. I recently ran my first half marathon!
How have you been spending your free time?

Seana: Finding good coffee shops. Send your best chai recommendations!

What is one place that you would recommend people to visit?

Seana: A bit far, but you need to visit the Naughty Cat Café in Chattanooga, TN. Such a cool org with the sweetest cats ever.

Do you have a Twitter/Instagram/Other that you’d like us to plug?

Carson: Instagram — @Carson.bohl 

Seana: Email — seana [dot] cleary [at] emory [dot] edu

Thanks for joining us this week! If you have any ideas for people/topics you’d like to highlight on #WeAreEmoryEPI, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at shamika [dot] chavda [at] emory [dot] edu

#WeAreEmoryEPI: World TB Day, Part 2!

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

Welcome back to #WeAreEmoryEPI! This week, we’re highlighting a few faculty members involved in TB research! Read more about Drs. Sarita Shah, Matt Magee, and Sara Auld’s work below. As a reminder, be sure to keep an eye out for events and seminars held by the TB Research Advancement Center until March 28th! 

Tell us a little about your academic history/where you went to school.

Dr. Auld: For my undergraduate studies, I was a history major at Stanford before going on to medical school at Columbia University and internal medicine residency training at Massachusetts General Hospital. I then took a slight detour from the traditional clinical pathway and spent two years in the international TB branch at the CDC as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer, before coming here to Emory where I did a pulmonary and critical care fellowship and MSCR program at the Laney school.

Dr. Shah: I spent 8 years in Baltimore for undergraduate and medical school at Johns Hopkins, then moved to New York for residency training in Internal Medicine and MPH, both at Columbia. After residency, I moved to Atlanta to serve as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer in CDC’s Division of Tuberculosis Elimination.

Dr. Magee: I went to undergraduate school at Grinnell College and then to University of Illinois at Chicago for a MPH. My PhD and post doc training was at Emory.

What are your primary research interests?

Dr. Auld: I have engaged in a range of studies around TB, HIV, and lung health. My main research area (for now) is around post-TB lung disease and better understanding the long-term consequences of TB disease (a la long COVID, but long TB).

Dr. Shah: My research focuses on improving prevention, treatment, and care for people with or at risk for TB in areas of the world where the burden is highest. This includes people HIV, close contacts of people with TB, and pediatric populations. A major goal is ensuring the research question is informed by practical clinical or public health issues so that findings can be translated into policy and practice.

Dr. Magee: I am interested in the relationship between tuberculosis and non-communicable diseases. This interest focuses on bi-directional relationships. For example, understanding how diabetes increases the risk of TB and also how TB increases the risk of diabetes.

How did you fall into the research that you are currently conducting?

Dr. Auld: I happened to meet the right people at the right time and was able to bring in my expertise and background in pulmonary medicine into new areas of TB research.

Dr. Shah: I have always been interested in the most pressing health issues in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), which were largely infectious diseases when I started my training. At the same time, HIV was a major health issue unfolding in the US and around the world during this time, which was something I wanted to be a part of responding to in some way. This drew me to pursue medical training followed by public health training, with a series of events along the way where I was in the “right place at the right time with the right people” that led me to my current research program.

Dr. Magee: During college I first became interested in epidemiology because of Paul Farmer’s book “Infections and Inequalities.” Then I had the opportunity to shadow the state epidemiologist from Iowa. Those early experiences were enough to get me hooked on epidemiology for life.

Are there any exciting projects or manuscripts that you are currently working on that you’d like to share with us? 

Dr. Auld: My biggest current project is based in Johannesburg, South Africa where we are enrolling a prospective longitudinal cohort of people with TB to better understand clinical risk factors and biological pathways that are associated with post-TB lung disease.

Dr. Shah: Yes! We just completed a study on transmission of drug-resistant TB (XDR TB) in South Africa and have been analyzing the data. Our goal is to examine where transmission is taking place outside of the usual places one thinks of, such as homes or hospitals. We’ve had several Rollins EPI students working on data entry, cleaning, and analysis over the past few years and it’s been great to see the MPH theses, PhD aims, abstracts, and papers that have come from this.

