School of Public Health 
Scarletter
September, 2019
Welcome Issue
Dear Friends,

Welcome to what is sure to be another amazing academic year at the Rutgers School of Public Health – we have a lot in store for you!

This year, we welcome 14 new faculty members and over 200 students (our largest class to-date), across two locations in New Brunswick and Newark. As our School grows both in size and stature, we are also expanding various programs, initiatives, and outreach - I will share more information soon.

I am incredibly proud to share our new 2020-2025 Strategic Plan with you. During AY 2018 - 2019, my second as Dean and after an initial year of getting to know each other, we engaged faculty, students, alumni, staff, and community partners to embark on a formal strategic planning process to chart the course for continued growth and national prominence. This ‘living document’ will endeavor to deepen the commitment to our mission and expand our capacity to realize our vision.  

This year (and every year), I hope that you will not be discouraged with the social challenges that we are experiencing, which undermine the health and human rights of countless communities. Instead, I urge you to lead courageously with the principles of social justice and equity in mind and enact change with and for the communities and populations we serve. Let us use this moment of instability to bolster our collective resilience.

As a final nugget of wisdom for our new students…please check your Rutgers School of Public Health email (my.Rutgers.edu OR connect.rutgers.edu) daily for important information on courses, events, and ways in which you can get involved. Click here if you have questions regarding how to access your account. 

Upward and onward Rutgers School of Public Health!

P.S. This issue of the Scarletter marks its two-year anniversary (thank you Michelle Edelstein)! Take a journey through our past issues here .

Sincerely,

Perry N. Halkitis
Dean & Professor
Rutgers School of Public Health

"Keeping the Public in 'Public' Health"
Strategic Plan
The Rutgers School of Public Health is undergoing nothing short of a renaissance. To chart the course for continued growth and national prominence, the Rutgers School of Public Health engaged our faculty, students, alumni, staff, and community partners to embark on a formal strategic planning process beginning in late 2018. Our five-year “living” strategic plan will endeavor to deepen the commitment to our  mission  and expand our capacity to realize our  vision .

You can download a copy of our Strategic Plan here.
Meet Our New Faculty!
Jaya Satagopan, PhD , joined the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology   as a professor in September. Satagopan’s work focuses on statistical genetics and genomics, specifically on cost-effective study designs, risk modeling strategies, and the evaluation of gene-exposure interactions with applications in cancer epidemiology and tumor biology studies. She looks forward to establishing the Center for South Asian Quantitative Health and Education at the Rutgers School of Public Health with her colleagues to address health disparities faced by South Asian communities in New Jersey, the United States, and the world.
D evin English, PhD , joined the Department of Urban-Global Public Health  as an assistant professor this August. English’s work focuses on eliminating health inequities faced by young racial and sexual minorities in the United States. In particular, his career as a researcher and educator is focused on investigating and addressing stigma as a source of health inequities for Black American youth, including young gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. He is a clinical community psychologist with a strong health disparities research program, a record of multi-year NIH funding, expertise in advanced quantitative data analysis, and experience in teaching and mentoring.
Vivian Li, PhD , joined the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology   as an assistant professor in August. Li’s research aims to uncover hidden information in large-scale genomic data, with a major focus on statistical genomics. In particular, her career emphasizes developing practical statistical methodology that can be applied to a variety of public health challenges. She's currently modeling both tissue-level and single-cell genomic data and investigating various applications in practical biological and biomedical questions.
Slawa Rokciki, PhD , joined the Department of Health Behavior, Society, and Policy   as an instructor in August. Rokicki’s research focuses on improving reproductive, maternal, and child health both locally and globally. She studies the long-term and intergenerational effects of poor reproductive health, applying experimental and quasi-experimental methods to evaluate the impact of programs and policies on the health of women and children. Her work in sub-Saharan Africa explores mobile health and empowerment approaches to reducing child marriage and teenage pregnancy.
Stephanie Shiau, PhD , joined the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology   as an instructor in August. Shiau’s research focuses on the effects of HIV and its treatment over time, aiming to identify modifiable factors that influence trajectories of HIV-associated non-AIDS (HANA) conditions in children, adolescents, and adults living with HIV. Her work integrates epidemiological tools, imaging assessments, and laboratory biomarkers, including assays to measure epigenetic markers.
Mark McGovern, PhD , will be joining the Department of Health Behavior, Society, and Policy   as an assistant professor this fall. McGovern is a health economist with research interests in maternal and child health, aging, and HIV/AIDS, focusing on the life cycle impact of inequality at birth. He has methodological expertise in missing data and causal inference, particularly the application of quasi-experimental approaches to address policy questions in population health related to health disparities. McGovern has examined the long-term economic effects of childhood malnutrition with UNICEF, as well as, the macroeconomic burden of non-communicable disease with the Pan-American Health Organization and Harvard University.
Zorimar Rivera-Nunez, PhD , joined the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology   as an assistant professor in July. River-Nunez studies chemical exposures and its effects in maternal health, early life and subsequent health. Her research focuses on environmental exposure measurement, utility of biomarkers identifying windows of exposure and susceptibility, and the effect of perinatal exposures in birth outcomes and children’s development.
Elissa Kozlov, PhD , joined the Department of Health Behavior, Society, and Policy   as an instructor in May. Dr. Kozlov is both a psychology clinician and a researcher, specializing in depression, anxiety, insomnia, bereavement, difficulties adjusting to new life circumstances, stress related to care-giving, and behavioral management of pain.

