CPH students featured in UI ‘Dare to Discover’ campaign

University of Iowa students spend a lot of time hitting the books, sitting in lectures, and writing papers, but in between many are also helping to answer some of life’s most important and interesting questions as researchers and scholars.

To shine a light on their work, the UI Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development (OVPR&ED) is featuring 64 students in this year’s Dare to Discover banner series. The black-and-gold banners will be installed in early February throughout downtown Iowa City, and in the Old Capitol Mall/University Capitol Centre (UCC). They’ll remain up about six weeks before being installed throughout the Old Capitol Mall at least through the end of the spring semester. (Read more about the banner campaign.)

Here are the College of Public Health students and recent grads highlighted:

Ali Al-JumailiAli Al-Jumaili, PhD/MPH graduate, Pharmaceutical Socioeconomics

  • What is your area of research or scholarship? My research focuses on adverse drug events and improving work system in nursing homes.
  • In simple terms, why does this research matter? Here in the U.S., nursing homes take care of 1.4 million people who cannot be cared for at homes any longer. My work helps enhancing medication safety and quality of life of nursing homes residents.
  • What is your degree program and expected graduate date? Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Socioeconomics and graduating on December 15, 2017
  • Hometown: Baghdad, Iraq
  • Faculty mentor/advisor: Prof. William Doucette
  • What are your career goals? My graduate experience taught me how the integration of health-related research and pharmacy practice can enhance patient health and that strive me to teach pharmacy students and conduct research in this vital field.

Morgan Bobb, MD/PhD student, Epidemiology

Morgan Bobb portrait

  • What is your area of research or scholarship? I use trauma data in the State of Iowa to understand when ambulances are used and who is more likely to use ambulances. Specifically, I study ambulance usage for pediatric injuries, particularly in rural communities. Ultimately, I seek to understand how parents’ decisions about ambulance usage contributes to access to high quality emergency care and clinical outcomes.
  • Why does this research matter? By understanding how pediatric patients access the trauma system, we can work within healthcare and communities to provide better care for injured children.
  • Degree Program: MD/PhD (Epidemiology) Candidate
  • Hometown: Denmark, Iowa
  • Faculty Mentors: Nicholas Mohr, MD, MS and James Torner, PhD
  • Career Goals: My long-term goal is to improve rural healthcare delivery as a physician scientist in academic medicine.

Brandon Butcher portraitBrandon Butcher, PhD student, Biostatistics

  • What is your area of research or scholarship? My area of research is biostatistics where I develop and apply statistical methodology with applications in public health, injury prevention, cancer genetics, and biomedical imaging.
  • In simple terms, why does this research matter? This research matters since the appropriate application of biostatistics in these area is able to infer meaningful insight about the underlying phenomenon, which can be used to inform interventions and policies to improve people’s lives.
  • What is your degree program and expected graduate date? Ph.D. program in Biostatistics,
  • Expected graduation: May 2019.
  • Hometown: Belmond, IA.
  • Faculty mentor/advisor: Brian J. Smith.
  • What are your career goals? My career goals are to develop and apply biostatistical methods and software for real-world applications that can have a direct, positive impact on people’s lives.

Kayla Faust portraitKayla Faust, PhD student, Occupational and Environmental Health

  • What is your area of research or scholarship? The purpose of my dissertation research is to examine driving performance using a new, PC-based tractor driving simulator among farmers.
  • In simple terms, why does this research matter? Among all the occupational industries in the U.S., the agricultural industry has the highest rate of fatal and nonfatal injuries. Because a majority of these are due to driving related incidents, it is important to understand the factors that contribute to crash risks among farm equipment operators, which can also have important implications for driver safety in general since many tractor-involved crashes occur on public roadways and have severe outcomes.
  • What is your degree program and expected graduate date? PhD in Occupational and Environmental Health with a focus on Occupational Injury Prevention.
  • Expected graduation date: Spring 2019
  • Hometown: Manchester, Iowa
  • Faculty mentor/advisor: Carri Casteel
  • What are your career goals? I am seeking a career where I can comprehensively address traffic and farming safety problems from exposure assessments to the development and evaluation of interventions.