Dr. Magee: We are working on a few projects related to post TB lung and cardio metabolic health in the country of Georgia. Findings are still in the analysis phase but are exciting to me.

What is your favorite part of being at Emory?

Dr. Auld: Easy. I have wonderful colleagues who believe in the importance of personal well being and work-life balance/integration.

Dr. Shah: The people. 100% the people.

Dr. Magee: The collaborative atmosphere and great people.

Tell us about any classes that you’re teaching/have taught in the past. 

Dr. Auld: I am based in the School of Medicine and so much of my teaching happens during clinical rounds in the hospital with medical students, residents, and fellows.

Dr. Shah: I taught GH500 for 2 years and will be teaching a new course in Fall 2024 that I developed with a colleague at the Fulton County Board of Health. The course grew from our collaboration during COVID where we (including several Rollins students) worked hand-in-hand with Fulton County to support the response through case investigations, testing, contact tracing, and analytics. All of these experiences and lessons learned informed the course, which takes a broad look at how to use public health surveillance data (not limited to COVID) for public health response.

Dr. Magee: I’m currently teaching two analytic methods classes in the Masters of Science in Clinical Research Program (MSCR 530 and MSCR 534).

What advice do you have for students? 

Dr. Auld: Give yourself time to figure out what you really want to work on and trust that your training and background will open doors for you. Focus on finding a good mentor, rather than a specific project or area.

Dr. Shah: Try not to plan out every next step in your career path. Have a vision and goal, but try to let things unfold and you’ll be surprised at what paths make themselves known when the time is right.

Dr. Magee: Being a good writer remains an essential skill for success. One can always improve their writing skills.

What are three fun facts that you want people to know about you?

Dr. Auld:

  1. I recently decided I needed new hobbies and so I started playing tennis (again, for the first time since I was a kid).
  2. Once upon a time I was fluent in Japanese (but sadly, no longer), and am now reasonably proficient in Spanish.
  3. I am a great sous chef.

Dr. Shah: 

  1. I grew up in Cleveland
  2. I was a competitive figure skater.

Dr. Magee: 

  1. I like to cook.
  2. I bike to Emory most days.
  3. My current favorite author is Haruki Murakami.
How have you been spending your free time?

Dr. Auld: I have 3 kids and so they take up much of my free time, but I try to make space and time for reading novels and exercise/being outside.

Dr. Shah: Traveling. My daughter calls it extreme traveling. We travel a lot! 

What is one place in Atlanta that you would recommend people to visit?

Dr. Auld: Poor Hendrix for eating. Sope creek for not-too-far-away hike.

Dr. Magee: Arabia mountain is a great and nearby hike (except in the summer).

Do you have a Twitter/Instagram that you’d like us to plug?

Dr. Shah: @saritashahATL @Emory_TB_Center

Thank you to Drs. Auld, Shah, and Magee for their responses! Stay tuned to see who we talk to next on #WeAreEmoryEPI!

#WeAreEmoryEPI: World TB Day, Part 1!

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

World TB Day is March 24th, and this week, we’ll hear from two students completing TB-related work! Victoria Ontiveros is a first-year GLEPI MPH student, and Neha Mokashi is a first year EPI MSPH student! Read more about their academic and professional background below. 

Tell us about your academic history/where you went to school. 

Victoria: I have a B.S. in quantitative sciences with a concentration in biology from Emory University.

Neha: I graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a BSPH in Biostatistics and a minor in Biology! Go Heels!

Why are you interested in TB research? 

Victoria: Even though TB is thousands of years old and kills more than a million people every year, many challenges remain in controlling and eliminating TB in the US and globally. As I have learned more about TB, I have become particularly interested in latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) since it affects approximately a quarter of the world’s population, and detection and treatment are not necessarily straightforward and simple.

Neha: I am interested in TB research because it gives me the opportunity to explore my interests in respiratory infections and health disparities research. Poverty is an important determinant of the disease and TB prevention efforts require delving deeper into the social and economic risk factors for TB. 

