Behavioral Science & Health Education

 Behavioral Science & Health Education

Joanne Amposta

Hello! My name is Joanne Amposta, and I am from Virginia Beach, VA. I am a second-year student in the Behavioral Sciences and Health Education Department, and I am enrolled in the Socio-Contextual Determinants of Health Certificate Program. I graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences in May 2015. Shortly after graduation, I decided to pursue a year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the VT Engage Community Partnerships Network, where I worked with university and community partners to implement the Campus Kitchen at Virginia Tech. I chose to attend Rollins because the students and faculty foster a unified community that values diversity, collaboration, mentorship, and skill development. Through Rollins and its many connections, I was able to pursue my public health interests while working for the Georgia Department of Public Health and Emory University’s Office of Health Promotion. Outside of Rollins, I enjoy eating my way through Atlanta, hiking along the Chattahoochee River, and playing music. I look forward to sharing my experiences with you! Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

Erika Lyles

Hi! My name is Erika Lyles and I am a second year Behavioral Science and Health Education student at Rollins. I was raised in Houston, TX (original home of Beyonce) and I graduated from University of Houston with a Bachelors’ in Media Production/Film and a minor in Studio Arts. While I was an undergraduate student, I became involved in many advocacy groups, including GLOBAL (the LGBTQIA political and social student organization), the Women’s Resource Center, the LGBT Resource Center, and Gamma Rho Lambda, an all-inclusive LGBTQIA-based sorority that I helped found and for which I served as president. My goal is to use the training I receive during my MPH to bring attention to shortcomings in physical and mental health care for underserved minority populations by assessing community health needs, developing health outreach programs, and developing preventative approaches. The diverse experiences of staff, professors and our own fellow RSPH students are irreplaceable and will encourage you to grow within your two years. No matter what your focus is, Rollins sincerely wants you to succeed and we will maximize your time here to get you where you want to be. I look forward to answering all of your questions and welcoming you into the Rollins family!


Michelle Ivy

Hello! My name is Michelle Ivy. I was raised in Humble, Texas outside of Houston. I studied psychology and chemistry at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas (Go Mustangs!). After my undergraduate career, I moved to Busan, South Korea where I lived for two years. I worked in a group home for teen girls where I was a teacher and social worker. I was so excited to start my graduate career at Rollins, after returning to the US. I have a passion for researching mental health and psychiatry and the BSHE department has given me so many opportunities to learn and research my own interests in addition to expanding other topics. At Rollins I am apart of the Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Certificate. Through the REAL program, I am employed at the CDC as an evaluation team member at the injury center for violence prevention. Rollins has provided me amazing friendships, resources, and opportunities. I know that going back to school can be a stressful choice but I haven’t regretted it for a moment and I’m confident you won’t either.  I look forward to meeting you and hearing about your stories!


Tina Mensa-Kwao

Hello! My name is Tina and I am a first year in the Behavioral Sciences and Health Education Department. I was born in Ghana, but grew up in New Jersey. I graduated from the University of Virginia (Wahoowa!) in May 2015. There, I double-majored in Neuroscience and Global Development Studies with a concentration in Global Public Health, and a minor in Leadership. After graduating, I completed an internship at the Clinton Global Initiative, where I helped strategize the Global Health Track’s 2016 priority areas and composed a report on women’s mental health challenges and gaps. Following this, I worked as a Program Assistant at Global Health Strategies, where I contributed to the research and writing of communications strategy documents and media materials for the Women Deliver 2016 Conference, Grand Challenges Africa, the launch of 2016 Global Nutrition Report and the AIDS 2016 Conference. I’m passionate about increasing the quality of mental health services for youth in low-income environments and that’s why I chose BSHE! Currently, I’m a graduate research assistant for Dr. Janet Cummings in the HPM department, whose work focuses on improving adolescent mental health services. I came to on Rollins because of the supportive environment, engaging community and invaluable connections! I’m looking forward to meeting and learning more about all of you!  

Jenni Song

Hey! My name is Jenni and Atlanta has been my home since I started pursuing my bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Human Biology at Emory University. I found my way to public health while I was switching from the individual-focused dietetic track to wanting to make a change at the population-level.  Through the skills I gained at Rollins School of Public Health, specifically through my Behavioral Sciences and Health Education department, I have had the opportunity to utilize my public health knowledge through various opportunities such as volunteering at CDC and during my internship with ASPPH in Washington DC. I look forward to see how else I will grow professionally and personally through this program and I am excited to share my experience as a Student Ambassador with you all!


Ilyssa Tamler

Hi! My name is Ilyssa and I am a second year student in the Behavioral Sciences and Health Education department. I am from Michigan, and I graduated from Boston College in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. Afterward, I spent one year working as a clinic assistant at an orphanage in rural Mexico, where I helped the doctor to assess patients and gave health talks to nearly 500 kids. I then spent one year working at a global health non-profit organization at a major health system in Detroit, which focused on research, training, and capacity building. My first year at Rollins, worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and I am currently working as a Graduate Research Assistant with Dr. Jessica Sales in the BSHE department. I chose to come to Rollins because it had everything that I was looking for in my graduate school experience, both inside and outside of the classroom setting. The skills that you gain in the courses here are unparalleled, and the students and faculty really care about one another. It is such a welcoming environment. I have absolutely loved my experience at Rollins so far, and I am really excited to share it with all of you.