Winnie Uluocha portraitWinnie Uluocha, dual program student: JD and Masters of Health Administration

  • What is your area of research or scholarship? Understanding implicit bias and its implications in the criminal justice and public health systems.
  • In simple terms, why does this research matter? Implicit bias research exposes the unconscious cognition, attitudes, and behaviors that contribute to societal disparities. Awareness of implicit biases coupled with proactive responses allow these systems to function more equitably.
  • What is your degree program and expected graduate date? Dual-degree – Juris Doctor and Master of Health Administration, 2019
  • Hometown: Chicago, IL
  • Faculty mentor/advisor: Dr. Brian Farrell – Law School
  • What are your career goals? To judiciously counsel health care providers on a wide array of regulatory and transactional issues.

Grads, stay in touch with the CPH alumni directory, social media

College of Public Health Black LogoCongratulations, new grads! We invite you to connect with fellow alumni and stay in touch with the college as you begin your next adventure.

Online Alumni Directory

The University of Iowa College of Public Health has developed an online directory of CPH alumni with known email addresses as provided by the UI Division of Alumni Records. The directory will be a resource to:

  • Enable CPH alumni to stay in touch or make new connections with fellow graduates.
  • Assist current students seeking to make contact with alumni for professional purposes, such as exploring career opportunities, or as an informal resource when they are relocating to a new city.

CPH alumni can be searched for in the directory by the following fields:

  • Name
  • Degree
  • Degree Year
  • Department
  • City/State/Country

Alumni may elect to provide additional information such as organization and title, LinkedIn profile, and employment sector category (government, private sector, non-profit, etc).

The CPH alumni directory is available here. For questions, contact Tara McKee, CPH Alumni Relations Coordinator.

Social Media

Join us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. We share photos, videos, and details about collegiate news, research, honors, people, and events (and the occasional dog photo).

Take a moment to connect with our growing network!





Fuel up for finals with therapy dogs, free lunch, and more

Spotlight Series LogoFuel up for Finals:
Wellness events sponsored by the MPH Program and CPHSA

Monday Dec. 11

Lunch will be served!

To RSVP accept the Outlook meeting invitation or e-mail cph-spotlight@uiowa.edu

Schedule of Events:

10:00-11:30 a.m. and 2:00-3:30 p.m.
Therapy Dogs in C217

12:30-1:30 p.m.
Comfort foods from Panera—including soup bar and mac and cheese.

There will be puzzles, coloring books and stress balls placed in the student commons until finals are over.



MPH student Jeanette Deason is the first graduate of the U2G program

U2G student Jeanette DeasonLike many other undergraduate students, Jeanette Deason knew she wanted to go to graduate school, but wasn’t sure where. A statistics major at the University of Iowa, Deason envisioned eventually working in medical testing and clinical trials.

When she attended a meeting introducing the new Undergraduate to Graduate (U2G) program offered through the UI College of Public Health, the pieces started to fall into place.

“I didn’t know about public health at all, but when I heard about the type of careers and wide scope of options with this degree, it really sparked my interest,” Deason recalls.

The College of Public Health’s U2G program provides an opportunity for students interested in health sciences to earn both their undergraduate and graduate degrees in just five years. Deason chose to pursue the Master of Public Health (MPH) in quantitative methods. Other MPH options are available in community and behavioral health, epidemiology, occupational and environmental health, and policy. Master of Science degrees in epidemiology and industrial hygiene are also available.

U2G students begin taking graduate coursework in their fourth year, the same year they complete their undergraduate degree. They complete their graduate coursework in the fifth year.

Deason, who is originally from Granite Bay, California, says shifting from undergraduate to graduate-level classes was a relatively smooth transition.

“I think the biggest change was moving from the undergraduate mindset of ‘I’m taking this class because I have to to graduate,’ to ‘I’m genuinely interested in every class I have,’” she says.

Another benefit was the focus and personalization of graduate studies. “At the graduate level, the professors know your name and your interests,” she adds.

Deason is set to graduate this December, making her the first student to complete the U2G program. She’s currently looking for a job, ideally in a larger city. Right now, Denver or Chicago are on the top of her list.

“I want to be a biostatistician with clinical trials,” Deason says when asked about her dream job, adding that there are a lot of career choices available with her degrees, ranging from working for a pharmaceutical company to working in an academic setting. The latter is her preference. “An academic setting would offer more groundbreaking work and experience,” she says.

Learn more about the U2G program.