CBH Student Association

The Community and Behavioral Health Student Association was established to provide opportunities for professional development, service oriented outreach and social events for students. CBHSA aims to create unity among all students in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health by serving as a means of communication between students, faculty, the College of Public Health, and the community.

Aims and Functions

  • Develop a sense of community among all students and staff in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health
  • Expand opportunities for student professional development
  • Facilitate student dialogue with local, state, and national organizations


All CBHSA sponsored events are open to students studying Community and Behavioral Health. Elections for officer positions are held twice a year. Contact an officer for more information.

2018-2019 Officers

Abigail Lee – President

Abigail Lee (she/her/hers) is a second year MPH student from Iowa City. She earned her BAs in Biology Research, Spanish, and Music from the University of Northern Iowa in 2015. Before attending the College of Public Health Abigail worked as a research assistant in a diabetes and obesity lab within the Carver College of Medicine. She also interned at United Action for Youth where she focused on youth wellbeing and comprehensive sexual health education. She was certified as an Adolescent Sexual Health Educator through EyesOpenIowa in 2018. Abigail is involved in the CPH Graduate Ambassador program and was named an ASPPH “This is Public Health” Ambassador for 2019-2020. During her time in the program Abigail has worked as a graduate research assistant on a variety projects, though her main focus is sexual and reproductive health, social interactions, and stigma. During Summer 2019 she collaborated with Dr. Story, Tangaza University College, and Gynocare Women’s and Fistula Hospital to conduct an exploratory research project in western Kenya.

McKyla Carson – Vice President

McKyla Carson is a second year MPH student from Iowa City. She graduated from Drake University in 2016 with a BA in Biology and a concentration in Global and Comparative Public Health. Before starting her masters, she worked 2 years at a Medicaid MCO in Iowa. She currently serves as a Graduate Student Ambassador for the college and works with Dr. Ashida and Dr. Casteel on research to prevent injury and falls in older adults throughout eastern Iowa.

Eliza Daly – Social Chair

Eliza Daly is a second year MPH student from Johnston, Iowa. She graduated from the University of Iowa in May 2019 with degrees in Health Promotion and Psychology and a minor in Global Health Studies while participating in the undergrad to grad MPH program at the College of Public Health. She is interested in health communication, food security, and the connection between nutrition and chronic disease.

Jessica Ralfs – Service Chair

Jessica Ralfs is a second-year MPH student from Davenport, Iowa.  She graduated from the University of Iowa in May 2018 with a BS in Human Physiology.  Her interest include mental health, global health, and working with underserved populations.


Tom Romano – Professional Development

Thomas Romano is a second-year MPH student from Bettendorf, Iowa. He graduated from the University of Iowa in May 2015 with a BSE in Chemical Engineering and worked as an emergency medical technician for two years. He is interested in mental health and its relation to physical health, as well as the social and environmental determinants of mental health. He has been accepted to the MD program at the Carver College of Medicine and plans to matriculate in August 2020.


Lena Thompson – Public Relations

Lena Thompson is a third year PhD student from Sigourney, Iowa. Her BA is in International Relations from Drake University and her MPH is from the Community and Behavioral Health Department at the University of Iowa College of Public Health. Before starting her doctorate training, Lena worked as the Curriculum Coordinator for the National American Indian and Alaska Native Addiction Technology Transfer Center at the University of Iowa. Lena is an executive committee member of the LGBT+ Advocates for Public Health Equity (LGBT+ Advocates) and a member of the Health Equity and Advancement Lab (HEAL). Her interests are in substance use among Native American and aging populations.


Questions or comments? Contact Torrie Malichky. This page was last reviewed on August 13, 2019.