About Our Chapter

Mizzou Public Health Alumni Society (MPHAS) was established in November 2015 and is affiliated with the Mizzou Alumni Association (MAA), an independent not-for-profit organization established in 1936. The University of Missouri- Master of Public Health (MU MPH) Program was founded in 2007 and has more than 480 graduates, making MPHAS a growing and active organization. MPHAS is led by a board of directors, which consists of 9 elected alumni members, four of which are Officers: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and the remaining five are board members. The first elections for all nine positions was held in February 2016.

Through the work of the board of directors, MPHAS sponsors events, activities or services that are educational, developmental, and social. These activities benefit students and alumni and promote mutual help and communication leading to improvement in professional work among public health alumni and students of the University of Missouri. One of the goals of the Alumni Association is to improve public health outreach in the community by cultivating a mutually beneficial relationship between the MU Master of Public Health Program, its growing alumni and the community.

To foster a community of University of Missouri public health alumni in professional and personal development, scholarship, and service.


  • Connect alumni and increase opportunities for social interaction.
  • Increase alumni involvement in MU MPH program activities.
  • Improve professional development of alumni.
  • Provide financial support to current students and other public health entities.
  • Improve public health outreach in the community.

Click here to view our bylaws: MPHAS Bylaws


Dina Van Der Zalm

Board Member

Dina van der Zalm, originally from South Carolina, came to Missouri for a fellowship after serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in northwest China. Columbia grew on her during graduate school, and she stayed, working as the health care organizer for the Missouri Rural Crisis Center since graduation. In this role, she focuses on policy and practical solutions to improve access to and affordability of healthcare for rural Missourians. In her free time, she fosters rescue dogs and plots to take over the world.

Psychology '09
MPH & MSW '16

Michelle Shikles

Board Member

Michelle Shikles received her Bachelor’s from Truman State University and her Master’s in Public Health from University of Missouri – Columbia.  She is a certified health education specialist.  Currently she works at Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services as the Public Health Promotion Supervisor where her focus is preventing diseases through education, environmental change, and policy change.  Her work is primarily focused on healthy eating, tobacco, HIV/STIs, and health literacy. Michelle is also an adjunct professor at the University of Missouri.

Health Science '11
Master of Public Health '13

Malaika Gallimore

Board Member

Malaika Gallimore is a registered nurse and is currently pursuing a doctorate in nursing at the MU Sinclair School of Nursing.  She previously worked as a public health nurse for the Columbia/Boone County Health Department.  Her focus was on communicable disease surveillance and investigations as well as tuberculosis control and education.  Prior to that she worked on a cardiac surgery unit at Boone Hospital Center. Malaika graduated with her MPH in 2009 in the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. 

B.S. in Nursing '14
Master of Public Health '09

Casey Parnell

Board Member

Casey is the Project Manager for the #HealthierMO initiative, a grassroots movement that aims to transform the future of public health in Missouri. She currently lives in Columbia, Missouri with her partner and two dogs. She has previously worked for in tobacco control for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and in the field of drug abuse prevention for the Taney County Health Department.

B.A. in Biology '08
MPH and MPA '13

Kimi Nolte

Board Member

Kimi Nolte graduated from the MPH program in 2013 from the Health Policy and Promotion emphasis area. She currently lives in the DC area, where she works as a Residential Coordinator for a human trafficking prevention and response non-profit. She also coordinates the Developing Leaders Program for Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington. 

B.S. in Biological Sciences & B.A. in Sociology '11
MPH in Health Promotion and Policy and MSW in Policy, Planning and Administration '13

Jenna Wintemberg


Jenna Wintemberg is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Health Sciences and also serves as the Coordinator of Distance Education for the MPH Program at MU. Jenna is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist. She currently serves as the Chair for Tobacco Free Missouri. In 2015 she received the American Public Health Association’s Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs (ATOD) Section College-Based Leadership Award.

