Senate Members 2020-2021

Members of the PHSA Senate for the 2020-2021 academic year are listed below. If you have questions, concerns, or suggestions for PHSA, please feel free to reach out to any member of the Senate. We look forward to hearing from you!

Matthew JirsaPRESIDENT – Matthew Jirsa

Matthew Jirsa is a second-year Master of Health Services Administration student at the University of Michigan. He has a passion for mental health activism and behavioral healthcare improvement and has served multiple leadership roles centered around public health response and policy development at his alma mater Cornell University. His goals for the year include enhancing advocacy and lobbying for student concerns, interdepartmental and interdisciplinary collaboration, and practical learning opportunities embedded into SPH curriculum. A native Minnesotan, Matt loves camping, hammocking, lifting, and aspires to one day become a hobby EDM DJ.


John Rhodes is the Vice President of the Public Health Student Association and a second-year master's student in the Department of Health Management and Policy. John is originally from Lexington, Kentucky and he received his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Louisville in Public Health. John is passionate about improving communities through collaborative efforts with healthcare systems. John is excited to foster meaningful relationships for the students in the School of Public Health with the event PHSA hosts.

 TREASURER – Payal PatelTREASURER – Payal Patel

Payal Patel is the treasurer of PHSA, as well as a second year Hospital and Molecular Epidemiology (HME) candidate in the Epidemiology department. Before graduate school, Payal received her Bachelor of Science in Biology with a Minor in Psychology and a Concentration in Genetics from the University of Detroit Mercy. One of her goals is to work with her fellow board members to provide smaller events in order to unite the School of Public Health in the 2020-2021 school year. Apart from classes and PHSA, Payal enjoys working on do-it-yourself projects and staying active through pilates.

SECRETARY – Devon Dramann SECRETARY – Devon Dramann

Devon is a second-year graduate student in the School of Public Health, studying Global Health Epidemiology. Her current focus is the intersectionality of infectious disease transmission and social epidemiology, but also has interests in nutrition and food sustainability. Devon hopes to work with in the non-profit sector on a global scale someday, addressing health behaviors and environmental factors that increase risk of infectious disease. Her literary interests include zoonotic diseases, environmental sustainability, and racial inequities/disparities. In her free time, Devon enjoys running, backpacking, cooking, fishing, volunteering, using Oxford commas, and tending to her hoard of house plants.

SERVICE CHAIR – Emily ZheutlinSERVICE CHAIR – Emily Zheutlin

Emily is a first-year Master of Environmental Health Sciences Department in the School of Public Health. Emily is from Michigan and graduated with an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Michigan. She is interested in improving the participation and collaboration from students to better allocate University's resources to serve areas of need. Emily is excited to serve as this year's Service Chair for the 2020-2021 school year. Outside of the school of public health, Emily spends time outdoors (weather permitting), enjoys trying new foods, and playing card/board games with family and friends!


Shannon has worked her whole career as a respiratory therapist at Michigan Medicine where she spent the last 13 years as a supervisor. She received her bachelor’s degree in Health Policy Administration from the University of Michigan – Dearborn in 2016. Currently, she is a full-time student in the Master of Health Informatics program. Shannon has a passion for helping others and is looking to make a difference in fellow student careers through professional development seminars.


Shanea is a second-year dual master's student in the Health Behavior & Health Education program of SPH, as well as the Urban & Regional Planning program. Her interests center around how climate change and urban development will affect resource accessibility to marginalized communities. She currently works on research projects related to the health effects of gentrification and housing discrimination. Shanea is originally from Iowa and graduated from the University of Iowa with degrees in Global Health; Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies; and Spanish. Outside of school, she enjoys being outside, eating new foods, and trying to make puns a more valid form of humor. Shanea is excited to serve as DEI Chair, and is looking forward to bringing DEI to the fore of SPH conversations and events. Please feel free to message her with any thoughts or ideas!

HMP CHAIR – Maria ToutHMP CHAIR – Maria Tout

I am a second year Master of Health Services Administration Candidate in the department of Health Management and Policy. I am originally from Ypsilanti, Michigan and received my Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Eastern Michigan University. I am interested in health reform through a lens of equity by interdisciplinary engagement of the private and public health sectors. This summer, I will complete an administrative internship with Hartford Healthcare. In my free time I enjoy spending time with family and friends or reading a good book. I look forward to connecting the students of the School of Public Health with one another and bringing out our voices!

HBHE CHAIR – Mari AlvarezHBHE CHAIR – Mari Alvarez

Mari Alvarez is an unapologetically radical queer and trans latinx femme. They are a first year MPH/MSW dual degree graduate student. A UMich Women’s Studies alum, Mari received their Bachelor’s in Gender and Health. Mari wrote their undergraduate honors thesis on cisnormativity in patient-provider interactions, earning high honors. They are passionate about inclusive and compassionate healthcare and the elimination of health disparities that impact marginalized communities.


Hello, my name is Aysiah White and I am from Flint, Michigan. Some fun facts about me are: I love to cook and bake, I like to travel, and I love botanical gardens. My major is Public Health (B.S. program) and I am hoping to minor in Business. I will be the Undergraduate Representative for both the Public Health Student Assembly (PHSA) and Public Health Students of African Descent (PHSAD) for the 2020-2021 academic year. I am extremely excited to serve as a liaison between SPH Undergraduate and Graduate students, as well as between SPH and our other Wolverines across campus!