school of public health
September 5, 2018

The School of Public Health welcomes four faculty members and several new staff people this academic year. You may have already passed them in the hall, but here is a little more information about the new members joining our team: 




New Faculty: 

Jessica Fish, Assistant Professor, Family Science 

Dr. Jessica Fish is a human development and family science scholar whose research focuses on the health and well-being of sexual and gender minorities (i.e., lesbian/gay, bisexual, and transgender people) and their families. Dr. Fish earned her Master’s degree in Couple and Family Therapy from Purdue University Calumet, her Ph.D. in Family and Child Sciences from Florida State University, and is currently finishing a three-year postdoctoral research fellowship in the Population Research Center at the University of Texas. Broadly, Dr. Fish studies the sociocultural and interpersonal factors that shape the development and health of sexual and gender minorities in the U.S. Her overarching goal is to identify modifiable factors that contribute to sexual and gender minority health disparities in order to inform developmentally-sensitive policies and programs that promote the health of sexual and gender minority people and their families across the life course.

Kellee White, Associate Professor, Health Services Administration  

Dr. Kellee White is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Health (Department of Health Services Administration) and an Assistant Director in the Maryland Center for Health Equity. She earned her Ph.D. (Epidemiology) and MPH (Sociomedical Sciences) from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and was a W. K. Kellogg Postdoctoral Scholar at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Before joining the University of Maryland, Dr. White was on the faculty at the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Her research broadly focuses on racial/ethnic segregation and discrimination on health and the social determinants of cardiometabolic risk factors control and management with an emphasis on healthy aging among middle-aged and older adults.

Tianzhou “Charles” Ma, Assistant Professor, Health Services Administration

Dr. Tianzhou (Charles) Ma is a new Assistant Professor in Biostatistics at the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics of the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland. He received his Ph.D. in Biostatistics from the University of Pittsburgh in 2018 and an MS in Biostatistics from Yale University in 2013. Dr. Ma’s research focuses on statistical methods in genomics and bioinformatics, meta-analysis and data integration, statistical machine learning, Bayesian analysis, high-dimensional variable selection, as well as their application in cancer, psychiatry and epidemiology fields. He was originally from China and had been studying in Hong Kong and Canada before coming to the States. In addition to research and teaching, he likes to play basketball and soccer in his spare time. He is a big fan of Lebron James.

Kendall Bustad, Lecturer, Public Health Science 

Dr. Kendall M. Bustad joins the School of Public Health as a Lecturer where she will be teaching and developing courses in Public Health Science. Her previous position at the University of Maryland was as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the FIRE program. Before coming to the University of Maryland, she completed her Doctorate in Public Health from Morgan State University. She received her B.S. in Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise from Virginia Tech and her M.S. in Technical and Scientific Communication from James Madison University.

Dean’s Staff:

Mary Shelley, Director of IT 

Bemnet Faris, Communications Manager  

Bem supports the college in the design, development, and implementation of communications and media relations campaigns and programs. She investigates and produces stories on public health research and service activities, student and faculty achievements, and the student experience for school websites and print materials.  In collaboration with the Communications Team, Bem also helps with the management of newsletters, media relations, website content, print publications, event promotions, and social media. Before joining UMD, Bem worked at AcademyHealth as a communications coordinator. She holds a dual bachelor's degree in public health and women and gender studies from Wellesley College.

Amy Lintner, Advisor, CASA 

Amy Lintner is an academic advisor in CASA, working with the student-athlete population in the School of Public Health. She is also teaching a UNIV100 course this fall. Lintner moved here from Iowa. She grew up in Southwest Iowa and attended the University of Iowa for her undergraduate degree in global health and a master’s in higher education and student affairs. At CASA, Lintner will put all of the things she liked most during her graduate school career. She found a great passion for working with student-athletes, and love the field of public health and the students that are engaged with it. “I'm a big proponent of the "Parallel Plan" - not a plan B or a backup, but a plan that allows you to choose your path,” she said. Lintner enjoys reading, hiking, her vinyl collection, building a mean piece of IKEA furniture, and supporting Big 10 athletics.