Tell us about your current project or projects you have worked on. What does/did your role look like?

Victoria: I have been working with Dr. Matthew Magee and Dr. Maia Kipiani’s TB research team since I was junior in college. During these past few years, I have supported data quality control and data entry for their ongoing cohort study examining the relationship between TB and diabetes mellitus in the country of Georgia. Additionally, using data from a past cohort study in Tbilisi, Georgia, I have been preparing a manuscript that estimates the incidence of hypertension during and within 12 months of TB treatment completion and measures the association between TB severity and hypertension incidence.

Neha: I currently work with the CDC’s Division of TB Elimination, where I assist in prioritizing clusters of reported TB cases in the US to inform public health prevention efforts. My current project focuses on evaluating how well our team is prioritizing clusters.

What is your favorite part about being a part of this research group?

Victoria: Everyone is very friendly and genuinely wants to support your academic development and success.

Neha: My favorite part about being a part of this research group is definitely the people! Our group consists of individuals from different professional backgrounds, which has allowed me to learn about different aspects of TB prevention and control. 

What has been your favorite class at Rollins thus far, and why?

Victoria: EPI 542 Epidemiology of Tuberculosis has been my favorite class so far. The class gives you a broad overview of the different topics related to TB, and if you are particularly interested in one area, the professors provide supplementary reading material and guest speakers are always happy to answer your questions.

Neha: My favorite class at Rollins thus far has been the Epidemiology of TB course. I have really enjoyed hearing about different topic areas in TB from leading experts in the field and have gained insight into the type of research I want to conduct in the future.

What are three fun facts that you want people to know about you?


  1. I collect trinkets.
  2. I have won a watch in a raffle that I hadn’t known I’d entered.
  3. I started playing tennis for fun in grad school.


  1. I was born and raised in Alabama.
  2. I used to do research on tick-borne diseases before coming to Emory.
  3. My new favorite activity is barre!
How have you been spending your free time?

Victoria: I have been trying out new lunch and dinner recipes!

What is one place that you would recommend people to visit?

Victoria: The Mason Mill Park trails include some paved walkways that are great for strolls or runs. It connects to Lullwater Preserve, so it is accessible for Emory students.

Neha: If you are looking for the best tacos in Atlanta, I highly recommend Little Rey!

Do you have a Twitter/Instagram that you’d like us to plug? 

Neha: Instagram: @nehamokashi

Thanks for joining us this week on #WeAreEmoryEPI! Next time, we’ll be hearing from some faculty members with projects in TB. Additionally, keep an eye out for events and seminars held by the TB Research Advancement Center from March 22-28! 

#WeAreEmoryEPI: Publication Highlight!

This week, we are highlighting a recent textbook publication by Drs. Lauren Christiansen-Lindquist and Kristin Wall! The “Fundamentals of Epidemiology” textbook has been a few years in the making and we are so excited to share more about it. The textbook is linked here

Tell us a little about your academic history/where you went to school.

Dr. Christiansen-Lindquist: LCL completed her B.A. at the University of Minnesota, and both her MPH and Ph.D. At Emory University!
Dr. Wall: Dr. Wall completed her B.S. at the University of Texas Austin, her M.S. at the University of Texas Health Center, and her Ph.D. at Emory University!

What are your primary research interests?

Dr. Christiansen-Lindquist: Addressing the US stillbirth crisis through enhancing our data collection and improving the care that families receive around the time of a loss. This work includes the fusion of epidemiology and parent advocacy to pursue federal legislation to address these needs.
Dr. Wall: Advance evidence-based decision-making to improve STI prevention and reproductive health for women and couples by exploring effective and cost-effective strategies both domestically and in limited-resource settings.

Tell us about your recent publication! 

This book is unique in so many ways and highlights how we think about teaching epidemiology, both to budding epidemiologists as well as to those who have no intention of pursuing a career in public health. We see this as an opportunity to lay the foundation for critical thinking skills that are required to be an informed member of society. We were quite the team working through this, and neither of us could have completed the work without the other. We drew on our strengths, expertise, and friendship as we got through this massive undertaking!

