IH Communications Committee Team Members

About Us

Jean Armas

Communications Committee Chair, IH Connect Website and APHA Connect List-Serv Manager

WordPress: @jeanarmas

Twitter: @jean_armas

I currently live in Oakland, California and work for a global health non-profit called Global Strategies where I help my organization’s partners in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda introduce technology solutions to help them improve the delivery of care for survivors of gender-based violence, provide care for children and pregnant women living with HIV, and tackle the challenging problem of reducing newborn mortality.  In addition to my role as the Communications Committee Chair for the International Health section, I am also a Section Councilor.  I like writing about women’s and children’s health, health care policy, health innovation and technology, human rights, and global health careersI have a bachelor’s degree in Economics from San Francisco State University and a Master’s in Public Health in Applied Epidemiology from Emory University.  In my spare time, I enjoy traveling with my husband and daughter and taking our dog out for long walks in the beautiful California woods.

129660171_10158948220397552_4333052987629716166_nAmanda Beaver

Communications Committee, Co-Chair

WordPress: @amandabeaver15

Amanda Beaver currently lives in Canton, Ohio and is the Business Safety Specialist at the Stark County Health Dpeartment. She is a CORE volunteer for Remote Area Medical based in Knoxville, TN and travels frequently across the country to assist with pop-up clinics providing free care to communities. Additionally, she teaches English as a Foreign Language through an online platform, EduKita, based out of Indonesia. Amanda holds a Master of Public Health from Kent State University with a focus in policy and management. She hopes to focus her writing on the mental health of healthcare workers and international disaster relief response.  In her free time, Amanda travels internationally, learns Spanish, ice skates, and takes care of her two kittens, Colby and Callie.

_MG_4902Mary Ellen Biggerstaff

Regular Contributor

WordPress: @MEBiggerstaff

Dr. Mary Ellen Biggerstaff is a Family Nurse Practitioner with a Doctorate in Nursing in Olympia, Washington. She has sixteen years of experience in nursing, with eleven years in rural primary care, hospital, and addiction medicine. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Frontier Nursing University and holds a Masters In Public Health from The University of California at Berkeley. She has published and presented her research both nationally and internationally and serves on both State and Federal Boards.

Chris Cugini Photo (1)Chris Cugini

Communications Committee Co-Chair, Social Media Subcommittee Co-Chair

WordPress: @chriscugini13

Christopher L. Cugini, MPH currently serves as the communications specialist at the Stark County Health Department. After nearly a decade in marketing, communications, and public relations, Chris chose to use his talents and offer them to the field of public health. Chris creates the communication and marketing strategy for all services areas of the Stark County Health Department. He also serves as spokesperson for the department on certain occasions. Chris helped to attract more than 1 million organic impressions through his social media efforts throughout the pandemic. He recently graduated with his master’s degree in public health from Kent State University during the height of the pandemic. Prior to his current position with the health department, he served as the marketing intern at the Stark County Health Department for a year. Much of his work included creating marketing pieces for PHAB accreditation, writing parts of the marketing plan, creating brand guidelines, preparing pieces for the 100th anniversary celebration, and consulting on social media practices. He was asked to lend a hand, after his internship had ended, by helping to create social media content for the COVID-19 pandemic. Chris has spent nearly a decade in marketing and communications with local firms and organizations. He has led many successful campaigns for clients like the Great Catholic Music app that has global reach and chairing the largest Giving Tuesday fundraiser in the history of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation. Chris’ passion is to take complex messaging and rework it to be clear for a variety of audiences. Chris graduated from the University of Mount Union with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies in 2013. He resides in Massillon, Ohio with his wife Abby and their dog Winnie. KN

Kinjalbahen Nayak

Communications Committee Co-Chair, Social Media Subcommittee Co-Chair

WordPress: @kinjalnayak27

I am a Ph.D. student in epidemiology at Kent State University’s college of public health. I help in teaching courses in epidemiology and biostatistics at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Likewise, I also work as a focus group moderator at Akron Children’s Hospital. Furthermore, I received my bachelor’s degree in Dental Surgery  from Narsinhbhai Patel Dental College & Hospital in 2014 and a master’s degree in public health from Kent State University in 2019. In addition, I worked as a dental intern at Narsinhbhai Patel Dental College and Hospital in India for a year. I also worked as a hospital data analysis intern for the UH Portage Medical Center at Ravenna and a tobacco cessation intern for the Kent City Health Department at Kent. Most of my work in public health involves hospital data analysis, community health assessment, and epidemiological surveillance. My research interests include HIV/AIDS and cancer epidemiology.

Steven Sur


I write the bi-weekly Global Health News Round Up and have also contributed to the Global Health Jobs Analysis project.

Communications Alumni

Get to know some of our previous contributors.