She is also a resident faculty member at the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research .
Vince Silenzio, MD , will be joining the Department of Urban-Global Public Health  as professor in January of 2020.

Dr. Silenzio’s current work focuses on the use of social media and other sources of big data for LGBTQ mental health and wellbeing research, with a particular focus on suicide prevention research. Over the past decade, he has been collaborating on research and training projects in Mongolia, Philippines, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Indonesia, Myanmar, and South Africa focused on technology innovation in addressing global health challenges, especially in the areas of mental health and HIV/AIDS. 
Michelle Jeong, PhD , joined the Department of Health Behavior, Society, and Policy as an assistant professor in August. Jeong is a behavioral scientist who bridges communication theory and public health outcomes to conduct tobacco regulatory research. Building on her training in health communication, her work inquires into how people, particularly youth and young adults, perceive and are affected by different tobacco communication efforts disseminated by both tobacco control groups and the tobacco industry, in the context of various combustible and non-combustible tobacco products.
Marybec Griffin, PhD, joined the Department of Health Behavior, Society, and Policy as an assistant professor in August. Dr. Griffin’s interdisciplinary program of research broadly focuses on socio-cultural and political aspects that affect healthcare access. She has worked at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in the areas of HIV/AIDS policy and program design as well as helping to evaluate the quality of sexual health services and contraceptive coverage in NYC. She is also involved with research projects at NYU focused on sexual assault at electronic dance music festivals and and the role of condom messages in rap music.
Ollie Ganz, DrPH, MSPH , will be joining the Department of Health Behavior, Society, and Policy as an instructor and the Center for Tobacco Studies as a member in the fall. Dr. Ganz is a public health researcher with training in tobacco control, health communication, and health behavior. Her research is primarily focused on identifying predictors of tobacco use among high-risk groups, with a specific emphasis on the role of marketing in both the promotion and prevention of tobacco use. She has worked on the development and evaluation of several, large-scale anti-smoking campaigns, including This Free Life, a campaign designed to prevent tobacco use among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender young adults.
Nir Eyal, DPhil , inaugural Henry Rutgers Professor of Bioethics, joined the Department of Health Behavior, Society, and Policy in July. Eyal is an expert in global/population level and clinical bioethics with a focus on health inequalities, health promotion, and research ethics. His work engages a broad range of bioethical issues including health care rationing in resource-poor settings, critical health worker shortages, personal responsibility for health and "nudging" for health promotion, and ethics in HIV cure trials, HIV treatment–as–prevention trials, and vaccine trials for emerging infections.

Eyal is also the Director of the Rutgers Center for Population-Level Bioethics.
Racquel (Kelly) Kohler, PhD, will be joining the Department of Health Behavior, Society, and Policy as an instructor and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey as a member in the fall. Her research focuses on cancer disparities and control in low- and middle-income countries, specifically breast and cervical cancer. She uses mixed method research to investigate factors that affect quality of and access to cancer early diagnosis and treatment services. Dr. Kohler applies behavior theories and implements evidence-based interventions to improve cancer programs among vulnerable populations.
You're Invited!
Vaccinations: A Foundation for Public Health 

October 4, 2019

Vaccinations: A Foundation of Public Health , will explore the importance of vaccines in maintaining public health focusing on the . This didactic seminar will feature public health, pharmaceutical, and health experts who will address ongoing challenges, opportunities and trends in vaccination.
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This seminar is free and open to all!
Reducing Youth Involvement with the Criminal Justice System

October 10, 2019

Reducing Youth Involvement with the Criminal Justice System is a half-day event and part of the 400 Years of Inequity Series, focusing on youth involvement in the criminal justice system, specifically in New Jersey. Speakers will include those from Rutgers, the Newark public school system, and community-based organizations.

This seminar is free and open to all!
Student and Alumni Events
Thursday, September 6 from 5pm-6pm

Monday, September 9 from 5pm-6pm

Tuesday, September 10 from 5pm-6pm

Tuesday, September 10 from 5pm-6pm

Tuesday, September 10 from 5pm-6pm

Wednesday, September 11 from 5pm-6pm

Wednesday, September 11 from 5pm-6pm

Thursday, September 12, 2019 from 5pm-6pm

Friday, September 13 from 5:30pm-7pm

Tuesday, September 17 from 5pm-6pm

Tuesday, September 17 from 5pm-6pm

Thursday October 4, 2019 4PM-7:30pm

Thursday, October 10, 2019 from 8:30am-2pm

Perry’s Power Hour (Piscataway)
Tuesday, October 15 from 5pm-6pm

Monday, October 28 from 5pm-6pm
Rutgers School of Public Health
Rutgers School of Public Health
683 Hoes Lane West
Piscataway, NJ 08854
732-235-9700
Rutgers School of Public Health
One Riverfront Plaza Suite 1020
Newark, NJ 07102-0301
973-972-7212