Public Health Alumni
Meet Our Alumni
We would love to connect with any Texas State University alumni who earned a degree from the Public Health Division (formerly Health Education Division). Please help us connect by sharing any news or updates about your life and career through our HHP Alumni Form.
Sophie Wright (M.S., 2022)
Sophie is the Worksite Wellness Coordinator for the Hawaii State Department of Health. While working for the state, she leads the implementation of a state-wide worksite wellness recognition program, maintains and evaluates internal worksite wellness activities, and creates workplace policies through collaboration with multiple divisions within the Primary Prevention Branch. She strives to expand the importance and acknowledgement of health in the workplace, and works with employers to create more positive, healthy work environments in Hawaii.
Taylor Levy (M.S., 2021)
Taylor is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who works for the Travis County AgriLife Extension Service as a County Extension Agent for Urban Youth Development. Specifically, Taylor manages the 4-H Capital Program which inspires youth to develop into life-long participants in science, service, and community engagement. While pursuing her master’s degree at Texas State, Taylor assisted local school districts with implementing the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Project and completed a thesis exploring COVID-19’s impact food insecurity and healthy dietary behaviors. Her research has been published in the Health Education Monograph and Journal of American College Health. In 2021, Taylor was awarded the Dorothy Huskey Excellence in Health Education Practice Award from the Society for Public Health Education for outstanding contribution to the practice and profession of health education.
Colleen Cook (M.S., 2020)
Since graduating with her master’s, Colleen continues to remain passionate about public health and has specialized in various environmental health initiatives throughout her professional career. Colleen served as an Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Specialist at Texas State University for seven years, where she was responsible for facilitating stakeholder meetings, managing environmental awareness campaigns, and maintaining compliance with government regulations. Currently, Colleen is a Program Specialist for the Texas Department of State Health Services in the Zoonosis Control Branch where she assists with monitoring animal-borne and vector-borne diseases throughout the state of Texas. During her master’s program, Colleen learned many invaluable skills that she uses every day at her job.
Skylar Love (M.Ed., 2019)
Skylar currently serves as a Health Promotion Specialist at Texas A&M University in College Station where she focuses on alcohol and other drug abuse prevention. In her position, Skylar works collaboratively with both campus and community stakeholders to design, implement, and evaluate drug prevention initiatives that have a positive impact on both students and the surrounding community. While completing her graduate degree at Texas State University, Skylar was a graduate assistant for the Office of Health Promotion Services where she advised two peer education groups, planned events and programs, and regularly facilitated discussions on topics such as sexual health, mental health, bystander intervention, sexual assault, and social justice.. Prior to attending Texas State University, Skylar completed her B.S. in Public Health at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and served as a Youth Tobacco Prevention Coordinator for a grant funded program.
Samantha Ortega (M.Ed., 2019)
Sam is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Health Education in the Division of Health Education at Texas A&M University. Her research focuses on sexual health education exposure and its relationship to sexual health knowledge and behaviors among adolescents. Her research has been presented at both the national Society for Public Health Education conference and the Texas Society for Public Health Education conference. During her studies at Texas State, Sam completed an internship with the Hays CISD School Health Advisory Council. Through this internship, she worked with the PEP program for dropout prevention and the Girl Talk-Boy Talk sexual health education initiative. Sam assisted in developing Las Pláticas, the first Spanish Girl Talk-Boy Talk event.
Shelby Flores-Thorpe (M.Ed., 2018)
Shelby is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Health at the University of Texas. Her research on college students’ use of campus-based health services was recently featured in the December 2018 issue of The Health Education Monograph where it was named the 2018 Mohammad R. Torabi Student Paper of the Year.
Leanne Raborn (M.Ed., 2018)
Leanne is a School Health Program Specialist at the Texas Department of State Health Services which supports school districts through comprehensive school health promotion and chronic disease prevention efforts. She currently leads the redesign of the Awards for Excellence in Texas School Health program which funds the implementation and sustainability of school-based health projects focusing on nutrition, physical activity, and injury prevention. Her favorite part of her job is knowing she is working to improve the lifelong health behaviors developed by students in school communities statewide.
Veronica Whiteside (M.Ed., 2016)
Veronica holds the position of Director of Programs for the NTARUPT, the North Texas Alliance to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy in Texas. She oversees the NTARUPT Tier 1B Teen Pregnancy Prevention grant from the Office of Adolescent Health. She plans and implements various educational programs within the Dallas area.
