Undergraduate programs in the School of Public Health are described in detail in this chapter. See subsections for specific program information as well as policies and procedures.
About the School of Public Health
The School of Public Health (SPH) is a multi-disciplinary, research-based unit, drawing upon partnerships with community members and organizations, dedicated to the mission of advancing health through leadership, scholarship, research and service to better the human condition and promote the common good, especially for urban communities and for global populations. The School of Public Health achieves this mission by applying existing scholarship within Georgia State University to priority public health problems, particularly those that are aimed at reducing health disparities in urban settings. Training and research programs focus on both building the science base that underlies public health practice, as well as applying effective interventions that have been demonstrated to improve the public health. Academic and training efforts emphasize the basic prevention sciences (e.g., emerging infectious diseases, immunology, virology, bioinformatics, genomics, and geographic sciences), as well as applied public health efforts (e.g., chronic disease prevention, health promotion, environmental health, program evaluation, health policy, public health ethics and law, health communications, community-based participatory research, and global health).
School of Public Health Main Office
400 Urban Life Building
Michael P. Eriksen, Dean
Rodney Lyn, Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Strategic Initiatives
Daniel J. Whitaker, Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Affairs
Travis J. Chambers, College Administrative Officer
Gerardo Chowell, Chair of the Department of Population Health Sciences
Shannon Self-Brown, Chair of the Department of Health Policy and Behavioral Sciences
Harry J. Heiman, Director of the Doctor of Public Health Program (DrPH)
Kim Ramsey-White, Director of Undergraduate Programs
Laura Salazar, Director of Doctoral of Philosophy (PhD)
Department of Health Policy and Behavioral Sciences
Shannon Self-Brown, Department Chair
Theresa Glasheen, Department Coordinator
Core Faculty – Department of Health Policy and Behavioral Sciences:
Collins Airhihenbuwa, Elizabeth Armstrong-Mensah, Kathleen Baggett, Jacques-Corey Cormier, Daniel Crimmins, Michael Eriksen, Xiangming Fang, Emily Graybill, Harry J. Heiman, Jidong Huang, Rodney Lyn, Sarah McCool, Lee Mobley, Julia Neighbors, Ashli Owen-Smith, Lindy Parker, Carlos Pavao, Terry Pechacek, Lucy Popova, Jessica Pratt, Kim Ramsey-White, Dennis Reidy, Laura Salazar, Shannon Self- Brown, Colin Smith, Donna Smith, Claire Spears, Sheryl Strasser, Daniel Whitaker
Department of Population Health Sciences
Gerardo Chowell-Puente, Department Chair
Gerrell Johnson, Department Coordinator
Core Faculty – Department of Population Health Sciences:
David Ashley, Brian Barger, Heather Bradley, Lisa Casanova, Gerardo Chowell-Puente, Shanta Dube, Christina Fuller, Roby Greenwald, Matt Hayat, Dora Il’yasova, Adrienne King, Ruiyan Luo, Matt Magee, Katherine Masyn, Kenji Mizumoto, Ike Okosun, Richard Rothenberg, Christine Stauber, John Steward, Monica Swahn, Scott Weaver, Christa Wright, Barbara Yankey
In June 2016, The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) Board of Councilors accredited the SPH at Georgia State University. The school received a ‘met’ finding, the highest possible, on all criteria evaluated and the school’s initial school-level accreditation is for a five-year term, extending through July 1, 2021.
CEPH is an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit schools of public health and public health programs outside schools of public health.
8000.20 Mission, Vision, Values, and Goals
Mission. The School provides the high quality and relevant teaching, research and service needed to evolve public health practice in a changing world. By investigating the contemporary problems that challenge diverse urban communities, the School is preparing the next generation of public health professionals to make a difference through leadership, scholarship and practice in Georgia communities and around the globe.
The School’s mission is strengthened by the objective of the University System of Georgia, through its Strategic Plan for Public Health Education, Research and Service, “to ensure that the System becomes one of the national leaders in public health education, research and service.”
Vision. The School’s vision is to be a leading public health research institution dedicated to understanding and solving contemporary health problems. The School will be the destination of choice for students seeking an affordable and meaningful public health education.
