Michigan Public Health Admissions Ambassadors

At the University of Michigan School of Public Health, we recognize that when considering a new career or applying to a new degree  program, nothing is more valuable than hearing from someone who has been through it. 

Our volunteer Admission Ambassador Program is composed of current students who are dedicated to recruiting the next generation of public health leaders. These Ambassadors are passionate about making a difference, active within our community, and excited to share their desire to contribute to the field of public health. 

Throughout the academic year, Admissions Ambassadors assist with various recruitment initiatives for prospective and admitted students. There are many ways prospective students may interact with an Ambassador, such as an informational webinar, graduate school fair or in an informal Zoom conversation or email exchange. As you explore what public health has to offer and begin your journey with Michigan Public Health, an Admission Ambassador can be an asset to your journey and help guide you through your decision making process. 

This page highlights some of our current Ambassadors. If you would like to connect with them, feel free to email them directly. If you are interested in being matched by your department/program of interest or degree, the Recruitment and Admissions team in the Office for Student Engagement and Practice is always available to assist. You can reach them anytime at sph-inquiries@umich.edu for more information.

Undergraduate Admissions Ambassadors

Graduate Admissions Ambassadors

Meet Our Undergraduate Admissions Ambassadors

Kjera JonesKjera Jones
BS in Public Health Sciences
kjeraj@umich.edu

I chose public health because I was interested in intervention for health disparities amongst the populations who need it the most. I am also interested in epidemiology and how social determinants play a role in health and disease. In my free time, I enjoy taking my dog, Pluto, to the dog park, binging Netflix shows, reading fiction novels, and trying new things with my friends. I also participate in the Black Student Union on campus. Prospective students can connect with me about being a Black student in the School of Public Health or at the university in general, the application process, and general campus questions.


Justyna BreulerJustyna Breuler
BS in Public Health Sciences
jbreuler@umich.edu

I am a senior in the undergraduate bachelor of science program here at SPH. My primary interests include the social determinants of health and health inequities. As a pre-med student, I find the disconnect between the fields of public health and medicine to be of utmost concern, which is why I intend to pursue a masters degree in public health before applying to medical school. In addition to my passion for the field, I volunteer at the Michigan Hospital and Yale New Haven Hospital, intern for a local health department in Connecticut, and play and act as social media chair for the University of Michigan Women’s Club Lacrosse team. In my free time, I really enjoy working out and trying out new foods and restaurants. If you have any questions about the application process for SPH, being a first-generation college student, and/or deciding if the public health major is the best fit for you, please feel free to reach out!


Kayla ThomasKayla Thomas
BA in Community and Global Public Health 
kaythom@umich.edu 

I chose to pursue public health because I am very passionate about racial health equity, especially as it relates to maternal and sexual health. The public health curriculum has given me the opportunity to explore the many different factors in society that contribute to disparities, while also acquiring the skills needed to promote health in different communities. I especially love that the professors collectively have a number of different career paths both inside and outside academia, so we are able to get a wide variety of perspectives on what public health practice looks like. Outside of classes, I am a member of the Black Student Union, the Maternal Child Health Student Association, and I serve as a tour guide for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Prospective students can ask me about anything, but especially the BA curriculum, tips on writing the SPH application essays, utilizing resources on campus, and finding community at Michigan.


Lakshmi MeyyappanLakshmi Meyyappan
BS in Public Health Sciences
lrmeyya@umich.edu

I decided to pursue public health because I am passionate about factors that affect an individual and community's health, outside of a traditional hospital or clinic. As a pre-medical student, I've become interested in the intersection between Public Health and Medicine, specifically as it relates to nutrition, health education, and improving the social/environmental conditions that one lives in. Outside of classes, I'm involved in a chamber orchestra, environmental health research, and I previously interned at a healthcare consulting firm. Prospective students can connect with me if they are interested in pursuing a pre-med track, exploring the intersection between public health and business, or just want someone to chat with about anything healthcare related!


Maya NassifMaya Nassif
BS in Public Health Sciences
nassifm@umich.edu

I am a senior pursuing a degree in Public Health Sciences with primary interests in epidemiology and health policy. I chose to pursue public health to gain an analytical lens on how the broader healthcare industry is implicated in exacerbating inequities for those most affected by social determinants of health. On campus, I am involved in Blueprints for Pangaea, the Undergraduate Journal of Public Health, and Nexecon Consulting Group. I am happy to answer questions or discuss the undergraduate public health program in the context of being a pre-med student, my admissions experience, and how to find engaging extracurricular opportunities on campus.


