CBH Student Association

The Community and Behavioral Health Student Association was established to provide opportunities for professional development, service-oriented outreach and student social events. 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

Membership

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.

2023-2024 Officers

Makayla Morales (she/her) – President

Makayla is a second-year MPH student in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health. She is deeply committed to health equity and advocates for a world characterized by fairness, equity, and justice.

In 2022, Makayla graduated with a B.A. in Public Health from the University of Iowa, where her passion for public health first ignited. As a published researcher during her undergraduate years, she conducted novel research on Puff Bar content on TikTok with the guidance of Dr. Shannon Lea Watkins. As a Graduate Research Assistant for Dr. Nicole Novak, she investigates the intricate push and pull factors affecting Central American migrants. She has a profound affinity for uplifting marginalized voices, particularly Latinx communities, and advocates for their social, political, and health justice.

Outside of her work and the classroom, Makayla finds balance by playing rugby, exploring new places through travel, immersing herself in TV and books, and cherishing the company of her two beloved cats.

Allie Bonagura (she/her) – Vice President

Allie Bonagura is a second year MPH student in the department of Community and Behavioral Health. She has an undergraduate degree titled “Healthcare, Identity and Equity” from Hobart and William Smith Colleges (Geneva, NY), that focused on understanding and blending both sides of the healthcare status coin, the biological and the social.

At the University of Iowa. In addition to Allie’s current academic program, she was a research assistant for the Academic Public Health Partnership, which focused on fostering collaboration between the University and local public health departments as a tool to increase workforce capacity and further enrich the academic experience of students.

Allie is also currently an ILEND (Iowa Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities Program) trainee, which is a national MCH program, that helps improve the lives of children and families with special healthcare needs and disabilities by bringing together students from multiple disciplines, self-advocates with disabilities, and local family members of people with disabilities to share stories, do research, learn advocacy and leadership skills, and directly interact with local and national policymakers to move forward policies that will benefit these communities greatly.

After completing her MPH, her goal is to attend medical school to become an MCH primary care physician that can deliver holistic care with a fuller understanding of her patient’s health status.

Jaron Jones – Professional Development Co-Chair

Jaron is a first-year MPH student in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.S. in Public Health and a minor in Spanish.

Currently, Jaron works with Dr. Johnson on the development of a youth mental health curriculum, working with a group of Iowa teens to produce peer-informed content. Some of his research interests include LGBTQ+ youth mental health, homeless veterans’ mental health, and HIV prevention in underserved populations. Outside of work, Jaron enjoys hiking, baking, playing the piano, catching up on his favorite shows, trying new foods, and playing with his cat, Bowser.

Ngonyo Mungara (she/her) – Professional Development Co-Chair

Ngonyo is a first-year MPH student in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health. She graduated from the University of Iowa in 2023 with a B.A. in Education Studies and Human Relations from the College of Education and an undergraduate certificate in Public Health.

During her time as an undergraduate, Ngonyo completed an AmeriCorps service term with Table-to-Table Food Rescue, worked as a Peer Leader for the Iowa Edge program, and worked as an undergraduate research assistant in the Office of Teaching, Learning, and Technology. Ngonyo works with Dr. Ebonee Johnson on Project PEER, an HIV and substance use prevention program in collaboration with Southern University and A&M College in Louisiana. She is also working with Dr. Johnson to develop a peer-led mental health youth curriculum. Her main public health interests are in mental health, substance use, and health equity. Outside of class, Ngonyo enjoys cooking, bike riding, lifting, reading, and being a cat mom.

Ella Mucciolo (she/her) – Public Relations Liaison

Ella is a first-year MPH student in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health. She graduated from the University of Iowa in 2023 with a B.S. in Health Promotion, a B.A. in Global Health Studies, and a minor in Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies.

Outside of class, Ella works at UI Student Wellness as a Health Promotion Assistant and is involved in the CPH’s LGBTQ+ Advocates for Public Health Equity. Some of Ella’s public health-related interests include lifestyle behaviors, sociocultural factors, and the interactions between social, economic, and political systems with health outcomes. She also enjoys cooking, reading, outdoor activities, and exploring local places with her loved ones!

Sarah Adams (she/her)- Service Co-Chair

Sarah is a second year MPH student in the Community and Behavioral Health Department. She was born and raised in Kalamazoo, MI, but has lived in ten different states in the US, mostly in the Midwest and the South. She completed her B.S. in Psychology at Arizona State University in 2019. Before becoming a student at the University of Iowa, Sarah worked as a service dog trainer and completed a service term in AmeriCorps NCCC. One of Sarah’s primary interests is exploring human-animal interactions and relationships.

Misa Kawamitsu (she/her)- Service Co-Chair

Misa is a second year MPH student in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health. She is from Council Bluffs, IA and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.S. in Microbiology and minors in Japanese communications and Health & the Humanities. She is passionate about health equity, substance use prevention, and improving health literacy among marginalized populations.

In addition to CBH, Misa works at UIHC as a Patient Care Technician. Outside of work and school, Misa enjoy taking walks, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends. On days when it’s not so nice out, she enjoys staying in to finish my embroidering projects!

Cameron Coates (she/her) – Social Co-Chair

Cameron is a second-year MPH student in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health. She is from Rockford, Illinois, and graduated in 2023 with a B.S. in Public Health from the University of Iowa. She is passionate about nutrition, health equity, and injury and violence prevention. Cameron is currently working as a Graduate Research Assistant with Dr. Elizabeth O’Neal on the Learning to Drive Study, which seeks to better novice teen drivers’ hazard-identifying abilities by improving parental instruction and practice. She also works at the College of Nursing as a research assistant to Dr. Wen Liu on the OPTIMAL study, which aims to enhance the mealtime practices of caretakers of dementia patients. Outside of school and work, Cameron enjoys roller skating, taking care of her plants, and doing crafts.

Amber Hawkins (she/her) – Social Co-Chair

Amber is a second year MPH student in the Community and Behavioral Health department. She is originally from the suburbs of Chicago, and she graduated with a B.S. in Public Health from the University of Iowa in 2022. Amber is currently working as a Graduate Research Assistant with Dr. Ebonee Johnson on Project PEER, where they are dedicated to elevating HIV/STI and substance use prevention, as well as mental and sexual health education among HBCU students at Southern University and A&M College in Louisiana.

Amber is also working as a Teaching Assistant for the Fundamentals of Public Health course with Professor Tricia Kitzmann during Fall 2023. She’s interested in mental health, sexual health, and substance use related research, and the intersections of these topics. In her free time, Amber enjoys running, crocheting, and taking pictures of pets!