Speaker Profiles 2020

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Jennifer Manganello, Ph.D., M.P.H.

School of Public Health

University of Albany 
I am a Professor at the University at Albany School of Public Health. I am a health communication scholar who uses theories, concepts, and methods from the fields of public health and communication. My research focuses on health literacy as well as the effects of media on attitudes, behaviors, and policies that put young people (children, adolescents, young adults) at risk for negative health outcomes.

My main area of expertise is health communication. My work in this area has primarily focused on the effects of media and/or technology use on health attitudes, knowledge, and behavior, health information seeking among youth and parents, and identifying best practices for the dissemination of health information to the general public, including through news and social media. It has also involved a focus on health literacy. Much of my work focuses on children, adolescents, young adults and parents, and I often seek to include groups impacted by health disparities. I also examine the use of digital technology for health information and health interventions, also known as eHealth.

I have published my work in journals such as the Journal of Health CommunicationPediatricsPublic Health Management and Practice, Journal of Children and Media, and Public Health Nutrition.

​Before starting at UAlbany, I was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania. I earned my Ph.D. from the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Title:  Where There’s a Narrative There’s a Way:  Promoting Health Behavior Research in the Current Media Landscape


  • Identify different media channels (including social media networks) for distributing health information as well as typical users of those channels.
  • Develop an understanding of content analysis methods to evaluate content of messages appearing in different media channels.
  •  Give examples of how and why to use different media channels to distribute health information.


Philip Massey, PhD, MPH

Department of Community Health and Prevention

Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health

Dr. Massey is an Associate Professor in the Department of Community Health and Prevention at the Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health in Philadelphia, PA. He earned his PhD and MPH from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. His research draws from principles in public health and health communication and uses online data and social media strategies for surveillance, intervention, and evaluation in cancer prevention, substance use, and global health. His current NCI-funded R01 study tests a population-level social media intervention to increase HPV vaccine uptake through an innovative narrative-focused intervention. The intervention is designed to communicate evidence and information about the HPV vaccine to parents who use social media as a health information source. He has also examined patterns and shifts in public opinion toward HPV vaccination and vaping on Twitter and Instagram, focusing on what types of messages are shared and how this is related to reach and impact, to inform policy and intervention. This work has led to state-supported partnerships with the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, where he has developed resources for policymakers, parents, and educators on the potential exposure to vaping products through social media platforms including Instagram. Finally, he is co-leading a Gates-funded online evaluation of a serial drama about health in West Africa that produces and shares content on various social media platforms including YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. Using a mixed methods approach, this evaluation study examines publicly available online data in addition to longitudinal data from an online cohort in West Africa recruited through social media.

Title: Harnessing social media data and narratives for health behavior research: surveillance, intervention, and evaluation


  • Identify methods for social media data collection in health behavior research.
  • Describe patterns of user engagement based on social media health content.
  • Characterize domains of narrative in health behavior research on social media.


Ruth Milligan


Founder, Managing Partner & Executive Coach

As an executive speech coach and trainer, I live at the intersection where professionals from science, research, medicine, and data and analytics come to make their messages more engaging, compelling, and impactful. Helping leaders from these diverse fields meet their goals marks the culmination of my nearly 30 years practicing some form of communications.

I founded Articulation in early 2010 after hosting one of the first TEDx events — TEDxColumbus — which is also one of the longest-running TEDx programs in the world. Since then my team and I have coached over 750 people in TEDx or TED-style talks and trained thousands through my company’s classes on message method, storytelling, public speaking, executive presence and accessing science.

My professional passion is to help organizations of all sizes create storytelling cultures that elevate the opportunities for associates and executives to practice and deliver great presentations. I believe that a great talk can come from a nervous, reluctant or beginning speaker, given the right feedback and development environment.

After ten years of curating, organizing and hosting TEDx events, I’ve also become a seasoned host, emcee and consultant to a wide range of events — everything from major donor events at universities to pitch events inside data and analytics teams. When my team and I are engaged to help with speakers, we also advocate for the best conditions that help make a speaker, and in turn, an event, successful.

I began my career as a speechwriter in politics after receiving a degree in Speech Communication from Miami University. I enjoyed a few years as a major gifts officer at United Way, learning how communication influences development and fundraising, but then returned to my roots to help launch a PR practice within a larger marketing agency. When that agency closed in 2001, I began my own marketing and communications practice, Milligan Communications, which I ran until 2009 before pivoting into a deep focus on training and coaching with my many clients at Articulation.

My current client list includes but is not limited to Ford, United Health Care, Nationwide, Alliance Data, Huntington, DSW, Chemical Abstracts, White Castle, Ohio State University, and several health care systems. I spend the majority of my time coaching executives one-on-one  and facilitating training for small groups.

I’m a passionate supporter of causes that elevate women and girls. For two years I served as  chapter chair for the Women President’s Organization Columbus Chapter and as a core team member of the Women in Analytics conference. Articulation’s philanthropy is devoted exclusively to helping women and girls elevate their voices and stories. I’ve also served on the board of the YWCA and the Girls Scouts of Central Ohio (Heartland). Closer to my own home, I’m personally involved in bringing a community pool back to my neighborhood of Clintonville, where I live with my husband and my two expectedly busy teenagers.