Nia ThomasNia Thomas
BA in Community and Global Public Health
niav@umich.edu

I chose to pursue public health because I like studying how social factors impact health outcomes in communities. I enjoy learning how to form interventions to improve overall health in at-risk populations and how health disparities are influenced beyond the individual level. In my free time, I enjoy drawing and playing with my puppy, Levi. I am involved in Black Student Union on campus as well. Prospective students can connect with me about the transition as a first-generation college student, the BA program, public health classes, and campus life in general.


Lizzy RueppelLizzy Rueppel
BS in Public Health Sciences
erueppel@umich.edu

I am a current senior in the undergraduate bachelor of science public health program with a primary interest in pursuing medical school in the future! I chose to pursue public health because I found a passion for learning about the social determinants of health and how physicians can incorporate a broader perspective of health in their practice. Outside of class, I volunteer at a community senior center in Ann Arbor, I'm on the design team at the Michigan Daily, and help on a research team at the UM Medical School. I would be happy to answer any questions about being public health pre-med, the undergraduate experience, or anything else that may help your decision!


Riley BennettRiley Bennett
BA in Community & Global Public Health
rileybe@umich.edu

I decided to pursue public health as it offered me the flexibility to pursue my multiple interests. I’ve always been interested in biology, psychology, and social justice and was conflicted over having to choose just one to focus on. Public health allows me to combine my interests through our multidisciplinary program, where we focus on health issues through a psychological and social justice lens. I love both our program and public health, and am hoping to continue my studies with an MPH in epidemiology. I’m the President of the Public Health Association and Vice President of External Service for Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed community service fraternity. I’m also a member of the club figure skating team! Besides figure skating and community service, I also enjoy running, reading, and playing with my dog. My public health interests are in food insecurity and social epidemiology, so feel free to contact me with any questions about this or about the BA program in general. I’m also pursuing a dual degree in Psychology with LSA so if you’re interested in a dual degree please reach out as well!


Laila OdehLaila Odeh
BA in Community and Global Public Health
laodeh@umich.edu

I am a senior pursuing a degree in Community and Global Public Health, with an interest in culturally competent mental health care for migrant communities. I chose to pursue an education in public health as this field is based on principles of empathy and justice. Outside of classes, I am president of Maize Mirchi A Cappella, complete research at the Healthy Minds Network, and work at the COVID-19 Sampling and Tracking Program. I'm happy to answer any questions you have about the admissions process, the public health majors, and campus life!

Meet our Graduate Admissions Ambassadors

Jumanah AnwarJumanah Anwar, she/her
MHSA Student, Health Management and Policy 
janwar@umich.edu

Profile: I chose University of Michigan in search of an environment where I would find others who would be as excited as I am to discuss healthcare and methods of improvement for the current system. I am equally excited to talk about the opportunities that come with joining this esteemed program and school. My interests are long-term care, delivering care that is culturally appropriate, and creating a healthcare system that is efficient and equitable. Connect with me any time!


Emma SchmidtEmma Schmidt, she/her/hers
MPH Student, Health Behavior and Health Education 
emmaros@umich.edu

I am a second year MPH candidate in Health Behavior and Health Education and a first-generation college student. I also attended UM SPH for my undergraduate degree. My primary interests include maternal health, mental health, reproductive justice, and racial health inequities. I work as a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI), Wellness Coach at Wolverine Wellness, birth doula, and have been involved in research at UM SPH for 5 years. If you would like to chat about any of my experiences, identities, or interests, please reach out!


Molly FoxMolly Fox
MPH Student, Health Management and Policy 
foxmolly@umich.edu

Brief profile: I am a first year MPH student with a concentration in Health Management and Policy. I chose Michigan because of the interdisciplinary nature of the program, wonderful faculty, and strong support network provided. I would love to answer any questions you may have to help you make your decision easier!


Grace JoachimGrace Joachim
MPH Student, Epidemiology (General Epidemiology)
joachimg@umich.edu

I am a first year student pursuing an MPH. I am primarily interested in infectious diseases, but I also love women’s health. I came to UMSPH after graduating from Michigan State University in 2021, and my experience with UM has been fantastic so far. I would be happy to chat with you about questions you have regarding admissions, classes, finding research opportunities, or anything else you’re curious about!


