About the Program
Mary Aquilino, PhD, RN Associate Dean for MPH and Undergraduate Programs
Dr. Aquilino earned a BS in nursing from Binghamton University, a MS in nursing with a family nurse practitioner certificate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a PhD in education from the University of Iowa. She completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the UI College of Nursing in 1997. Dr. Aquilino is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health. For over 30 years, she has worked in the areas of women’s health and maternal/child health providing family planning services to college students, teaching maternal/child health to undergraduate and graduate nursing and public health students, and supervising student clinical rotations in prenatal care, labor and delivery, and postpartum/newborn care. Her scholarly work includes research and publication in the areas of sexuality, sexual development, unintended pregnancy and tobacco use. Currently, she is collaborating on a project to improve women’s contraceptive knowledge, attitudes and behavior via community pharmacies. Dr Aquilino has directed the MPH program for 6 years.
Emily Cornish Graduate Research Assistant, Master of Public Health Program
Emily grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She graduated from Drake University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Health Services Management. She is currently a second year Master of Public Health (MPH) student in Community and Behavioral Health. As a GRA for the MPH program, Emily will aid in recruitment for the College of Public Health among undergraduates at the University of Iowa and around the state, along with maintaining correspondence with current and prospective students. Emily is also active as Co-Social chair of the College of Public Health Student Association. Her areas of interest are maternal, child and family health and reproductive health.
Kot Flora Placement Advisor, Master of Public Health Program
Kot Flora received a BA in English from the University of Iowa in 1973 and attended Kirkwood Community College (1976 – 77) to gain training and job skills in the environmental health field. During her 3 decades of practice-based public health experience working for Johnson County Public Health, she worked in environmental health as an inspector, communicable disease control as an investigator, HIV/AIDS as an educator, emergency preparedness as a response coordinator & administration as a manager and department deputy director. Kot currently works in the MPH Program as Placement Advisor and is available to students as they plan their job search.
Dana Gratton Admissions Assistant, Master of Public
Dana earned her BA from the University of Michigan-Flint in 1993 and her MBA from University of Iowa in 1996. Since then, she has developed and executed marketing and advertising strategies for businesses across a variety of industries in Canada and the US from three perspectives: as an account executive at an advertising agency, as a marketing product manager for an international dental products company, and as a marketing consultant and freelance writer. Joining the MPH team in August 2012, Dana enjoys her interaction with prospective and current students alike and aims to infuse efficiency and creativity to every aspect of MPH admissions.
Hunter Harig Graduate Research Assistant, Master of Public Health Program
Hunter is originally from Grandville, Michigan. He graduated from Northern Michigan University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. He is a second year Master of Public Health (MPH) student in the Community and Behavioral Health Department. Hunter’s areas of interest are sexually transmitted diseases and parasitology. Hunter recently completed his practicum at the Latino Commission on AIDS working with their Capacity Building Assistance Division. In his role for MPH program, Hunter will maintain the website and assist in recruitment activities.
Lexie Just Assistant Director, Master of Public Health Program
Lexie Just earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing from the University of Northern Iowa in 1999, as well as a Certificate in International Business. She has worked in the MPH Program Office since December 2006. Prior to working for the MPH Program, Lexie was employed as an Department Coordinator/Academic Advisor at Kirkwood Community College. Lexie enjoys working with students from the time they inquire about the program through the time they become alumni. In addition, Lexie assists the MPH Program Director in program coordination and management.
Helen Myers Graduate Research Assistant, Master of Public Health Program
Helen grew up in Ames, Iowa. She graduated from Syracuse University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Studies. She is a third year dual Medical Doctorate (MD) and Master of Public Health (MPH) student. Helen serves as Co-President of the Pediatrics Interest Group and as the VP for the American Medical Association-Iowa Medical Society Student Organization at the Carver College of Medicine. She has recently begun volunteering for the Mobile Clinic. As a GRA for the MPH program, Helen will correspond and meet with current and prospective students and keep them updated on current events in the MPH program and Public Health news via Twitter and Facebook.
Laurie Walkner, MA, RN Practicum Course Faculty
Laurie Walkner earned BS in nursing from Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and a MA in instructional design and technology from the University of Iowa. She has worked in family planning, clinical research in the area of reproductive endocrinology, occupational safety and health, community health planning, public health preparedness and public health workforce development. She has developed curriculum for academic and continuing education courses. She has served as the Coordinator for the MPH Practicum Experience since 1999. She advises students on their practicum experience and works closely with practice partners to identify practice opportunities.
Pamela Willard, MS, RN Practicum Course Faculty
Ms. Willard received her BS in nursing from Cornell University-New York Hospital School of Nursing, and an MS in Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health from the University of Iowa. While working as a public health nurse in Pennsylvania, California and Iowa, her interests were focused on maternal/child health. She became a faculty member in the UI College of Nursing in 1985, first as a lecturer and then clinical assistant professor, teaching public health nursing at the BSN and MSN levels. She was director of the RN to BSN progression program for several years. She holds a secondary appointment of clinical assistant professor in the College of Public Health and has served as a member of the Johnson County (IA) Board of Health, as well as numerous public health related committees at the local and state level.
In 2005 Pam joined the staff in the College of Public Health to assist in coordinating the MPH Practicum. She advises students about their practicum experience including site selection and related concerns.