Check out the making of the textbook and some exciting features!

Do you have any upcoming/ongoing projects that you’re excited about?

Kristin finds herself really missing the book writing process while Lauren is thrilled to have it behind them! We’re currently co-teaching HLTH 207: Fundamentals of Epidemiology (the course that we both teach for the college, which the book was titled after). We’ve never co-taught before, and are enjoying the opportunity, while also getting to teach our students using this new text.

Tell us about any classes that you’re teaching/have taught in the past. 

We both teach Fundamentals of Epidemiology to Emory undergraduate students. Kristin teaches EPI 540 and a course on epi methods for clinicians. LCL also teaches EPI 550 and a course for doctoral students that helps create a bridge between biostatistics and epidemiology.

What are some fun facts that you want people to know about you?

Dr. Christiansen-Lindquist: 

  • I was terrified of public speaking until half-way through the first semester of my doctoral program when I was a TA for EPI 530
  • The newest addition to the Lindquist family is a bearded dragon named RBD (Ruth Bader Dragon)
  • I majored in French in college, and would love to learn EPI vocabulary with the hope of teaching EPI methods in French during the summers

Dr. Wall: 

  • I spent most of my free time playing with my two kids (aged 1 and 5) or losing at chess to my husband!
    Thanks for joining us for this publication highlight! Again, be sure to check out the “Fundamentals of Epidemiology” textbook, and stay tuned to see who we talk to next on WeAreEmoryEPI!

#WeAreEmoryEPI: Outstanding APE Awards!

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

This week, we’re highlighting two of the EPI finalists for the Outstanding APE Award: Ava Cox (EPI MPH) and Ketki Joshi (GLEPI MSPH)! Read more below to learn more about them and their APE experiences.

Tell us about your academic history/where you went to school.

Ava: I graduated from Furman University in May 2022 with my Bachelors of Science in Public Health. I also double majored in History!

Ketki: I am an international student from India.


What are your primary research interests?

Ava: During my time at Rollins I have had the opportunity to work with Emory University School of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Disease on a study looking at the association between HIV and the gut microbiome, driving my interest in HIV. Specifically, my research interests include HIV and aging, and the intersection between health equity and HIV infection.

Ketki: My primary interests are Global health, Oral health, Maternal and Child Health focusing on Field-based research.


Tell us about your APE project.

Ava: For my APE, I was a collaborative biostatistics intern with Emory University School of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Disease, working on a project looking at the association of age and pregnancy history with the burden of non-AIDS comorbidities among women with and without HIV, using baseline data from the Study for Treatment and Reproductive Outcomes (STAR). In my role, I wrote SAS code for data cleaning and restructuring, and conducted analysis. Following my analysis I wrote abstracts and presented my findings to the Primary Investigators of STAR.

Ketki: The main objective of our APE project was to identify the gaps, barriers, and current practices in screening Tuberculosis (TB) in pregnant women receiving hospital and community-based antenatal care (ANC). The target population for this study was healthcare workers (HCWs) and pregnant women at a tertiary care facility and a Community Health Center in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India.


How did you find your APE project?

Ava: While working as a graduate research assistant for the HIV and gut microbiome study, I asked my supervisor if she or one of her colleagues had any projects I might be able to work on. She provided me a list and I reached out to several before Dr. Collins, the primary investigator for my APE, responded and offered to talk more about a project she had available.

Ketki: I applied for the Emory Global Health Institute’s “Field Scholars Awards Program” in March 2023.


When did you start looking for an APE? When did you start working for your APE organization? 

Ava: I started looking pretty early, around February/March 2023, but I didn’t secure my APE until mid-April 2023; I started my APE in May 2023.

Ketki: I started looking for an APE around end of November, 2023. I received Award notification in May and started working in June, 2023.


Are you pursuing/interested in any certificates? If so, was it difficult to meet your APE requirements?