Fabian Donate, Development Coordinator

Fabian Donate has a B.S. in Public Health from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Before his arrival, Fabian worked extensively for various non-profit organizations and corporations, including the American Cancer Society, the NV Center for Latino Prosperity and Uber Technologies. He is a Nevada native, an alumnus of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity and a strong supporter of the Vegas Golden Knights.

Anna Shao, Program Coordinator CHL

Anna Shao is the Program Coordinator at the Horowitz Center for Health Literacy. As the Program Coordinator, she supports the development of Health Literacy Maryland, a statewide coalition dedicated to improving health literacy. Anna is a recent MPH graduate from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. In her spare time, she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen with new recipes and playing with her baby niece.

Cynthia Kershaw, Undergraduate TA Coordinator

Cynthia Kershaw will work with faculty and students to increase peer mentoring and support within the SPH as the undergraduate TA coordinator. She moved to Maryland this August from Texas, where she worked for six years at the Texas A&M College of Medicine and College of Nursing. Her master’s degree is in Healthcare Administration, and she is currently working on her Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership in Higher Education. Kershaw’s dissertation topic is exploring holistic admission processes in nursing education. She remains  Vice President of the Board of Trafficking and Exploitation Action Network, a non-profit organization in Central Texas focused on combating human trafficking. Kershaw is married, has two grown children, two dogs, two cats, and a grandbaby due in January. In her free time, she likes to read, sew and create stained glass art.

Epidemiology and Biostatistics:

Brittnee Gail, Business Manager



Keisha Prawl-Woods, Assistant Director

Keisha Prawl Woods is the Assistant Director of Finance and Administration in the Kinesiology department. She earned her bachelor’s from the University of Maryland and has worked at two research centers — the Center for Advanced Study of Language and The National Foreign Language Center. She is originally from New York but says her heart now belongs to Maryland. She enjoys traveling and one of her favorite spots is anywhere in the Caribbean.

Naima Shameem, Business Coordinator


Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health:

Meredith Pettit, Staff 

Meredith Pettit is originally from Maryland but lived in Albuquerque, NM for a long time. She will be doing all sorts of things with MIAEH, including placing orders, tracking finances, scheduling, and supporting graduate admissions and student services for the institute.

Graduate Assistants:

Rachael Sturgis, Administrative GA

Rachael Sturgis is currently enrolled as a graduate student in the Masters of Public Health program for Public Health Practice and Policy. At the SPH she will be working under Dr. Dushanka Kleinman, primarily working on projects for Public Health Research Day, SPH Research Committee and Delta Omega. For the past two years, she worked as a recruiter at the Annapolis Anne Arundel Medical Center. She is originally from Calvert County, MD but now lives right outside of Annapolis. In her free time, she likes going running and spending time at the beach. Recently she and her sister adopted a dog named Cali.

Catherine Robinson, Facilities GA

Katy Robinson hails from Southern California, where she grew up in San Diego and later moved to Orange County. She attended the California State University, Long Beach - Bob Cole Conservatory for her undergraduate studies, earning a dual degree in Horn Performance and Music Education, Magna Cum Laude. She is currently attending the University of Maryland to pursue her Masters in Horn performance. Her role within the School of Public Health is to assist the Facilities Coordinator in their tasks, not limited to but including; managing the ticket system, providing and revoking swipe access, and scheduling and supporting building events. A fun fact about Katy- she has been a member of the Army Reserves for the past eight years; she currently serves as an Army Musician with the 300th Army Band.

Nishwath Samiya, Finance GA

 Nishwath Samiya is from College Park — literally down the street. She is excited about the upcoming school year, and can't wait to meet everyone.  

Alan Bryan Arellano, IT GA

Alan is in his first year of a double masters in History and Library and Information Science program. He is originally from northern Virginia and completed his undergraduate work in History at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is working towards a career in archival sciences and the digital humanities.  

Aadil Faizee, IT GA

Aadil is currently pursuing his master's degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering with a specialization in Computer Engineering. He also has a Bachelor's degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering. He worked as a Systems Engineer for TCS for a couple of years before joining UMD.