Sergio Castaneda (M.Ed., 2016)
Sergio currently works as a Public Health and Prevention Specialist for the Texas Department of State Health Services. He has previously held positions at the Williamson County and Cities Health District and Interactive Health, Inc.
Christina Nordheim (M.Ed., 2015; B.H.W.P., 2013)
Christina is a Community Health Education Specialist with UT Physicians in Houston, Texas. She provides evidence-based health education programs to the community through teaching, counseling, training, and research initiatives. She previously completed internships with the Texas Department of State Health Services and Community Action of Central Texas.
Christopher Jammer (M.Ed., 2015)
Christopher is a Program Account Manager for Airrosti Rehabilitation Center in San Antonio Texas. Airrosti is a healthcare group that trains skilled practitioners in the delivery of outcome-based musculoskeletal care for health and rehabilitation purposes.
Ashley Cureton (M.Ed., 2014)
Ashley is a Wellness Consultant at the Texas Association of Counties (TAC) which serves more than 200 members of the TAC Health and Employee Benefits Pool. She regularly delivers health education about nutrition, exercise, and stress management to employees in 46 different East Texas counties. Ashley was recently named the TAC 2018 Employee of the Year.
Jennifer Evans (M.Ed., 2014, B.H.W.P., 2013)
Dr. Evans is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Health Education at Texas A&M University. In addition to teaching health education courses, her research focuses on women's sexual health and condom negotiation. Her recent research investigated college women's hookup behaviors and condom negotiation strategies employed with partners found online and offline. She has been heavily involved in public health advocacy through both the Society for Public Health Education and Eta Sigma Gamma.
Brittany Rosen (M.Ed., 2010; B.H.W.P., 2008)
Dr. Rosen is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Adolescent and Transition Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center within the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her research program focuses on preventing sexually transmitted infections in adolescents. Specifically, she has focused on developing, implementing, and evaluating web-based continuing medical education interventions to increase healthcare providers' skills and ability to engage in evidence-based communication strategies to provide consistent care to patients. Dr. Rosen has conducted a usability and feasibility evaluation of a novel HPV vaccine healthcare provider communication training program using a smartphone app among a cohort of pediatric residents (funded by the Academic Pediatric Association). In addition, Dr. Rosen is serving as co-investigator on a content and usability evaluation of web-based continuing education for dental providers regarding HPV and oropharyngeal cancers.
Amber Crady (M.S., 2022)
Amber completed her M.S. in public health education and promotion in 2022 and currently works at Special Olympics Texas as a Unified Champion Schools® Specialist. In this role, she furthers the Unified Champion Schools® initiative, which promotes accepting and inclusive environments for students with and without intellectual disabilities. While pursuing her graduate degree at Texas State, she helped facilitate a nutrition education program that prioritized children from low-income families and administered the Youth Risk Behavior Survey within a local school district. In addition, Amber served as Secretary of Eta Sigma Gamma and as a member of the university’s Distance and Extended Learning Student Advisory Committee.
Turki Altharman (M.S., 2020)
Turki completed his M.S. in Public Health Education and Promotion in 2020 after graduating from Portland State University with a degree in health education. He is currently an Education Specialist with the Saudi Health Council’s National Cancer Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In this role, he develops health education policy related to cancer among Saudi citizens. He is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) who also has experience delivering health education and health promotion programs to senior citizens in elder care and nursing facilities. Turki has also worked on community health projects to improve food access for populations living in designated food deserts.
Kathleen Bates (M.S., 2019)
Dedicated to educating and empowering people of all ages to support healthy communities, Kathleen has actively engaged in prevention since graduating from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a degree in Science specializing in Community Health in 2012. Her background comes from the San Antonio Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse where the love of working with youth and communities in need truly flourished. In addition to leading interactive presentations and educational activities for both youth and adults, she has also chaired a coalition workgroup focused on retail enforcement of Texas tobacco laws. Kathleen currently serves as the program manager at the Texas School Safety Center – Texas State University for the statewide youth tobacco prevention coalition in Texas, known as the Say What! program. Kathleen received her Master’s in Public Health Education and Promotion from Texas State University in December 2019.