Ava: Yes, I am pursuing a certificate in infectious disease. I didn’t have any issue meeting my APE requirements, but my best advice is to ask advisors or supervisors if they know of any opportunities and it never hurts to ask!

Ketki: I am not pursuing any certificates.


What has the experience been like so far? (if you’ve started the experience)

Ava: I thoroughly enjoyed my position as a collaborative biostatistics intern! Working with my team members has been incredibly rewarding and I’ve learned a lot about data analysis and the processes after data from a study has been collected. My APE has given me more confidence in my abilities and I feel more prepared for my future career in public health.


Any advice for people looking for an APE?

Ava: Whatever existing connections you have, use them – don’t be intimidated! Asking around at my REAL job was incredibly helpful and I found that my supervisors and coworkers wanted me to find a position that was right for me.

Ketki: Anyone looking for an APE should reach out to the professors and learn about their projects. Start early and Network more!


What are three fun facts you want people to know about you?


  1. I am originally from North Carolina
  2. I have a cat named Raisin
  3. I love to bake


  1. I am a trained Bharatnatyam (one of the 9 Indian classical dance forms) dancer.
  2. This summer, I had a chance to visit two UNESCO world heritage sites: Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi and The Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka during our APE filed visit in Madhya Pradesh, India. (APE field experiences can be fun!)
  3. I can speak three languages: Marathi, Hindi and English.


Do you have a Twitter/Instagram/both that you’d like us to plug?

Ketki: Instagram: ketkij_27

Many thanks to Ava and Ketki for sharing their APE experiences with us! Congratulations to the both of them for being selected as finalists for the Outstanding APE award. Stay tuned to see who we talk to on #WeAreEmoryEPI next!  

#WeAreEmoryEpi: Meet Dr. Jodie Guest!

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

Meet Dr. Jodie Guest! Dr. Guest has been an RSPH faculty member since 2015 and is the Senior Vice Chair of the Department of Epidemiology. She has led several outbreak response, advisory, and leadership teams throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and is on the Atlanta Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Board.  Read more to learn about her work with PRISM Health at Rollins! 

Tell us a little about your academic history/where you went to school. 

I went to Baylor for my undergraduate degree in communication disorders and concurrently got a Paramedic degree at Texas A&M and a post-bac nursing degree. I got my MPH in epidemiology and my PhD at Emory.

What are your primary research interests?

My research varies from HIV and COVID-19 prevention and care to science communication to applied work in communities with inequitable access.

How did you begin working with PRISM Health? 

I was the previously the Director of the HIV Research Department at the Atlanta VA Medical Center and moved to Emory full time to work with PRISM Health on HIV prevention studies and to do more teaching and mentoring with students.

What are some current initiatives, projects, or publications with PRISM Health that you are excited about and would like to share with us?

I am working with one of my doctoral students on a women’s prediction model to help guide who is most in need of PrEP to prevent HIV.

What has been the most rewarding part of working with PRISM Health?
My colleagues! PRISM Health is a group of incredible people who I admire professionally and personally.
Tell us about any classes that you’re teaching/have taught in the past. 

I teach EPI 530 in the fall. I love this class as it is where I discovered my love for epidemiology. In the spring I teach HIV Epidemiology, a deeper dive into methods we use, stigma, and advances in our research field. I also taught Emory’s University Course last year called Pandemic Reflections comparing the AIDS and COVID-19 pandemics. I would like to teach that class again soon. I am also working on a new certificate program in Science Communications.

What advice do you have for students? 
Pursue something you are passionate about.
What are three fun facts that you want people to know about you?
  1. I talk to my animals.
  2. I love to cook and throw dinner parties.
  3. I led 6 hours of karaoke in a small 4 gate airport while waiting for a plane to be fixed.
How have you been spending your free time?
We found a stray dog 2 months ago and he has been occupying a lot of time. He is both adorable and crazy!
What is one place in Atlanta that you would recommend people to visit?
Restaurants on Buford Highway!

Thank you for sharing with us, Dr. Guest! Dr. Guest can be found on Instagram and Twitter @jlguest, and you can read more about her extensive experience here. Stay tuned to see who we talk to next on #WeAreEmoryEpi! 