Values. Six values were determined in a School-wide review process. All values were developed with input from the administration, faculty, staff and students and are reaffirmed or revised during each subsequent review process. The values are succinct and specific in nature and are reflected in faculty, staff and students’ instruction, service and learning activities. The values are:
- Integrity, accountability, and transparency in our operations
- Scholarship and inquiry
- Respect for all aspects of diversity
- Health as a human right
- Prioritizing health in all policy decisions
- Sustainable healthy environments
- Student Success
Goals. The goals of the School are:
- Exceed $20 million annually in sponsor-funded research
- Establish a new Center to promote interdisciplinary research and training around non-communicable diseases (NCD) and other contemporary global health problems.
- Receive University-wide recognition for our ability to contribute to excellence in interdisciplinary research methodologies.
- All junior tenure track faculty to obtain sponsored funding within their first three academic years of service; lead the University in career development awards.
- Double the number of our peer-reviewed publications.
- Attract and retain a diverse student body, staff, and faculty.
- Successfully graduate 70% of our bachelor’s students within six years, 80% of our MPH students within four years, and 60% of our doctoral students within seven years.
- Double the number of our online and hybrid course offerings.
- Increase external support for graduate students by emphasizing training grants, student fellowships and graduate student support through our faculty’s grant-seeking activities.
- Develop and offer a professional doctoral program (DrPH) and targeted executive education offerings for public health workers hoping to increase their knowledge and skills.
- Promote and expand the involvement of faculty and staff in university, community-based and professional education projects so that service activities will be greater than 3 times the number of faculty.
- Better recognize those who contribute to public health practice and education communities through service.
- Offer at least 2 continuing education activities for the workforce each year, aligned with needs identified in our communities’ workforce.
8000.30 Degrees and Certificates Offered
The School of Public Health offers the following programs:
- Bachelor of Science in Public Health
- Graduate Certificate in Public Health
- Master of Public Health
- Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health
- Doctor of Public Health
8000.40 Research Centers, Collectives, and Initiatives
The Mark Chaffin Center for Healthy Development
14 Marietta Street NW, 2nd Floor
The Mark Chaffin Center for Healthy Development (CHD) was established in August 2008 to house the National SafeCare® Training and Research Center (NSTRC) and the Center for Leadership in Disability (CLD), a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD). In 2011 CHD welcomed Prevent Child Abuse Georgia, a state chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America, which will provide a statewide direction to promote healthy children and develop strong families through community resources, public awareness, prevention programs, research, and advocacy activities. The center was designated a university-level research center in 2015, and its name honors and memorializes Dr. Mark Chaffin (1952 – 2015), a pre-eminent scholar in child maltreatment, parenting, implementation science and services for disadvantaged people and populations with disabilities.
The NSTRC is funded by a number of private and public service and research grants and contracts. It was created in 2007 with a center grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The CLD is primarily funded by a center grant from the Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) of the Administration on Children and Families (ACF) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS). PCA Georgia is funded by a grant from the Governor’s Office for Children and Families, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, and other sources. The general mission of the CHD is to promote the health, safety, well-being, and quality of life of children, adults, and families with and without disabilities through research, service, advocacy, and to prevent child maltreatment.
China Tobacco Control Partnership
400 Urban Life Building
The China Tobacco Control Partnership seeks to change social norms around tobacco use and reduce its burden in China. To address this objective the Partnership launched the Tobacco-Free Cities grant program in 2009. The program targets specific cities and focuses on: protecting non-smokers from exposure to secondhand smoke, preventing the initiation of smoking, and promoting cessation among current smokers.
The cities were selected based on a wide range of factors including strong local government support for tobacco control efforts, commitment of the lead organization to the expectations of the Tobacco-Free Cities program, a city’s perceived stage of readiness for change, population and socio-demographics, and geography. The Partnership collaborates with the China-based non-governmental organization, The ThinkTank Research Center for Health Development, to support these cities in developing successful and sustainable tobacco control programs. Together, they provide training in evidence-based, best practice tobacco control methods and programming, and technical assistance addressing the unique needs of each city. Going forward, these cities can become models for city-based tobacco control programs throughout China.
Partnership for Urban Health Research
848 Urban Life Building
The Partnership for Urban Health Research (PUHR) was established to understand how the urban environment affects the health and well-being of people who reside and work in the metropolitan Atlanta area. The focus of its efforts is on populations that bear a disproportionate burden of illness and disease using an interdisciplinary approach to research. In partnership with surrounding communities, PUHR creates and disseminates knowledge that is both meaningful and beneficial to the communities that participate in the process.