MPH in Health Promotion & Policy '12
PhD in Health Education & Promotion '17

Sabrina Abramovitz


Sabrina Abramovitz graduated with an MPH degree in health promotion and policy, and she received the Master of Public Health Program Overall Excellence Award. She is currently the Family Medicine Practice Manager at South Providence at the University of Missouri Health Care where she is responsible for clinic operations. Her previous work experience includes Practice Manager of the Missouri Digestive Health Center, Administrative Healthcare Fellow, and Clinical Manager of Retina Associates of Missouri. Her interests include hospital administration, population health, and quality improvement.

B.A. in Psychology & Chemistry '11
MPH in Health Promotion & Policy '13

Cody Minks


Cody Minks is the Regional Public Health Emergency Planner for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI) in St. Louis, MO. Cody is a graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, the University of Missouri and the Naval Postgraduate School earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Health, a Master of Public Health (MPH) in Veterinary Public Health and a Master of Arts in Security Studies. Cody is currently pursuing his Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) degree at Johns Hopkins University.

MPH in Veterinary Public Health '14
Master of Arts in Security Studies '18

Michelle Long

Board Member

Michelle Long is a Policy Analyst at the Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington, DC. Her work focuses on researching and analyzing trends in the private health insurance market including topics such as employer-sponsored health insurance, health care cost trends, and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Michelle graduated from the MU MPH Program in 2014. She received the Master of Public Health Program Service Award, and was inducted into the Rollins Society and Delta Omega. She also holds a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Truman School at MU, and a Bachelor of Arts from Marquette University. Prior to attending Mizzou, Michelle served in the Peace Corps, teaching health in Paraguay and Dominica.

BA in Social Welfare & Justice '07
MPH in Health Promotion & Policy '14

Past Leadership

Gvantsa Khizanishvili (2016-2018)

Vice President

Gvantsa Khizanishvili is a medical doctor and human rights activist. In her role as an advocate, she works to strengthen the current critical health and human rights challenges and ensure an appropriate national and international policy and program response. Previously, Gvantsa worked for different public health and human rights projects. Gvantsa also serves on various national and international boards; she is Women Deliver Young Leader and One Young World Ambassador from Georgia. Gvantsa served as a World Contraception Day Ambassador 2015-2016 for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Gvantsa has a strong passion for international development, strengthening public health systems, youth empowerment and education, women’s rights, and social entrepreneurship. 

Medical Doctor (M.D.) '07
MPH in Public Health Promotion & Policy '11

Hayley Belisle-Yaglom (2016-2018)

Board Member

Hayley Yaglom has worked with the Arizona Department of Health Services since the summer of 2014 as a vector-borne and zoonotic disease epidemiologist. In this role, she conducts surveillance, preparedness, prevention, and outreach activities with state, local, and tribal partners across Arizona. Hayley works largely with tribal communities to combat the continued public health threat of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Hayley graduated with a MPH in Veterinary Public Health and Epidemiology from the University of Missouri. She also received a Masters of Science from the University of Massachusetts, and has a strong background in the veterinary sciences. Hayley's passion is examining ways to use animals as a surveillance tool to predict risk for human disease through a One Health paradigm.

B.S. in Veterinary Sciences '10
MPH in Veterinary Public Health '13

Tarunjot Sethi (2016-2018)

Tarunjot ‘Teejay’ Sethi graduated from the MPH Program’s Health Promotion and Policy emphasis area in 2015. Since then she has been working for the MU Master of Public Health Program as the MPH Program Fellow and International Internship Coordinator. Her passion is to improve Environmental Health and Global Public Health and to alleviate the problem of lack of basic sanitation among millions of people around the world. She also completed Medical School in India and would like to do her residency in a few years. She hopes to see a strong collaboration of Public Health graduates with each other and students via MPHAS with a focus on mentorship and career consultation for the students.

Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery '13
MPH in Health Promotion & Policy '15
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