Sophia Anyatonwu

Social Media Team Member

WordPress: @scanyatonwu

Twitter: @SophiaCA1

I am from Austin, Texas and have always had an interest in using my skills to make a global impact. I received my Masters in Public Health in 2015 and currently work as an Epidemiologist. In my role as the Section’s social media manager, I am excited to help get the word out about what IH members are working on and passionate about. In the future, I would like to evaluate health services and policies that impact humanitarian aid and economic development.

Yara Headshot SmallYara Asi


WordPress: @yaraasi

I am currently a Lecturer in the Health Management & Informatics Department at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, FL, primarily teaching undergraduates in health services administration or pre-clinical majors. My research interests are in healthcare in conflict-affected/fragile settings, women in global health, and uses of health information technology in global settings. Outside of global health, I enjoy traveling, cooking, and reading, even though I’m starting to be convinced I’ll never finish that stack of books on my nightstand.

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Anlan Cheney

Regular Contributor

WordPress: @anlanc

Anlan is an epidemiologist with the CDC Foundation at the Nebraska Department of Health. She earned her MPH in epidemiology from the University of Nebraska Medical Center while working with non-governmental organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa and India on health and development projects. Prior to “discovering” public health, Annie completed her bachelor’s degree in communication arts.  During this time, she reported on Kosovo-Serbia relations and worked for a development project in Kosovo. She also holds a Master of Peace Studies from the University of Belgrade and has taught in indigenous and migrant communities near her hometown in the American Midwest. Annie is interested in peacebuilding, peace processes, the use of epidemiology in conflict analysis and prevention, and global health governance.


Christa Cook

Committee Co-Chair, Social Media Subcommittee Chair

WordPress: @publichealthtalks

I am a 26-year-old Texas girl that enjoys the sunny outdoors, traveling all over the globe and curling up to a good mystery book. I have recently become a new epidemiologist for one of the local health departments in central Texas. My interests in public health range from infectious diseases (I have a background in Microbiology) and global health to mental health and freshwater sustainability. I am very excited to be a part of APHA and contribute to the International Health Section with health promotion through social media.

McClintock.PictureHeather DeVries McClintock

Communications Committee Co-Chair, Social Media Subcommittee Co-Chair

I am an Assistant Professor and the Director of Undergraduate Programs in the Department of Public Health at Arcadia University. I teach courses focused on epidemiology, biological foundations and global health. My research interests include intimate partner violence, health literacy and chronic diseases. Some of my favorite hobbies are traveling and hiking.

DF7A6DC0-232A-4621-BC12-58FBA28468F6_1_201_a copyNeha Dahal

Social Media Associate

WordPress: @murmursofmine
Twitter: @murmurs_of_mine

Originally from Nepal, I am a first-generation college graduate from California State University East Bay. I received my undergraduate degree in Health Sciences B.S., Public Health minor and feel passionate about infectious diseases on a global setting, mental health and community health promotion through social media. I hope to pursue an MPH in Global Health in the next few years and use my knowledge to promote sustainable public health interventions in Nepal. Outside of my professional setting, I enjoy hiking, indulging in Harry Potter content and traveling the world to learn about different cultures.

Cherrelle Dorleans

Assistant Social Media Manager, Contributor

WordPress: @cjdor

I am a recent graduate of Florida International University and earned a Masters of Public Health in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. I received my bachelors degree in Cultural Anthropology and Sociology from the University at Buffalo. I was born and raised in Queens, New York. Currently, I work as a Zika Case Manager for the Florida Department of Health in Broward County. My interests in public health span across the areas of infectious diseases, global health, health education, and health equity. In addition to being a Social Media Manager in Training, I am also a mentee for the 2018 cohort of the International Health Section’s Global Health Mentoring Program. My future plans are to pursue a PhD in public health. When I’m not working, I enjoy attending professional development events, mentoring, volunteering, cooking, traveling, and crossing things off my bucket list.

Edmonds PhotoSarah Edmonds

Communications Committee Co-Chair, Social Media Subcommittee Co-Chair

WordPress: @saraheedmonds

Twitter: @SarahEEdmonds

I am an author and filmmaker from Bucks County, Pennsylvania who is currently pursuing a Dual Masters degree at Arcadia University. My films have won recognition at multiple national and international festivals and I have had multiple poems published in literary journals. I began creating, in both film and writing, out of a desire for greater representation of how diverse humanity can be and how deep the challenges we face may go. My creative works are a medium through which I explore many issues surrounding mental health and disparities in public health that are ever present in the world around us. I hope to use my creative background to make health issues and difficult topics in health more accessible for everyone.

HeadshotToni-Ann Lee

Social Media Associate

Toni-Ann Lee is a results-oriented life-long learner. She is Jamaican-born with a bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy and 7 years of experience in the public health sector. She left her home in 2018 to study in the U.S. and graduated in 2020 with a master’s degree in Public Health from Morgan State University. Toni-Ann is currently pursuing her Doctoral degree in Public Health (DrPH) at Morgan State. She enjoys creative/artistic projects, and her research interests include youth mental health and the impacts of COVID-19 in the Caribbean.