#WeAreEmoryEPI: Meet Noni Bourne!

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

Meet Noni Bourne! Noni is one of our Associate Director of Academic Programs (ADAPs) for the EPI department, specifically focusing on EPI and GLEPI MSPH and PhD students.

Tell us a little about your academic history/where you went to school.
I’m a proud alumna of Spelman College, where I graduated with my BA in English. I also have a Master’s in English Literature from Georgetown University. My career path has shifted since then, but I’m still an avid reader!
What were you doing before you came to Rollins?
Before I came to Rollins, I was in a similar role supporting undergraduates at a liberal arts school in Washington, DC. Before that, I had prior lives as a Peace Corps volunteer in Vanuatu; as a pre-school teacher; and of, course, other roles in higher education!
Why did you want to become ADAP for the Epidemiology Department? 
I was drawn to RSPH and EPI because of the student-centered environment. I’m from a family of educators and am a big nerd at heart. I knew this was the role for me when I heard and saw the focus on student success throughout my interview process.
What are you most excited about working with MPH students? 
What excites me about working with our students is the energy, enthusiasm, and motivation. Our students are amazing! I really am proud to see the amazing work they do everyday and it gives me life!
What goals do you have when working with new students? 
My goal when working with students is to be helpful. Whether it’s something small (like what to do when you lose your EmoryCard) or something big (like how do I best position myself to be marketable post-graduation), I hope my students always come out of my meetings with clear to-do’s and goals.
What is your favorite part of being at Emory?
The people! From students, to staff, to faculty–everyone I’ve meet and worked with here is wonderful.
What advice do you have for students? 
Ask questions; be a sponge; get involved!
What is one place in Atlanta that you would recommend people to visit?
This one is for the student-parents (or anyone who’s a kid at heart…or loves dinosaurs): Fernbank Museum. My littles love this place and will spend hours exploring the exhibits and playgrounds.
What are you currently reading/watching/listening to?
Reading A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik: a story set in a magical boarding school with a survivalist twist. 
What are three fun facts that you want people to know about you?

1. I love a magical trilogy! (Please send me recommendations!)

2. I have 7-year-old twins and am a newly minted soccer mom.

3. I’ve reached the stage of life where Zumba is fun. (It really is!)

Thank you for sharing with us! We can’t wait for you all to see what’s next on #WeAreEmoryEpi!

#WeAreEmoryEpi: Meet Dr. Hannah Cooper!

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

Tuesday, October 10th was World Mental Health Day, and this week we are highlighting Dr. Hannah Cooper! Dr. Cooper is the Rollins Chair of Substance Use Disorders Research and is a jointly appointed faculty member within both the BSHES and EPI Departments. Keep reading to learn more about her background and research! 

Tell us a little about your academic history/where you went to school.

I organized my training so that I could study and intervene in the structural determinants of drug-related harms, and of inequities in those harms. My commitment to understanding structural determinants and health equity led me to the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Health and Social Behavior for my graduate studies. My commitment to harm reduction drew me to a post-doc at a research institute that was wholly dedicated to supporting the health of people who use drugs.


What are your primary research interests?

I have dedicated my career to studying and intervening in the structural determinants of drug-related harms, and of inequities in those harms. I think of my career as unfolding in different chapters. First, I focused on how features of places, including War on Drugs policies, shaped these harms, and their distributions within and across US metro areas. Then I turned to the same topic, but in rural areas. Now, I am in a new chapter, on the intersection of harm reduction and reproductive justice.


How did you fall into the research you are currently conducting? 

There are two origins for my research. The first is that I am White, and descended from people who enslaved other people. My work on health equity is part of a broader lifelong commitment to reparations. The second is that drug-related harms are common in my extended family, and so I do this work out to honor them.


Are there any exciting projects or manuscripts that you are currently working on that you’d like to share with us?