Cristina GomezCristina Gomez
MPH Student, Environmental Health Sciences (Industrial Hygiene)
crisag@umich.edu

I am a first year MPH student in the Industrial Hygiene program. I received my Bachelors of Science in Environmental Science from the University of Redlands in 2020. I also minored in Biology. During my time at the University of Redlands, I worked as an assistant to the Director of Environmental Health and Safety at Redlands. I completed three summer internships at the University of California, Irvine in the Enivronmental Health and Safety Department. The three internships covered environmental health, biosafety, and industrial hygiene and lab safety. I chose the University of Michigan because their IH program is rated #1 in the nation and the SPH is rated #4 in the nation! My father also received his MPH in IH from the University of Michigan. My interests are chemical exposures, physical hazards, risk assessment, occupational health and safety, organic chemistry, and microbiology. I would be happy to help answer any of your questions or just want to chat whether they are about SPH in general, the IH program, or simply adjusting to out-of-state. I can’t wait to meet you and further get to know you. Please do not hesitate to contact me. Go blue!


Jillian BakerJillian Baker, she/her
PhD Student, Epidemiology
jillbake@umich.edu

I am a first-year PhD student in Epidemiological Science. After receiving my MPH and working five years for a longitudinal cohort study focused on the health of former professional football players, I wanted to continue to improve my skills and training in epidemiology. I am based at the Center for Midlife Science here at the School of Public Health and will be focusing on chronic disease epidemiology and social epidemiology. Please do not hesitate to contact me throughout your discernment process! Choosing how and where to pursue a PhD is a big step, and I'd be thrilled to share my experience of the University of Michigan.


Mike SweeneyMike Sweeney
PhD Student, Biostatistics
mikeswny@umich.edu

I am a first-year graduate student and first-generation student pursuing a PhD in biostatistics. My research interests include statistical genetics and genomics, and there are unrivaled opportunities in those research areas at UM. Before arriving at UM SPH, I received a B.S. in Applied Mathematics & Statistics and Computer Science from Stony Brook University in New York. I would be happy to talk with prospective SPH students about anything that would help their enrollment decision, including the biostatistics department, the Center for Statistical Genetics, moving to Ann Arbor from out of state, transitioning to graduate school, and anything else!


Natalie WagnerNatalie Wagner
MPH Student, Health Behavior Health Education
natwag@umich.edu

Hello! I am currently a first-year and first-generation graduate student pursuing a MPH degree in Health Behavior and Health Education. I graduated from Central Michigan University in 2016, and then joined the Peace Corps. I am an (evacuated) RPCV from Burkina Faso, and a PCV from Malawi. I am happy to talk with any prospective student about the graduate school application process, my international experience, how to get involved at the SPH, and all things Michigan (hikes, beaches, places to camp, mountain bike trails, etc!).


Morgan Harris Morgan Harris 
MPH Student, Epidemiology (Hospital and Molecular)
morganph@umich.edu 

I am currently a first year MPH student in the Hospital and Molecular Epidemiology department here at UMich. I am originally from New Hampshire and I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. My primary interests are infection prevention and lab/field work in the field of epidemiology. I’d love to talk to you about the admissions process, student experience here, and more!


Emma AbedEmma Abed, she/her/hers
MPH Student, Health Behavior Health Education
emmaabed@umich.edu

Dual MPH/MSW Student (Health Behavior and Health Education, Interpersonal Practice in Integrated Health, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse)

I am a second year dual master's student at SPH and SSW. I am interested in sexual health and relationships, LGBTQ+ health, college health / working in higher education, and health communications. I am a 2018 U-M alum and am happy to be back! Ask me anything about SPH, life at U-M, finding graduate student instructor (GSI) positions, taking time off before grad school, dual degree programs, and more. I'd love to meet you!


bensleyJackson Bensley
MPH Student, Health Behavior and Health Education
Jbensley@umich.edu 

I am currently a first-year graduate student with primary interests in mental/behavioral health, weight-stigma, and child development. After graduating from Central Michigan University in 2018, I worked in the behavioral health field for 2 years and I am currently working as a research assistant at the Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center. I would be happy to answer questions about research opportunities, my admissions experience, distance learning due to COVID-19, living in the state of Michigan, or anything else that would make your decision easier. Please feel free to reach out to me!


Mohit DagaMohit Daga
MHSA Student, Health Management and Policy
mdaga@umich.edu 

The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.


Kate LiangKate Liang
MPH Student, Health Behavior and Health Education
kmaliang@umich.edu  

I can talk to you about the student experience, transitioning to graduate school, the application process from a student perspective, and more!