South Africa

Kimberly Levitt


WordPress: @kimberlybug12

I am currently living in Boston, MA and working at Boston Children’s Hospital as a Clinical Research Assistant in the Neurology Department. Some of the most recent projects include a clinical trial on combination therapy for patients with infantile spasms. I am graduating this May with my Masters in Public Health from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS). After graduation I am moving to Tampa, Florida and will continue my education by starting a Doctorate in Health Sciences program. Some of my main interested within international health are LGBT health education, health equality, and HIV/AIDS prevention. In my spare time I enjoy traveling and trying the local food, training for half-marathons, and collecting vinyl records.

RgJzKudaRoGtji8k4cOqGwAmanda Pain


WordPress: @awpain

Amanda Pain is a freelance health writer that helps organizations bridge message and mission. Amanda has over 15 years of experience working in global health and development for non-profits and academia. She has a dual masters in social work and public health and a bachelors in journalism. Since starting her business Amanda has written blogs, newsletters, reports, white papers, articles for peer-reviewed journals, literature reviews as well as B2B and B2C marketing materials. As a writer she utilizes her storytelling ability as a tool for social change. Before starting her business Amanda worked as a project manager working on the Global Burden of Disease research study at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Uzbekistan and worked as a field research assistant on an HIV/AIDS study in Malawi. Her educational and professional pursuits are instilled with her values of intellectual challenge, openness to change and optimism for making the world a better place.

Abbhi Rajagopal 


WordPress: @abbhirami

I spent nearly 15 years as a cell biology researcher. But my itch to do more for people led me to a master’s in public health from Johns Hopkins School of Public health and I transitioned full time into public health in 2015. My first job was with Harris Country Public Health where I worked on wide ranging projects from accreditation to health equity. When not working, I spend my time thinking about racial and gender issues, health equity, food systems and the plight of the planet. I love to grow my own food, read old mysteries, and write blog posts!

headshot sylvie rousseauSylvie T. Rousseau

Social Media Associate

Twitter: @rousseau_fierce

I am a global health fanatic, and passionate about partnering with all stakeholders to improve health outcomes for the most vulnerable populations. I am an MSPH student in Global Disease Epidemiology and Control at Johns Hopkins University. I most recently worked in Haiti, partnering with the Ministry of Public Health to support a network of small hospitals and health centers in offering the package of essential services, from vaccination through maternal-child health, and even disaster preparedness. I have previous experience in Ecuador, Uganda, and the Philippines, as well as in my home town of Muncie, Indiana. I am particularly interested in monitoring and evaluation of HIV programs, and researching questions surrounding human resources for health. Viva CHWs! In my personal life, I love to eat fermented foods, play tennis, dance salsa rueda, and read short stories.

IMG_0072Hanna Stewart


WordPress: @hanstewart

I am a native Texan currently living in Los Angeles. I received my undergraduate degree in psychology from Baylor University and my MPH in Global Health from the University of Southern California. Before returning to graduate school in 2016, I worked in clinical research investigating the neurophysiology of nicotine addiction. Most recently I worked with the Mayor of Los Angeles to develop a target and indicator set for monitoring human rights issues related to the city’s growing number of unsheltered residents. My passion has always centered around advancing mental health as a human right, and I am excited to continue my global mental health research and advocacy as a Research Fellow at the Global Environment Health Lab in Myanmar studying mental health outcomes after natural disasters. I’m a “dog-mom” to three pups and a lover of all things caffeinated, Texas-shaped, or spicy.

Dallas Smith


WordPress: @pragmaticsolidarity

I currently inhabit the beautiful country of the Kingdom Cambodia where I serve as a Community Health Educator with the United States Peace Corps. My primary assignment is contributing to the empowerment of the staff at a rural health center along with focusing on sustainable health outcomes through education. The health sectors that I have the unique opportunity to educate on include nutrition, growth monitoring, and non-communicable diseases. In addition to my primary assignment, I teach the English language at a local high school and get to share the fate of my fellow community members for a duration of two years. In May of 2017, I completed my doctorate of pharmacy from the University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio. Biosocial medicine, Tuberculosis, Neglected Tropical Diseases, and drug quality are extremely fascinating to me, and I look forward to discussing these topics through the blog! Outside of healthcare, I thoroughly appreciate reading books about history, listening to musicals, and traveling to unique parts of this vast planet.

Eighmey Zeeck_main headshot

Eighmey Zeeck 


WordPress: @globalhealthandyou

Twitter: @ENZeeck

I currently live in the Washington, DC metropolitan area where I work for a state health association as a member of the maternal and child health team. I received my MPH from the Milken Institute School of Public Health in 2015 where I was able to intern at the World Health Organization. I enjoy staying up to date on health policy and am passionate about reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health.  In my spare time you will catch me horse back riding or enjoying the great outdoors with family and friends.

Communications Portal

IH bloggers and social media managers, visit the Communications Portal for resources and answers to frequently asked questions.