Over the past few years, many students have been involved in the work of the Center for Community Health Equity – as interns, research assistants, and/or through independent study credit. Students often want to remain involved after graduation, and can offer the Center valuable support. Our alumni advisory board will play an integral role in the development of the Center.

Description of Alumni Advisory Board activities.

Elisabeth Foreman


​I am a first year Refugee and Forced Migration graduate student at DePaul University focused on the lasting effects of health and education inequities on displaced children. I am a former middle school and adult English language (ELL) teacher and also have extensive experience advocating for children’s rights. I am primarily interested in how the lack of healthcare access and academic resources impact children’s primary and secondary education experience upon resettlement in the United States.

Kerianne BurkeKerianne Burke


Kerianne Burke graduated with her Master of Public Health from DePaul University in 2015, and received her Bachelor of Arts from Hampshire College in 2008. Kerianne worked as the Program Assistant for the Center for Community Health Equity during the 2014-2015 academic year. She currently manages women’s sexual health research projects for the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center, part of the Cook County Health and Hospitals System.

Viridiana ChavezViridiana Chavez


​I am a rising junior at Bates College majoring in Psychology and minoring in Chinese. I am interested in examining health disparities, particularly mental health, amongst minority groups and aspire to execute new healthcare policy reform.

Peter ContosPeter Contos


Peter Contos graduated from DePaul University in 2018 with a Bachelors of Science in Public Health and Public Policy. As an Undergraduate Research Assistant with the Center, Peter expanded the CHER-D file, comparing neighborhood-level health outcomes and demographic indicators across 10 cities. Peter now works as an outreach coordinator with the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence. In this role, Peter developed an educational outreach program to support implementation of Firearms Restraining Order law, a new state law which provides individuals a civil process to remove firearms from family members who are at risk of harming themselves or others.

Camille DeMarcoCamille DeMarco


Camille DeMarco obtained her Bachelor of Science and Master of Public Health (MPH) from DePaul University in 2015 and 2017, respectively. From 2016 to 2017, Camille worked as a Graduate Research Assistant for DePaul University’s MPH program where she assisted in conducting qualitative research for the Community Center for Health Equity. Camille now works as a Research Study Coordinator for the Aids Malignancy Consortium (AMC) where she manages clinical trials for individuals living with malignancies and HIV within Cook County Health and Hospitals System (CCHHS).

Mariko DowlingMariko Dowling


​My name is Mariko and I am a junior at DePaul studying sociology with a concentration in health and human services. Last year, my interest in sociology and social justice lead me to have an internship with Jane Addams Senior Caucus, a local grassroots organization by and for senior citizens to raise awareness about sociopolitical issues that affect the elderly such as social security, Medicaid, and fair housing. I would like to continue working with more local organizations to find the best way to strengthen community assets to make them more equitable. This summer, I am working part-time at a hostel and I’m meeting amazing people from all over the world! When I am not studying or working, I spend my free time cooking, drawing, and playing bass guitar.

Selina KowalskiSelinaKowalski


​Selina Kowalski achieved both her Master of Public Health (2016) and Bachelor of Science (2014) from DePaul University. Since graduating, Selina has been working with organizations to empower Chicago youth with a specific focus on serving under-resourced neighborhoods. Selina is now the Program Manager with the Community Engagement & Workforce Education team at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. At Lurie, she works with several youth programs that expand students’ awareness of healthcare careers and assist them throughout their career pathways.

Amalia LeivaAmalia Leiva


​Amalia obtained her Bachelor of Science from Illinois State University in 2015 and Masters of Arts in Sociology from DePaul University in 2017. From 2016-2017, Amalia worked as a research assistant with Professor DeMaio and CCHE. Amalia now works at SEIU, a union organization, as a data analyst where she manages finance reports for the union organization.

Amber MillerAmber Miller


I am a second year Master of Public Health student at DePaul University. My primary area of interest is in maternal and child health disparities, with a research focus in communities that are disproportionately affected by infant mortality.

Maggie NavaMaggie Nava


Maggie has an extensive background in community health within the realms of domestic violence, AIDS/HIV, diabetes education, cardiovascular disease and most currently cancer. She obtained her Master’s in Public Health from DePaul University and before joining the Simon Lab as Program Administrator she was a Project Coordinator at the Ruth M. Rothstein Core Center. She has dedicated the last 25 years of her career working on making a tiny difference in the health of individuals living in underserved and underrepresented communities.

Jessica PuriJessica Puri


Jessica is a public health specialist with years of experience in scientific writing, health research, and public health communication on the bachelor’s and master’s level. She currently works at MATTER, serving as executive assistant to the CEO and COO. In this role, she is the liaison between executives and their internal and external partners – facilitating the flow of communication, providing administrative assistance and leading HR roles. She also serves as an advisor to the team at SoapBox PO, a cinema production, and social activism entity.

Kellie SchipperKellie Schipper


Kellie Schipper graduated from DePaul University in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology, minoring in Women’s and Gender Studies. From 2015-2016 she worked as a research assistant at the Center for Community Health Equity. Kellie is currently working through the AmeriCorps VISTA program as a Development Assistant at a local nonprofit organization, College Possible. In this role, she writes grants, organizes volunteer events and assists fundraising efforts.

Adenike SosinaAdenike Sosina


Adenike obtained her Master of Public Health at DePaul University in 2016 and holds a Certified Health Education Specialist certification. Adenike currently works as a Principal Consultant within the Illinois State Board of Education’s Wellness Department. In this role she manages school wellness programs and resources to support school-aged students in Illinois.

Joselyn WilliamsJoselyn Williams


Joselyn obtained her Master of Public Health from DePaul University in 2016 while working as a Graduate Research Assistant at the Center for Community Health Equity. She currently works as Clinical Research Coordinator at Rush University Medical Center in the Preventive Medicine Department under the supervision of Dr. Elizabeth Lynch. In this role she facilitates data collection, community outreach events, oversees research assistants and organizes various research activities for a study to help lower blood pressure among African Americans living on the West Side of Chicago.

Sarah Wozniak


I am a second year Master of Public Health student at DePaul University focusing on community health practice. My main area of interest relates to topics and issues surrounding health disparities in adolescent health, especially in childhood obesity and pediatric asthma.