I get to co-lead a new project called CORAL, which a partnership of Morehouse and Emory that is dedicated to helping Black pregnant and postpartum people flourish, with a focus on community-driven approaches to supporting behavioral health.


What is your favorite part of being at Emory? 

The people!


Tell us about any classes that you’re teaching/have taught in the past.

I get to teach two classes here: a proposal development course for BSHES PhD students, and a course on analyzing administrative data and geospatial data that focuses on harm reduction.


What advice do you have for students?

Trust yourself.


What are three fun facts that you want people to know about you?

1. I just started playing the cello again.

2. I love reading.

3. There are only two fun facts about me, sadly.


How have you been spending your free time? 

Raising my daughter with my partner.

Thank you so much for your insight, Dr. Cooper! Stay tuned to see who we speak to next on #WeAreEmoryEpi! 


#WeAreEmoryEpi: Meet the 2023-24 Communications Team!

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

This week, we’re introducing this year’s communication team for the Epidemiology Department! Erica Schipper will be in charge of The Confounder, Kanak Belgaum will be running @rollinsepilife on Instagram, and I (Shamika Chavda) will be running our Twitter account, @EmoryEpi, and the #WeAreEmoryEpi posts. 

Tell us about your academic history/where you went to school.

Shamika: I graduated from the University of Florida this past Spring with a Bachelor’s in Public Health and minor in Health Disparities in Society! 

Erica: I graduated from William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia in 2022! I majored in Kinesiology & Health Sciences with a concentration in public health and a minor in math. I came straight to Rollins after undergrad, and am now a second year Epi student in the SDOH certificate program 🙂

Kanak: I graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2022, where I majored in Animal Science.

What are your primary research interests? 

Shamika: I’m most interested in studying emerging infectious diseases, zoonotic diseases, and disease surveillance.

Erica: My primary research interests are chronic health and developmental disabilities such as Autism. I have also worked in cancer research, and am currently working on a project in perinatal health.

Kanak: I am most interested in infectious & zoonotic diseases, with a focus on the role of data science/machine learning in those fields

What is your role on the communications team?

Shamika: I am a social media associate, and am running the Twitter page as well as the #WeAreEmoryEpi posts!

Erica: I manage the weekly Confounder newsletter and the ScholarBlog website.

Kanak: Social Media Associate (Instagram)

What are you looking forward to the most this semester? 

Shamika: It’s my first semester at Emory, so I’m very excited to get involved with internships and research exploring my interests as well as build new skills in infectious disease epi and programming!

I am really looking forward to taking more electives this semester, and applying everything I learned last year to my new classes.

Kanak: Besides paving my future career path, I am most excited to meet new people and explore the city of Atlanta. 

What are three fun facts you want people to know about you? 


  • I play the bass guitar and piano.
  • I love rewatching Studio Ghibli movies, and am approaching my 10th rewatch of My Neighbor Totoro.
  • I love going to concerts, and have a rubber chicken named Poblano that I bring with me to all of them to document the experience.


  • My favorite hobbies are making crafts, baking, and planning elaborate events like birthday parties or weddings that will never happen
  • I’ve performed the national anthem before a professional baseball game twice on an instrument I don’t really know how to play
  • I’m a Gilmore Girls mega fan and really wish I could live in Stars Hollow


  • I am a huge LA Clippers fan (unfortunately)
  • Starting in 2021, have watched 30+ seasons of Survivor 3.
  • I love traveling and visited Japan, England, and Paris this past summer!

Thanks for checking out this week’s WeAreEmoryEpi post!

#WeAreEmoryEPI: Meet Andres Miller!

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

Meet Andres Miller! He is a second-year MPH Candidate in Global Epidemiology with various research interests nurtured through his experiences and time at Rollins! Andres shared with us some of his experiences.

Tell us about your academic history/where you went to school.

I attended Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. While there, I majored in Biology and minored in Urban Community Health.


What are your primary research interests?

My research interests are varied but centered around understanding the social and neighborhood dynamics that drive inequitable health outcomes in historically marginalized communities. I am particularly interested in chronic disease surveillance and translating epidemiologic methods into action to directly impact people.