Biostatistics Research Collaborative
400 Urban Life Building
The collaborative generates collaborations between Georgia State investigators for high-quality health-related research. Biostatistics Research Collaborative (BRC) team members collaborate with investigators on grant development, study design, statistical analysis, interpretation of results and manuscript preparation.
Center for Research on Interpersonal Violence
1104 Urban Life Building
In the third year of its Next Generation Program, Georgia State University identified interpersonal violence as an interdisciplinary area in which it seeks to become an internationally recognized resource and authority. As a result of this Interpersonal Violence Initiative, the Center for Research on Interpersonal Violence was established, and the Center aims to (1) understand the causes and consequences of interpersonal violence, (2) emphasize the development, refinement, and evaluation of interventions to reduce or prevent the perpetration of interpersonal violence and address the impact of victimization, and (3) inform public policy. Researchers in the center come from multiple disciplines at GSU: Psychology, Criminal Justice, Public Health, Sociology, Social Work, and Neuroscience.
Center for Resilient Youth
1112 Urban Life Building
The Resilient Youth (ResY) was funded by the Next Generation Program and is an initiative that seeks to build interdisciplinary scholarship that uses the concept of resilience as a framework for addressing health disparities among urban youth. ResY builds on existing strengths among current senior and supporting GSU faculty in Psychology, Public Health, and Sociology that have established, externally funded, and nationally/internationally recognized research programs. The initiative will attract new faculty and seed a new postdoctoral fellowship program that will collaborate with current faculty to build an internationally recognized Center of Excellence focused on scholarship focused specifically on urban drivers among youth in Atlanta and other major urban centers in the U.S. and across the globe.
8000.50 Academic Resources and Services
Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services
Urban Life Building, Suite 300
Denise Gouveia, Director
Vanessa Thomas-Meikle, Assistant Director
Lynette Reid, Admissions Coordinator
Jessica Pratt, Practicum and Career Coordinator
Gina Sample, MPH Curriculum and Advisement Coordinator
Jonathan Key, Undergraduate Advisor
Anthony Still, Undergraduate Advisor
Esther Singh, Administrative Coordinator
The Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services (OAA) provides the SPH current and prospective students with comprehensive student support services to ensure academic and career success.
Advising and Academic Assistance
The Office of Academic Assistance (OAA) supports the school’s commitment to quality education in the field of public health by advising undergraduate seniors and coordinating the recruitment, admission and advising of graduate students. Through the advisement process, students learn to identify and use university resources effectively to: satisfy degree requirements; plan programs of study; discover how interests, skills and goals connect to fields of study and careers. The office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Monday through Friday. Walk-in advisement without an appointment is scheduled on Mondays and Thursdays from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m..
University Career Services (UCS) within Enrollment Services is a comprehensive career center dedicated to the success of all Georgia State University students, including public health students. UCS
- helps students and alumni explore academic majors, find internships and jobs, launch careers, explore graduate and professional school options and pursue their professional goals.
- helps employment recruiters from big corporations to small agencies discover, recruit and hire Georgia State University students and alumni. UCS is like an extension of a recruiting organization’s human resources wing, seeking collegiate talent. They help with both internship hiring and entry-level career position hiring.
- manages Handshake, Georgia State University’s online job board for students, alumni and employers. There is no student or employer fee to use Handshake.
- helps professional and graduate school recruiters connect with students and alumni seeking advanced educational opportunities locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
UCS provides primary career support to undergraduate public health students, while the School of Public Health Career Services office supplements UCS offerings as appropriate. To contact UCS, please call 404-413-1820 or visit them in Student Center West, Room 270, located at 66 Courtland St. SE, Atlanta, Georgia 30303, or visit their website at: career.gsu.edu/
8000.60 Student Organizations
Public Health Student Life
The Office of Academic Assistance and Career Services (OAA) also supports all SPH student clubs and organizations – students are encouraged to read about the various groups within the college, and join one while being enrolled in the SPH: publichealth.gsu.edu/student-life.
8000.70 Study Abroad
SPH Study Abroad Website: publichealth.gsu.edu/academic/study-abroad/
Study abroad is one of the ways the School provides a learning environment that prepares students with broad skills regarding diversity and cultural competence. Opportunities to earn Signature Experience and undergraduate elective course credits abroad are available in most years, and opportunities increase as student interest increases. Previously planned study abroad opportunity cities include: Salvador, Brazil; Kampala, Uganda; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; and Shanghai, China. Students should check the above-linked study abroad website for future opportunities.