The SPHHS Insider - December 2015

SPHHS mourns loss of William Darity, founding dean

William Alexander Darity Sr., 91, of Amherst, professor emeritus of public health and founding dean of the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Health Sciences, died Nov. 29. A native of North Carolina, he was a decades-long leader and pioneer in the fields of public health, international health inequities and the health status of marginalized populations. Darity accepted an associate professor appointment at UMass Amherst in 1965. At that time, the small department of public health, which offered a bachelor’s degree and a master’s with a concentration in environmental health, had three full-time faculty members. He was appointed head of the department in 1968 and then dean of the School of Health Sciences in 1973.

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Bertone-Johnson research identifies PMS as an early marker for future high blood pressure risk

In the first prospective study to consider premenstrual syndrome (PMS) as a possible sentinel for future risk of hypertension, Associate Professor of Epidemiology Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson and colleagues report that women with moderate-to-severe PMS had a 40 percent higher risk of developing high blood pressure over the following 20 years compared to women experiencing few menstrual symptoms. Bertone-Johnson says, “To my knowledge, this is the first large long-term study to suggest that PMS may be related to risk of chronic health conditions in later life.” Details appear in the current issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

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Communication Disorders faculty, students present research at ASHA annual meeting

Pictured from left to right: Tim Ryan, Jaime Hall, Mary Andrianopoulos, Michael Starr, Lynsey Keator, and Alyssa Lewandowski

Numerous faculty and students from the Department of Communication Disorders contributed research through poster sessions and presentations in oral and technical seminars during the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) meeting held in Denver, CO, from November 12-14. Their presentations highlighted the wide variety of research being conducted within the department.

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Public Health alumni gain hands-on experience as associates in the CDC's Public Health Associate Program

Pictured from left to right: Derek Luthi '15, Hayley Mandeville '14, MPH '15, and Brenna Pevato '14

The Public Health Associate Program (PHAP) is a competitive, two-year, paid training program with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). PHAP associates are assigned to public health agencies and nongovernmental organizations and work alongside other professionals across a variety of public health settings. Throughout the two-year training program, associates gain hands-on experience that will serve as a foundation for their public health careers. We spoke to three recent UMass Amherst Public Health alumni currently serving as PHAP associates about their experiences. Brenna Pevato, ’14, currently is in the second year of the program. Derek Luthi, ’15, and Hayley Mandeville, ’14, MPH ’15, are in their first years. The next application period for PHAP candidates opens January 4–8, 2016.

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Peer-to-Peer Profile: Jennifer Dargin '15 as interviewed by Meredith Willis '16 and Aniko Haber ‘16

Peer advisors Meredith Willis and Aniko Haber, both ’16, recently interviewed alumna Jennifer Dargin '15 about her study abroad experience in Jordan for the "Peer-to-Peer" profile series appearing on the undergraduate degree in Public Health Sciences website. Dargin earned her Bachelor's degree in Public Health Sciences with a focus in Global Environmental Health and Sustainability, which she created herself.

Read the full "Peer-to-Peer" profile on the Public Health Sciences website.

December 2015

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Happy Holidays from the SPHHS!

The School of Public Health and Health Sciences would like to thank its students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends for their hard work and support, and for helping us to foster and grow our SPHHS community.

We hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season!


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