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Welcome New SPH Faculty and Staff, Fall 2022

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School of Public Health Building, Front Entrance

The School of Public Health would like to recognize and welcome the following faculty and staff to our community. Some are already part of our community and are being recognized for new roles/titles, while others are joining us this academic year. Welcome and congratulations to all!

New Faculty

Hector Ernesto Alcala

Héctor Alcalá 

Assistant Professor, Behavioral and Community Health

Dr. Héctor E. Alcalá’s research focuses on a few areas: 1) Understanding health inequities, particularly around race, ethnicity, religion, nativity and generation; 2) Examining the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on cancer, cancer screening and utilization of health care; 3) Use of tobacco products; 4) The impact of discrimination on health and utilization of health care.


Rabiatu Barrie

Rabiatu Barrie

Assistant Professor, Family Science 

Dr. Rabiatu Barrie is a community-based intervention and prevention scientist whose work aims to reduce negative mental health outcomes among Black boys and to develop family and community-based interventions that support healthy development. She developed a curriculum, PRIDE, designed to help African American parents and caretakers socialize African American adolescent boys to deconstruct stereotypes of Black men, learn how to cope with racism, and develop critical consciousness.  


Danielle Catona

Danielle Catona

MPH Lecturer, Office of the Dean

Dr. Danielle Catona is a health communication scientist and certified health education specialist. Her research examines the central role of communication in minimizing risk and promoting health, with a specific interest in falls prevention and chronic disease management in older adults.

Rebecca Gourevitch

Rebecca Gourevich

Assistant Professor, Health Policy and Management

Dr. Gourevich is a health services researcher using quantitative methods to study policies that impact access to affordable, high quality health care in the United States. Her work focuses on how to improve care and social support services for pregnant and postpartum individuals.


Ayrn Phillips

Aryn Phillips

Assistant Professor, Health Policy and Management

Aryn Phillips is health services researcher interested in alcohol use among adults with chronic conditions, particularly older adults. Her current research focuses on the determinants of alcohol use and misuse among this population, its role in the management of chronic conditions, and policy and clinical approaches to improve detection of alcohol misuse, access to treatment, and health outcomes.


Xuanzi Qin

Xuanzi (Shirley) Qin

Assistant Professor, Health Policy and Management

Dr. Qin's research interests include pharmaceutical policy, Medicare, and access to cancer care. Her work seeks to understand how health policy and economic factors affect cancer care and outcomes. She has expertise in using Medicare and Medicaid administrative data (Medicare Part A/B/C/D, Part D formulary, MDS, ACO, Medicaid MAX/TAF) to understand mechanisms of healthcare use.


Zahra Saboori

Zahra Saboori 

Lecturer, Behavioral and Community Health

Dr. Saboori studies the role of community health workers in preventing and managing intimate partner violence. She enjoys teaching courses at the SPH and is working on publications on her post-dissertation research projects.

Shanea Thomas Headshot

Shanéa Thomas

Assistant Clinical Professor, Behavioral and Community Health/Prevention Research Center (PRC)

Shanéa Thomas, Ed.D., LICSW (he/him; she/her; Dr.) is a bold lecturer and seasoned scholar-practitioner with more than 15 years of professional social work experience in the Washington D.C. metro area who recently joined the University of Maryland Prevention Research Center (UMD-PRC) as an LGBTQ+ training specialist. In this role, he will be working to expand the center’s core project—the Sexual and Gender Diversity Learning Community program—helping to “uplift some of the wonderful science [the UMD-PRC is] doing and historically continue the thread of wanting to establish trainings and support and stability for mental health professionals around [LGBTQ+ cultural competency].” 

New Staff

Colleen Berk

Colleen Berk

Faculty Assistant, Center for Health Literacy

Colleen Berk is a project assistant for the Horowitz Center for Health Literacy where she supports the creation of an online course to guide faculty across seven health-related disciplines on how to incorporate health literacy into their curricula.


Kelly Kesler

Kelly Kesler 

University Career Center Program Director for SPH, Student Services, Office of the Dean

Kelly comes to the SPH with experience spanning academic, government, and nonprofit public health roles. She served as the Director of the Bureau of Population Health at the Howard County Health Department and as the Director of the Howard County Local Health Improvement Coalition. Previously she served as the Assistant Director for Health Promotion and the Coordinator of Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Programs within the University Health Center. 

Kelly has a Master’s degree in Community Health Science from Towson University and a Bachelor’s degree in Health Education from the University of Maryland.

Kayla Packer

Advisor, Public Health Science


  • Categories
  • Faculty
  • Departments
  • Department of Family Science
  • Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health
  • Department of Kinesiology
  • Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • Center for Health Equity
  • Prevention Research Center
  • Department of Behavioral and Community Health