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.
I graduated from DePaul’s Public Health Graduate program in 2023 with a concentration in community health practice and global health certification. She successfully completed her thesis entitled, Immigration Policies Impact Mental Health in Undocumented Young Adults’ and Young Adults with Mixed Status Families. She continues to work for the American Medical Association. At Western Illinois University, I completed my Bachelor of Arts with a major in youth development. I have been at the American Medical Association (AMA) for six years as the Credentialing Products Support Coordinator. As the community outreach chair for the Latinx AMA employee resource group, I have collaborated and partnered with local non-profits. In 2021, I organized eight volunteer events with non-profits like Youth Crossroads, Latinos Progressando, and the Pilsen food discrepancy. The AMA was awarded the 2021 Community Investment Award, by Erie Neighborhood House, with my guidance in employee donations. In my spare time, I like to run, cook, and travel.
Mary recently graduated from the MPH program in 2023 with a concentration in Community Health Practice. Originally born in West Africa, Ghana, she is proud to have a diverse cultural background. She is fluent in three languages: Ga, Twi, and English. Prior to her academic pursuits, she served in the US Navy for over 10 years, which provided her with invaluable experiences and the opportunity to travel extensively around the world. Her interests include reading, going to museums, traveling, music and spending every moment with my daughter. She successfully completed her thesis entitled, Examining the Impact of Immigration Status on Mental Health and Assessment of Impact of Health Literacy and Cultural Competency on Immigrants’ Access to Healthcare Resource.
I graduated at the University of Notre Dame majoring in Biology with minors in Health, Humanities, and Society and Poverty Studies. Contemplating human experience and the way in which our health is affected by our sociopolitical institutions sets my heart and mind ablaze. My time as an Assistant House Manager at Viator House of Hospitality, a home for young men seeking asylum in the U.S., shaped my life-long calling to walk in solidarity with other human beings and use research and policy to alleviate health disparities. I am grateful to be a part of the center and excited to use my previous experiences to motivate my collaborative work in this community.
Michelle S. Gorrell
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.
I graduatedat 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 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 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).
My name is Mariko and I graduated from DePaul studying sociology with a concentration in health and human services. 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.
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 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.
I graduated from the Master of Public Health program 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 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 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 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 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 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.
I graduated from the 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.