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.

2021-2022 Officers

President – Hailey Bomar (she/her)

Hailey Bomar is a second year MPH student in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health. Hailey is originally from Menomonie, Wisconsin and graduated with a B.A. in Biology from Lawrence University in 2018. As an undergraduate, Hailey began working in public health as an intern at Wake Forest Department of Public Health Sciences, where she assisted with an ongoing participatory study on food access and security. She became interested in educational outreach during her work in Costa Rica on Zika virus prevention practices in the rural Pacific coast. Before attending CPH, Hailey worked in college admissions and later in financial aid at the University of Iowa, where she continued developing a passion for educational outreach and communications. Hailey is currently a member of the Health Equity Advancement Lab and is interested in health justice and community partnership building.

Vice President – Elizabeth Saathoff (she/her)

Liz Saathoff is a second year MPH student in the Community and Behavioral Health Department from Bettendorf, IA. She earned her B.A. in Public Health and Certificate in Writing at the University of Iowa in 2020. Liz is currently working as a Teaching Assistant within the Undergraduate Public Health program. She is assisting in a research project pertaining to Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia care, as well as another project analyzing public health perceptions in relation to infectious diseases. Liz is interested in health disparities, health behaviors and infectious diseases, and learning more to expand her interests.

Social Chair – Anna Correa (she/her)

Anna Correa is a second year MPH student in the department. She graduated with degrees in public health and international relations in 2021 and is excited for her final year at Iowa. Anna enjoys people, gardening, and talking about her garden.

Service Co-Chair – Mya Davis (she/her)

Mya is a second year MPH student in the Community and Behavioral Health department and is originally from Mesa, Arizona. She graduated with a BA in Biology from Grinnell College in 2021. Her main interests are in mental health and substance use, and aside from her work, she loves coffee, nature, and crafting.

Service Co-Chair – Yajaira Bolanos (she/her)

Yajaira Bolanos is a first-year MPH student in the Community and Behavioral Health Department from Des Moines, IA. She earned her B.A. in Health and Human Physiology with a Certificate in critical cultural competence from the University of Iowa. She is excited to continue my education and grow her professional network. She loves to read, travel, and try new hobbies.

Service Co-Chair – Alaina Elliott-Wherry (she/her)

Alaina is a first year MPH student in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health. Alaina graduated with a BS in Psychology, Sociology, and Gender Studies from Mount Mercy University in 2020 and is passionate about health equity, increasing access to health care, substance abuse prevention, and working with individuals with special health care needs. Alaina currently works as a direct support professional for the Arc of East Central Iowa and REM Iowa, at Student Wellness as a Student Interventionist, at the Iowa Institute of Public Health Research and Policy as a Graduate Research Assistant, and at the Child Health Specialty Clinics as a Youth Advisory Council Assistant.  Alaina is a member of the Health Equity Advancement Lab (HEAL) and is on the Board of Directors at the Area Substance Abuse Council. When Alaina isn’t at school, she likes to read, drink copious amounts of coffee, and do yoga with her partner, Ethan.

Professional Development Co-Chair – Veronica Smith (she/her)

Veronica is a second year MPH in the Community in Behavioral Health department from Des Moines, IA. She earned her B.S. in Anthropology for the Health Professions from the University of Iowa in 2019. Veronica is assisting in a research project pertaining to disaster and emergency preparedness for older adults. Her interests are maternal and child health, emergency planning, and health disparities. Outside of work she loves hiking, gardening, and baking.

Professional Development Co-Chair – Allie Taiber (she/her)

Allie is a first year MPH student in the department of Community and Behavioral Health. She earned her BS in Global Health Studies and minor in French from the University of Iowa in 2021. Allie enjoys meeting new people, music, and spending time outside

Public Relations Co-Chair – Jorge Calderon (he/him)

Jorge Calderon is a second year MPH student in the Community and Behavioral Health Department. Jorge is originally from East Moline, Illinois. He earned his B.S. in Public Health and minor in Spanish from Northern Illinois University. Prior to attending CPH, Jorge worked with Project NOW in the Head Start Division overseeing health services for the program. While studying abroad in Costa Rica and working for Project NOW, he developed an interest in working with marginalized communities. Jorge is also interested in mental health, human rights, and health inequities.

Public Relations Co-Chair – Abinaya Ilavarasan (she/her)

I am Abi Ilavarasan(she/hers). I am from Inner Grove Heights, MN. I studied Sociology as undergraduate where I got introduced to health equity. This led me to pursue different opportunities in such doing research for a local non-profit learning about Asian American’s sex education experiences. I later became interested in public health and wanted to continue doing health equity work. I am interested in maternal and child health, racial health disparities, sexual/reproductive health.