Merete Tschokert

Servus! My name is Merete Tschokert and I am a second year student in the Behavioral Sciences and Health Education department. I am a Fulbright student from Vienna, Austria and studied pharmacy at the University of Vienna. Before coming to Rollins I worked in a community pharmacy in Vienna. During my studies I contributed to the development of the Health Targets for Austria and the Children and Youth Health Strategy of Austria. Through this experience I decided to study public health. My public health interest is youth health and social determinants of health; therefore, I am participating in the Certificate in Maternal and Child Health and the Socio-Contextual Determinants of Health. I am your person if you have questions around being an international student at Rollins, student organizations (I’m part of a few) and about BSHE (I’m your BSHE Department Representative). In conclusion, Rollins has a tight community and we would love to welcome you.



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Robert Fairman

Hey y’all! My name is Robert Fairman, and I am a first year MPH student in the Behavioral Science and Health Education Department. I was born and raised in Charlotte, NC, then decided to head to the beach for my undergraduate degree. I graduated from the University of North Carolina Wilmington in May 2017 where I majored in Public Health, with a concentration in Community Health Education. I also sat for my Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) certification upon graduation, and was awarded my CHES in June. During my time as an undergrad, I had the opportunity to work as a Health Educator both for UNCW as well as the New Hanover County Health Department, where I was a HIV/STD Outreach Coordinator and Health Educator. During my summers, I worked with Carolinas Healthcare System as an Infection Prevention Summer Term Associate, as well as a Community Health Summer Term Associate. I currently work at CDC in the Division of Healthcare Quality and Promotion as a Research Assistant on the Prevention and Response Team. What drew me to Rollins was the commitment the faculty, staff, and students make sure they produce top-tier, industry leaders. When I toured MPH programs, RSPH was the only program that stated their graduates would shape the world, and not just the region the program was in. RSPH is a special place, where everybody wants you to succeed and make a difference. I look forward to meeting you, and learning about why public health is your passion!



Alanna Sanz

I’m Alanna! I grew up in Florida and studied biology and psychology at the University of Central Florida before working for two years for the United States Senate. Now I’m a first year student at Rollins in the Behavioral Sciences and Health Education (BSHE) department also pursuing a certificate in Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH). My public health interests include infectious disease and outbreak prevention, food and water borne illnesses, and adolescent health education. I am currently a graduate research assistant in the Division of Global Health Protection at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the sophomore curriculum liaison for Emory’s Pipeline Program. I absolutely love ATL and can be found constantly exploring, dancing ballet and salsa, or reading about anything and everything. Rollins as well as the city of Atlanta have countless opportunities for everyone and my experience has been nothing short of amazing. I’m super excited to share it with you as a Student Ambassador so please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!


Mariama Tounkara

Hi! My name is Mariama Tounkara and I am originally from Conakry, Guinea by way of Accra, Ghana and Columbus, Ohio. I am a first-year student in the Behavioral Sciences and Health Education Department and also enrolled in the Maternal and Child Health Certificate Program. I graduated from THE Ohio State University in May 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Global Public Health. After my undergraduate career I spent a year serving with AmeriCorps Community HealthCorps as a Marketing and Outreach Personnel at The Heart of Ohio Family Health Centers. That same year I also co-founded Strides For Guinea, Inc. a non-profit organization with a mission of implementing realistic and sustainable change to the public health system in Guinea, as well as offer an all-inclusive community-based health education, that will raise awareness about environmental pollution and encourage community self-reliance. I am currently working as a Graduate Research Assistant with Dr. Dawn Comeau in the BSHE department. I chose Rollins because I knew it will imbue me with the education, leadership, and management skills needed to champion issues that I care about such as health equity, health disparities and social justice. Additionally, the BSHE program promotes a multicultural environment in order to give students a cross-cultural understanding of public health. I look forward to sharing my Rollins experience with you, and you me. Welcome to Rollins and I hope you enjoy all that Rollins and Atlanta has to offer!



Darian Diepholz

Hello! My name is Darian. I moved to Atlanta after I graduated in 2017 from the University of South Carolina with my Bachelor of Science in Public Health, Go Cocks! Public Health was my fourth major in undergraduate and I did not discover my true interest until completing an exchange program at the University of Idaho my junior year. There, I was able to work with Vandal Health Services and found my love for educating my peers and eventually found my way pursuing a Masters at Rollins in the department of Behavioral Science and Health Education (BSHE). I fell in love with Rollins due to the opportunities and atmosphere outside the classroom. The school feels like home because everyone is full of support and guidance, rooting for eachother to succeed. In regards to outside activities, I have become involved with the Clarkston Connections course and volunteer with the refugee community through an organization at Goizueta Business School called Start:ME. I am also the treasurer for the Emory Reproductive Health Association for 2018. I am passionate about sexual health education, having been a part of BedsiderU at USC and continuing at Emory through Sexpert. I believe Rollins, especially BSHE, is going to give me the skills necessary to go out and change sexual health education for the better of future generations. I am thrilled to share my experience with you as a Student Ambassador and show each person that walks through the doors how wonderful and welcoming Rollins truly is.




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Jake Horvath

Hey! My name is Jake Horvath and I am a first year in the Department of Behavioral
Sciences and Health Education. I was born and raised in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. I attended the Ohio State University where I received my Bachelors of Science in Public Health with a concentration in environmental public health. I initially became interested in public health as I explored the medical field and realized that my passion lies beyond the individualistic focus of medicine. After taking an introductory undergraduate course in public health sociology, I was fascinated with public health theory and health behavior; and, this is why I chose to pursue my Masters in BSHE. I am particularly interested with LGBT+ health and mental health, especially among college-age adults. Currently, I am working as a House Director for the Alpha Epsilon Pi chapter at Emory. I was drawn to Rollins for its renowned reputation and commitment of the faculty, staff, and students to their work and the field of public health. Rollins is a place like no other; the faculty are genuinely interested in the success of their students, opportunities to explore your public health interests are endless, and the skills that you will develop are unmatched. I am excited to meet you, share my experience, and learn why you are passionate about public health.