The UMD School of Public Health Alumni Network has been re-energized with the leadership of a new group of officers who are planning activities that will connect UMD SPH alumni (as well as those who graduated from the colleges that pre-dated the formation of the School of Public Health in 2007) for networking, educational and recreational opportunities. Welcome to the new leaders!
Alyssa Todaro Brooks, PhD '15
Behavioral and Community Health
Alyssa is a Principal Investigator at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center. Alyssa heads an interdisciplinary research team examining the health behaviors of vulnerable and diverse populations. Her vision for the SPH Alumni Association is to reinvigorate and engage the entire SPH "family" and create meaningful connections between students, faculty, and our 15,000+ alumni base. She is passionate about service and leadership and is honored to be leading an immensely capable team to promote the school that shaped her personally and professionally.
Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Vice President of Finance
Dena Gregory Fisher, MPH, BS '97
Dena is a Senior Health Communication Manager at Communicate Health. Dena hopes to increase alumni participation across all generations of graduates of the School of Public Health - bridging the gap of soon-to-be and recent graduates to those who bring years of expertise and knowledge in the field of public health. Dena is really excited about the new research and programs at the School of Public Health as well as the University as a whole. She thought this would be a great way to get involved and share her passion for all things UMD with other alum.
Vice President of Professional Development
Amanda T. Hemmer, MHA, '15
Health Services Administration
Amanda is a health care consultant. She recently returned from a Fulbright year in Denmark and will be starting a new job as a health care consultant in government health care solutions for a consulting firm in Washington, D.C. She believes the Alumni Association provides a pivotal relationship between the University, past and present students, and the outside world. We're gathering, focusing, and generating new efforts to inspire our alumni to be meaningfully involved in the many things that matter to us and to public health broadly. Amanda found her place while a student in the School of Public Health. She wants to pass on the good faith that her mentors, professors, and friends gave to her through supporting the school and further its efforts to have a bigger presence University-wide and in the community.
Vice President of Social Programs
M. DeLois (Dee) Strum, MS '77, BS '74
Family Studies and Community Development
Dee currently provides onsite training and freelance services in curriculum development and instructional design, to universities and nonprofit organizations. As V.P. of Social Programs for the SPH Alumni Association, Dee’s near-term goal is to elevate the profile of the SPH through "friend-raising": a two-fold strategy to include cultivating current students to embrace their future role as an active alumni member (i.e., "building a pipeline"), and undertaking a series of engaging social events/venues to identify and motivate graduates of SPH's legacy schools to engage as speakers, mentors and/or role models for current students, with the ultimate goal of building deeper levels of support for SPH's mission. Dee believes this leadership role provides her a structure in which she can contribute from her various life-lessons to the benefit of the emerging SPH leaders, who will soon serve our nation's families and communities. And, in doing so, it will allow Dee to repay the investment and benefit received from the wise counsel provided to her as an undergrad student, and subsequent graduate teaching fellow, to the now-retired, SPH/Family Science professor, Dr. Noel Myricks.
Vice President Big 10 Liaison and Service
Kristin Cipriani MA '14, BS '09
In 2014 Kristin joined the SPH staff to develop and open the School’s newest major: Public Health Science. Kristin now oversees this rapidly growing major. She sees the School of Public Health as a fantastic institution, filled with people who have a mission to help others. This network of students could be hugely impactful for one another and for society in general. She looks forward to the alumni association's leadership team providing the framework to make this potential impact a reality. After graduating, Kristin missed a lot of news and information with regard to the evolution of our school and realized that too many other graduates were also missing a lot. Serving on the leadership team will provide an opportunity to redefine the connections amongst the School’s graduates and between graduates and the School. The alumni association has the unique ability to help current students maintain their commitment to the School and reinvigorate the interests of graduates in all the School is doing.
Members at Large
Francine Baker, BS Public Health Science ‘17
Francine graduated from the School of Public Health in 2017 with a Bachelor’s in Public Health Science. After graduation, she joined the National Institutes of Health as a Postbac IRTA Fellow for the National Cancer Institute Center for Cancer Research in the Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis. As a post-bac, Francine studied cancer health disparities between African-American and European-American men and women with prostate and breast cancer respectively. Francine was also an NIH Academy Enrichment Program Scholar which afforded her the opportunity to receive additional training in health disparities. The combination of basic science and health disparities is what draws Francine to the field of Public Health. Francine credits this attraction to public health science to the education and support she received and continues to receive from the School of Public Health. Because of what she has gained as a UMD student, she is a proud and active SPH alumnus. Joining the SPH Alumni Association is one of the best ways she can think of to give back to the school that has given her so much - a love of science, a passion for public health, and a career path that allows her to combine her love and passion.
Francine will continue her education in the Fall of 2019 at the University of the District of Columbia. She plans on studying cancer biology, prevention, and control. Regardless of where she continues her education, Francine is and will always be “Fearless” representing UMD Terps wherever she goes. It is her hope and desire to impact the lives of as many SPH students, especially undergrads, as she possibly can in the same way her SPH mentors have impacted her.
Orin Howard, MSW, BS '93
Family Studies (now Family Science)
Owner, Inspired Leadership Consulting and Therapy Services
Orin graduated with his BS in Family Studies in 1993. He later obtained his MSW from Howard University in 1995 and his MBA from UMUC in 2014. He owns Inspired Leadership Consulting and Therapy Services, a company that provides clinical therapy and consultation. He is the current director of Clinical Services for DC Public Schools Early Childhood Education. He has also taught at the University of Maryland at Baltimore for eight years in the Social Work Department as an adjunct faculty.
The joy of his life is his 14-year-old son Khalid. In his spare time, he serves as the current president of the Greenbelt Boys and Girls Club. He is also the community service chair and past president for the Howard University School of Social Work Alumni Association. He is an active member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. Outside of the Terps, he is an active Philadelphia sports fan.
Mark Johnson, BS Consumer Economics (Human Ecology) ‘89
As CEO of PRISM, Mark is responsible for creating the strategy and direction of the company. Establishing budgets, forming partnerships, capital allocation, and hiring a team of leaders, are amongst his many responsibilities. Mark has helped build a culture of self-motivation in his workforce, allowing the company to steadily grow and reach new heights every year. Leading by example, Mark preaches company execution and ensures that his entire staff has the tools at their disposal to accomplish the vision of PRISM.
Christopher Silayan DeVore, MPH, BS Community Health ‘14
Legislative Assistant at the U.S. House of Representatives
Christopher DeVore is a Legislative Assistant at the U.S. House of Representatives. He manages a legislative portfolio covering health, labor, tax, social security, arts and humanities issues, and science. Christopher is a 2014 graduate of the Community Health program at Maryland and went on to receive his Master of Public Health degree in Health Policy and Graduate Certificate in Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology from Emory University. Christopher enjoys bringing people together and hopes to help improve alumni engagement through the Alumni Network’s programming.
Christopher also currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Emory Rollins School of Public Health Alumni Association DC Chapter and hopes to leverage these roles to create fun and engaging opportunities for both alumni groups.