Ashley Khanhkham (M.Ed., 2019)
Ashley is the Community Program Manager at Sanctuary Project, a nonprofit organization which works with survivors of trafficking, violence, and addiction in Austin, Texas. Through her role with the Sanctuary Project, she assists with program development, implementation, and evaluation, as well as communicates with grantors, writes grants, and facilitates daily programming with the survivors. Sanctuary Project is dedicated to providing survivors with job training, professional skill sets, and a safe transition back into employment. Ashley's favorite part of her job is knowing she is able to help guide the women she works with, providing them with the tools to successfully follow their goals and passions.
Emily Hayes-Kubala, (M.Ed., 2018)
Emily is a Community Health Engagement Specialist for the Marketing and Community Engagement Department at Williamson County and Cities Health District. Additionally, she is actively involved with the Healthy Williamson County Coalition. She serves as a health education resource person to community members through hosting coalition meetings, providing presentations on various health topics, and coordinating community health events and conferences. Her favorite part of the job is combining her creativity and TXST education to engage community members in health and wellness topics. She hopes that through hard work and dedication she can make a difference in her beloved central Texas community.
Hanna Traphagan (M.Ed., 2018)
Hanna is employed as a Program Specialist with the Texas Safety School Center where she works to advocate for youth tobacco prevention efforts across the state. She assists with the Say What! Campaign which serves as the official Texas youth tobacco prevention coalition.
Alberto Guzman (B.H.W.P., 2017)
Alberto is a Community Marketing Liaison for Cuidado Casero Home Health Central in Austin. Working directly with Medica Health Management, Alberto strives to increase outreach and awareness for those individuals who are recovering, disabled, or terminally ill. He is responsible for fostering relationships with a variety of health care professionals such as physicians, discharge coordinators, case managers, and other health care representatives.
Brandon Rule (B.H.W.P., 2016)
Brandon is a Hospitalist Coordinator with Sound Physicians at Peterson Regional Medical Center where he was named the 2018 Quarter 4 Sound Physician Core Value and Performance Award recipient. Sound Physicians tackles the challenges of the fragmented U.S. healthcare system, focusing on making a measurable difference across the acute care episodes by delivering both measurable quality and financial improvements for hospital partners. Brandon implements and supports various performance management initiatives to drive improvements in quality, satisfaction and financial performance.
Koreena Villarreal (M.Ed., 2015)
Koreena currently serves as a Health Educator for Johns Hopkins Healthcare in Maryland delivering valuable health education services in a clinical setting. Her thesis titled “Attitudes About Partner Communication Regarding Contraceptive Use Among Hispanic Male College Students” was awarded the 2015-2016 Texas State University Outstanding Master’s Thesis award.
Marcus Kavanaugh (B.H.W.P., 2015)
Marcus serves as a Regional Community Liaison for the San Antonio Council on Alcohol and Drug Awareness (SACADA). His outreach efforts assist in the development of the comprehensive community needs assessment related to substance use including alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs, and tobacco. He previously served as a Tobacco Education Specialist for SACADA. Marcus also served as a Health Care Specialist in the United States Army for 20 years.
Adam Rosa (M.Ed., 2014)
Adam is currently a Program Coordinator for Interactive Health, Inc. where he works with the General Motors IT Innovation Business Group to provide comprehensive worksite health programs to approximately 6,000 employees. He previously completed public health internships with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Nathan Muehlstein (B.H.W.P., 2013)
Prior to attending Texas State, Nathan served as a medic in the U.S. Army Reserves and was also a paramedic. Upon graduating cum laude from Texas State with his bachelor’s in health and wellness promotion, Nathan was accepted in the UTMB Physician Assistant program. He now works as a Physician Assistant at the Family Care Center of Alvin.
Leigh Szucs (M.Ed., 2013)
Dr. Szucs is a Health Scientist in the Division of Adolescent and School Health at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Her research focuses on implementation and evaluation of school-based health education programs. She provides technical and capability building assistance to local education agencies, using evidence-informed strategies and approaches to address adolescent sexual health outcomes.
Kelly Wilson (M.Ed., 2000)
Dr. Wilson is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Division of Health Education at Texas A&M University. She is a renowned researcher in the area of school health with specific research interests in teen health and teen pregnancy prevention. She has served as the national President of Eta Sigma Gamma, the National Health Education Honorary.