Elizabeth LuskElizabeth Lusk
MHSA Student, Health Management and Policy
lizlusk@umich.edu 

I joined the MHSA program after working in healthcare technology consulting to learn more about healthcare delivery and operations through a comprehensive curriculum with a driven group of peers. One of my favorite things about UM SPH is the interdisciplinary approach to supplementing industry knowledge through classes, co-curriculars, and professional development opportunities. Feel free to ask me about my experience so far!


SriLasya ReddySriLasya Reddy 
MPH Student, Health Behavior and Health Education
srilasya@umich.edu

Through Michigan's SPH I hope to play a role in bridging the gap between public health and clinical healthcare. My communities of interest are immigrant populations, specifically South Asian and Indian communities and the existing stigma regarding mental illness and care.


Chonnipa (Amp) ThanarugchokChonnipa (Amp) Thanarugchok
MPH Student, Nutritional Sciences, Dietetics Concentration
chthana@umich.edu 

I'm a 1st year MPH student in the Nutritional Sciences program with a dietetic concentration. My career goal is to become a clinical registered dietitian. As an international student, it can be challenging to feel you belong. I'm happy to give advice or have a talk on how to get involved with the program, SPH, or the University of Michigan as much as possible, or chat about how to find opportunities like research, volunteer work, and other nutrition-related experiences outside of school, especially as an international student. There are a lot of opportunities for you as a fellow student at the University of Michigan!


Hanna VeneraHanna Venera, She/Her/Hers
MS Student, Biostatistics
venerahm@umich.edu

Hello! My name is Hanna, and I am a first year graduate student in the Biostatistics department. I am interested in digital-mobile health research and SMART/MRT, and would be happy to talk to you about research interests or how to get involved. The Biostatistics department is incredibly supportive and collaborative, yet challenges its students to push their academic boundaries -- it is truly the best of both worlds! Feel free to reach out with questions about anything from moving to Ann Arbor from out of state, to transitioning from a small undergrad institution, to navigating the Master's vs PhD decision (: Go Blue!


Flynn McMorrowFlynn McMorrow
MS Student, Biostatistics 
flynnmc@umich.edu

I am currently a first year MS student of biostatistics in the department of public health here at the University of Michigan. I am originally from Stamford, CT and I finished my undergraduate work at Villanova University in Pennsylvania. My primary interests lie in environmental health and climate change in the field of data science and biostatistics. I'd love talking about anything from student experience here on campus to public health applications and anything in between!


Kaitlin SchwarzKaitlin Schwarz 
MPH Student, Epidemiology (General Epidemiology)
ktschwrz@umich.edu

I am a first year MPH in the Epidemiology Department. A few of my primary interests include infectious diseases, social epidemiology, and health inequities. I received my B.S. in Biology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before moving to Ann Arbor to pursue my MPH. I was drawn to UMSPH as a result of the fantastic opportunities the program boasts to be involved with research and other opportunities that provide experience in applying and building upon the concepts learned through coursework in real world scenarios, such as the Public Health Action Support Team (PHAST). I would be eager to connect with anyone who has questions about anything at all and/or would like to chat about life as an MPH student at UMSPH, opportunities that UMSPH offers, considering epidemiology as a concentration, and so on. Please don't hesitate to reach out at any time!


Kandyce Keller

Kandyce Keller, she/her
MPH Student, Epidemiology (Global Health Epidemiology)
kandycek@umich.edu

Hi everyone! I'm currently a second-year MPH and first-generation student studying Global Health Epidemiology. I chose to attend the University of Michigan School of Public Health because of the welcoming nature of Ann Arbor and the program as well as the opportunity to get involved with amazing faculty-led research. While the pandemic has made involvement look different, the connections I have made while in the program have led me to explore and grow my passion for the field of preventative medicine and cancer research. I would love to answer any questions you may have about pursuing a degree at the SPH!


Neil Zhao
MS Student, Toxicology 
neilzhao@umich.edu

I am a first year student pursuing an MS in Toxicology. Originally, I am from NJ and I finished my undergraduate work in Food Science at Purdue University-West Lafayette.  I am interested in evaluating the potential human health and environmental hazards of chemicals, ingredient formulations, and commercial products. Michigan Public Health is special in that it addresses wide-scale interventions in population health through proactive research and action. In addition, the faculty, staff, and students are some of the nicest and most hardworking people I’ve met! Feel free to ask me anything about student experiences, SPH, the admissions process, connecting with faculty, finding research opportunities, academic timelines, classes, transitioning to graduate school, local restaurant recommendations, and more!