College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Public Health > About > Message from the Director
DePaul Master of Public Health Program
Welcome to the start of the 2020-2021 academic year!
Our world has experienced unparalleled challenges in 2020: it has been a time of uncertainty, grief and suffering, but we have seen this anguish matched by a community response of empathy, growth, and change. As public health practitioners, we stand on the precipice of these changes and seek opportunities to join together in addressing health disparities in the city of Chicago and beyond. In this message, you will see that our students and our faculty have been actively engaged in scholarship and practice around a range of pressing public health concerns, including gun violence, effective responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid epidemic, and beyond. We look forward to continued engagement and innovation in the year ahead, and we want to thank our students, our partners, and our communities for joining us in this mission.
On behalf of the faculty and staff, I welcome a new cohort of students to our MPH program. We look forward to working with our new students in our online courses during Autumn Quarter and hope that we can resume in-person instruction in 2021. Our program is uniquely equipped to meet the demands of the moment.
In June 2020, the MPH program graduated its first cohort of students in the Social Epidemiology concentration. In order to adapt to changing circumstances while staying aligned with program expectations, we held our annual Graduate Forum virtually, and all graduates did an outstanding job with their posters and presentations. I am very pleased to share the winner of The Grace Budrys Award for Excellence in Public Health: Jennah Charniak, MPH. I am equally pleased to announce that our Outstanding Practice and Performance Award went to Lauren Draftz, MPH.
Our program takes great pride in the professional practice accomplishments of faculty since they serve as a model of how we can provide meaningful service to the public health community. I am pleased to announce that Dr. Daniel Schober will be taking the lead on the Chicago Gun Violence Research Collaborative and he was selected to serve on the Mayor's Office Public Safety Research Advisory Council. Dr. Suzanne Carlberg-Racich will be working with the Drug Policy Alliance Research Incubator on Drug Markets and Sales this coming academic year and her Photovoice stigma research was shared at the Hospital Opioid Treatment and Response Learning Collaborative.
The MPH program has pivoted from away from in-person events and transitioned to virtual engagement opportunities. From our summer Lunch & Learns to our upcoming virtual New Student Orientation, the MPH program is dedicated to providing our students with a sense of community that can be expected from a small, cohort-based graduate program. We hosted a Contact Tracer Training Information Session in partnership with DePaul Career Center. We are planning to hold our 13th annual Health Equity and Social Justice Conference on November 6th in a virtual format. HESJ 2020 will focus on the Chicago public health/health care community's response to current events, primarily the pandemic and racial justice.
As we prepare for the fall term, I am very pleased to welcome Kathleen Conte, PhD to the MPH program as a new Clinical Assistant Professor. Dr. Conte joined us this year as a new faculty member in the Master of Public Health program. She comes to us from Sydney, Australia where she spent the last four years working in Indigenous health and policy research.
I am also very pleased to welcome Emily Tamblyn, MPH, CPPS as our new Manager of Community Partnerships. Emily joined the MPH program in January 2020. She is an alumna of the Community Health Practice concentration, class of 2017. Emily previously worked at the American College of Healthcare Executives as a project manager for their patient safety initiatives, as well as working in strategic partnerships, operations, and diversity & inclusion.
The accomplishments over the past year and the work that lies ahead depends on the support and contributions of the MPH Administrative Team, the MPH Program Committee, the Public Health Student Organization, alumni, current students, and our community partners. Thank you to everyone, and I look forward to another amazing year in MPH!
Director, Master of Public Health (MPH) Program