Are there any exciting projects that you are currently working on that you’d like to share with us?

I am working on a project highlighting methodologies and measurements used to approximate structural racism to benefit researchers exploring these topics. More recently, an old colleague has reached out to collaborate on building a small community assessment exploring adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and educational outcomes for children in South Memphis. Although it is still in the works, I am excited to apply some of the tools I’ve learned in study design through my coursework to benefit communities similar to those that shaped me!


What is your favorite part about earning your MPH at Emory?

The collaboration! Emory has an extensive reach, and I appreciate the willingness of faculty and staff to get students involved in research and practical opportunities.


When applying, what were you looking for in a public health school, and what factors drove you to pick Rollins?

The biggest thing that stuck out to me was the access to the extensive network of Emory/Rollins alumni doing amazing things in the field of public health. I have worked as a public health professional in work and through travelling, and I was always struck by the care and intention I saw in Rollins graduates. Also, as an alumnus of the National Service, it felt great going to a place that invests in and recognizes the diverse perspectives that come from engaging in deep, meaningful service to your community.


What has been your favorite class at Rollins thus far, and why?

I would have to say EPI 542 (Epidemiology of Tuberculosis), which is a 7-week class. It was an excellent opportunity to hear from leaders–who are actively working in the field–share their experiences addressing outbreaks and scientific advancements. Being able to walk through a real-life case study with the CDC Tuberculosis Response team and asking them questions about their career paths did a lot for me. It really helped me visualize what my future career paths might look like!


How have you been spending your free time?

Free time? What do you mean?

But seriously, I enjoy making music in my free time, and I have had the opportunity to be in community with fellow students on the weekends. I am also a nature nerd and am all about the outdoors. Sometimes, I’ll hit the trails around Atlanta and randomly identify birds.


Do you have any advice for anyone looking for prospective public health students?

Public health is for everyone! No matter what experiences you may have had in your professional and academic life, your voice, skills, perspectives, and passions can provide valuable insight into the field.


What advice do you have for 1st years?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I know we may have been conditioned for years to appear like we have all the answers, but science is all about knowing what you don’t know and being unafraid to admit it!


What are three fun facts that you want people to know about you?
  1. I am multilingual. I speak 3 to 4 languages.
  2. I once recorded a gospel album.
  3. After the World Series last year, [NBA legend and television personality] Charles Barkley once bought me a drink (along with the rest of the bar).


Thank you for talking with us, Andres! We can’t wait for everyone to see who we talk to next!

Upcoming Events

  • The Summer Institute in Statistics and Modeling in Infectious Diseases (SISMID) July 15, 2024 – July 31, 2024 Conference / Symposium Event Type: Conference / SymposiumSeries: The Summer Institute in Statistics and Modeling in Infectious Diseases (SISMID)Speaker: Leaders in the FieldContact Name: Pia ValerianoContact Email: pvaleri@emory.eduLink: Summer Institute in Statistics and Modeling in Infectious Diseases (SISMID) is designed to introduce infectious disease researchers to modern methods of statistical analysis and mathematical modeling.
  • The Second Annual RSPH Staff and Post-Doctoral Ice Cream Social August 14, 2024 at 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Networking and Special Event Event Type: Networking,Special EventContact Name: Staff CouncilContact Email: rsphstaffcouncil@emory.eduRoom Location: RRR_Terrace 2nd FloorRSPH staff and post-docs are invited to join us for ice cream and delightful conversation. This event is hosted by the RSPH Staff Council.
  • Tricks and Treats with the Council, hosted by the RSPH Staff Council October 31, 2024 at 10:00 am – 11:30 am Networking and Special Event Event Type: Networking,Special EventContact Name: Staff CouncilContact Email: rsphstaffcouncil@emory.eduRoom Location: CNR_8030 Lawrence P. &Ann Estes Klamon roomRSPH staff and post-docs are invited to join the RSPH Staff Council for a festive gathering featuring sweet treats and refreshments. Costumes are encouraged but not required.

Follow Us on Social Media: