MPH Student News

Published: December 2nd, 2011

Category: Uncategorized

Chase Ryant PicChase Ryant, a second year student in the Social and Behavioral Sciences track of the Master’s of Public Health program, has been a part of Tobacco Free Alachua for the past year and was elected Chair in August of 2011. Established in 2008, Tobacco Free Alachua is funded by the Florida Department of Health and supported by the Alachua County Health Department to advocate for tobacco-control policies that promote and protect the health of Alachua County residents and facilitate the policy adoption process for institutions that choose to become smoke-free. As such, Tobacco Free Alachua has established community partnerships with local school board representatives, health care organizations, law enforcement agencies, higher education institutions, local business, non-profit agencies, county and city officials, private citizens, and other members of the community. Chase is currently working on a project within Tobacco Free Alachua that involves collaboration with the City of Gainesville’s Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs Department. Chase is assisting with a research study to assess park patron’s smoking behavior and attitudes about smoke-free policies, and compliance with signs requesting smokers to refrain from smoking in public parks. The data collected in the study will be presented to Gainesville City Commissioners. If you are interested in some real-life experience, and to have the possibility to really make a difference in the community, Tobacco Free Alachua is always looking for qualified interns and volunteers. For more information please email Marilyn Headley at

For the past three years, Kate Brunner has worked with a local breast health organization called MammaCare, training health professionals to perform and teach manual breast examination. For two months this winter, she will be traveling to V.A. medical centers in Illinois, Ohio, Mississippi, Missouri, Washington, California, Arizona, and Texas to train healthcare providers within the Women Veterans Health Program on the use of a clinical breast examination (CBE) simulator system developed by MammaCare.

Kate is very excited about the opportunity to bring this potentially life-saving technology to the providers who care for the brave women affiliated with the United States Veteran’s Administration. The MammaCare Corporation has done incredible work in the Gainesville community, the United States and internationally to standardize the practice of manual breast examination. From the tactually-accurate silicone breast models to the standardized training sequence, every part of the MammaCare sequence is based on decades of research originally approved for funding by Robert Marston while he was President of the University of Florida.

Quinn Lundquist is a second year MPH student with a concentration in Social & Behavioral Sciences. He was the Historian for the Public Health Student Association, and is the current Newsletter Chair for the Florida Public Health Association Student Section. He also works in the Development Office for the College of Public Health & Health Professions.

This past summer, he interned at GatorWell Health Promotion Services at UF for course credit, where he summarized vast amounts of literature for the Healthy Eating Task Force, a part of the Healthy Gators Coalition. He worked extensively with one of GatorWell’s Health Promotion Specialists, Shannon Delaney, MPH, RD, to find out ways to improve the nutrition environment on campus. His project focused on worksite wellness initiatives with a healthy eating focus, especially on large university campuses. Upon completing the summer practicum, GatorWell hired Quinn to continue working on other aspects of the project, which has expanded to learn more about environmental-level modifications to the campus nutrition environment, and individual-level behavioral interventions. This project has involved meeting with several campus stakeholders to build partnerships and begin strategizing to make UF a healthy place to eat as well as a wonderful place to work and go to school.

Nicole Dantes, currently a second year SBS / MPH student, received a scholarship from the Florida Public Health Association (FPHA).  This scholarship is intended for student members of FPHA who are pursuing an MPH degree to be used toward their tuition costs.

Meera Bhakta was elected to the position of Historian for the Public Health Student Association on October 17, 2011.  Her term will last for approximately twelve months, when the next executive board will be elected.  As Historian, her duties will include updating information on the PHSA website and in the social media, photographing events, and assisting other members of the executive board with promoting awareness about Public Health and the organization.