UA Zuckerman College of Public Health Internship Conference Features Returned Peace Corps Volunteers

College of Public Health conference features returned Peace Corps volunteers.

The fall 2005 internship conference for master's in public health (MPH) students at The University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health will focus on "Bringing International Health Home" and feature presentations by returned U.S. Peace Corps volunteers.

The conference, which is open to the Arizona Health Sciences Center community and the public, is set for Friday, Nov. 18, 8:30 a.m. to noon, in Kiewit Auditorium, Arizona Cancer Center.

More than one-third (14 out of 42) of the U.S. Peace Corps fellows at The University of Arizona are public health graduate students at the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health. In addition, one of the current UA Peace Corps fellows is an MPH graduate of the college.

"I think the reason for this is that people serving in the Peace Corps are attracted to public health's major focus on community health, and one way to accomplish this is through community service," explains John McElligott, one of the Peace Corps fellows and an MPH candidate in policy and management. "Returned Peace Corps volunteers are adept at integrating into diverse cultures and can build consensus for important issues related to health."

Five of the 14 returning Peace Corps fellows will be part of a panel discussion, which starts at 9 a.m. and is moderated by Joel Meister, PhD, professor of public health at the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health and a former Peace Corp volunteer. Peace Corps fellows on the panel include Carrie Abdella, James Hazen, John McElligott, Bryna Koch and Erin Peacock. (An unconfirmed panelist is Jeff Sinanian).
The 14 public health Peace Corps fellows at the College, along with brief bios, are:

Second-Year MPH Candidates

*James Hazen, MPH candidate in family and child health: education volunteer in Madagascar; short-term volunteer in Guinea working with refugee camps; focuses his work on food security; works with the Tucson Community Food Bank.

*John McElligott, MPH candidate in policy and management: health volunteer in Cote d'Ivoire and Madagascar; worked with the Arizona AIDS Policy Alliance on improving Arizona prison care; works in the Peace Corps Fellows' office.

Amy Oggel, MPH candidate in health education and behavioral sciences: child survival health volunteer in Honduras; works with the UA Rural Health Office at Mariposa Community Health Center in Nogales, evaluating programs for obese women.

First-Year MPH Candidates

Carrie Abdella, MPH candidate in family and child health: HIV education volunteer in Nepal; works with the AIDS Education and Training Center, focusing on education for American Indian tribes in Arizona.

Ailton Coleman, MPH candidate in policy and management: education volunteer in Kiribati; works with UA Cooperative Extension.

Clarissa Herget, MPH candidate in family and child health: education volunteer in Nepal.

*Bryna Koch, MPH candidate in community health: environment volunteer in Panama; works with the UA Rural Health Office mobile clinic's new dental program.

Lisa Labita, MPH candidate in family and child health: science lab volunteer in Nepal; works with Planned Parenthood of Southern Arizona to coordinate the Teen Advisory Group.

Terrence Marsh, MPH candidate in policy and management: community development volunteer; works with Holy Cross Hospital in Nogales on wellness programs.

*Erin Peacock, MPH candidate in health education and behavioral sciences: school health volunteer in Tanzania; works with the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health's Division of Community and Environmental Health on program evaluation.

Juliana Pugmire, MPH candidate in epidemiology: health volunteer in Zambia; works with the UMC Wellness Center on cardiac rehabilitation.

Heidi Reukauf, MPH candidate in health education and behavioral sciences: community health volunteer in Nicaragua; works with Humane Borders.

Jeffry Sinanian, MPH candidate in family and child health: community health volunteer in Armenia and East Timor; works with the Pima Prevention Partnership for data collection, program evaluation, and facilitates youth focus groups.

Jessica Surdam, MPH candidate in maternal and child health: child survival volunteer in Honduras; works with the Birthing Center.

UA Zuckerman College of Public Health Alumni

Debra Pinkney, MPH: Child Survival volunteer in Niger; currently UA PhD candidate in Family and Consumer Sciences; works at the Carondelet Foundation on Southside Tucson school projects.

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U.S. President John F Kennedy began the U.S. Peace Corps in 1961. According to its Web site (peacecorps.gov), ever since its first group of volunteers was sent to Ghana, "the Peace Corps has shared with the world America's most precious resource - its people." More than 182,000 volunteers have served in fields such as education, health, HIV/AIDS education, information technology, business development, the environment, and agriculture.

Established by the Arizona Board of Regents in January 2000, the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health is the only college of public health in a 12-state mountain/pacific region. The UA Zuckerman College of Public Health's mission is to promote the health of individuals and communities with a special emphasis on diverse populations and the Southwest.