Title:  Making Your Science Accessible


  • Designing a specific outcome for your communication
  • Understand the four pillars that provide a foundation for "making science accessible" when communicating to a lay audience:

- Building Context 

- Laddering Complexity 

- Using Story & Metaphor 

- Envisioning what's possible (vision / future) 

  • Practice these pillars through small group exercises
  • Understand how to speak to mixed audiences 


Misty Y. Pacheco, DrPH, MHA

Chair & Associate Professor, Kinesiology & Exercise Science

University of Hawai‘i at Hilo

Misty Pacheco was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from California State University, Sacramento, a Masters Degree in Health Administration from the University of Southern California, and a Doctorate Degree in Public Health from University of Hawaii at Manoa.  Misty has nearly 17 years in the health field.  She has worked in the private and public health sectors, nonprofits, and global public health.  Misty also served as a Peace Corps public health volunteer in Kenya.  Currently Dr. Pacheco is an Associate Professor at the University of Hawaii at Hilo and Chair of the Kinesiology and Exercise Sciences Department.  Her research focuses on health disparities, with an emphasis on Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. When she’s not working, she is spending time with her 2 children Nyiva and Adrian.

TITLE:  Creating an Environment for Health Behavior Change in Hawaii


  • Compare Na Pou Kihi (A Native Hawaiian Framework) to the Social Determinants of Health Framework
  • Identify the value of Na Pou Kihi as a tool for addressing Native Hawaiian health disparities
  • Discuss how Native Hawaiian, indigenous, minority faculty members can be guided by frameworks like Na Pou Kihi in conducting health disparities research


Steven A. Sumner, MD, MSc

CDR, US Public Health Service

Senior Advisor for Data Science and Innovation

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

National Center for Injury Prevention and Control

Areas of Expertise

  • Data science for injury prevention
  • Applied machine learning
  • Applications of large datasets for health

Dr. Steven Sumner, MD, MSc, serves as Senior Advisor for Data Science and Innovation in CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. There he coordinates, supports, and oversees data science initiatives in priority public health areas of drug overdose, suicide/mental health, and violence and injury prevention. Dr. Sumner conducts and manages applied research using machine learning, natural language processing, and other technologies to improve the timeliness of CDC’s information on injury trends and to increase the speed and impact of prevention programs. Recent work has focused on disease forecasting using machine learning models, early detection of emerging health threats, natural language processing of electronic health records, and use of novel methodologies to enhance outbreak response.

Dr. Sumner completed medical school at the Medical College of Wisconsin and an Internal Medicine residency at Duke University. Dr. Sumner also holds a Master of Science from Duke University and has completed research fellowships with CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service and through the National Institutes of Health Fogarty International Center. Dr. Sumner is a Commander in the U.S. Public Health Service.

Title:  Emerging Issues in Substance Use: Leveraging Data, Science, and Evidence for Action


  • Describe the latest epidemiology of substance use in the United States with a focus on emerging substance use threats
  • Describe challenges in addressing substance use threats, including misinformation and eroding perceptions of risk
  • Discuss innovative data science and research approaches to inform policy, practice, and programmatic interventions to address substance use                                                                                                   

Transforming Talks - TEDx Inspired Speakers


Katie M. Heinrich, PhD, FAAHB

Department of Kinesiology

Kansas State University

Dr. Katie M. Heinrich is an Associate Professor of Exercise Behavioral Science in the Department of Kinesiology at Kansas State University (KSU). She is the Director of the Functional Intensity Training Laboratory,  providing mentoring in applied exercise behavior and obesity research. The FIT Lab also promotes education and service by providing opportunities for students, faculty, staff, and community members to participate in exercise training through K-State CrossFit. Dr. Heinrich is recognized nationally and internationally for her research on high intensity functional training (HIFT), exercise and chronic disease, and the built environment. Her research aims are to study the effects of HIFT on fitness, health and psychosocial outcomes delivered in a group-based context. She focuses on populations across the lifespan including youth, active duty military, healthy adults, overweight/obese adults, and cancer survivors.


Daphne C. Hernandez, PhD, MSEd, FAAHB

Department of Research, Cizik School of Nursing, University of Texas Health Science Center – Houston

The majority of my interdisciplinary research program is centered around family-related factors, such as poverty and family structure, and their influence on food insecurity/food assistance program participation and obesity; however, I also realize that nutrition and health do not occur in isolation. For that reason, I have also focused on stress, social support, depression, and cardiovascular health.

My target populations are socio-economically disadvantaged and vulnerable groups with a specific emphasis on racial and ethnic minorities, women, and children. While the majority of my research has used longitudinal secondary data, I also have a complementary concentration on community-based research that focuses on low-income Hispanics immigrants. I am specifically interested in how chronic and acute stress influences the physiology and long-term health of Hispanics.


Jessica King, PhD, CHES

Department of Health, Kinesiology, & Recreation

University of Utah

My research involves informing and evaluating policies and interventions for tobacco use prevention and cessation. I specialize in youth and young adult use of non-cigarette tobacco products (e.g., e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah). I collaborate on research across cancer prevention and health promotion, including skin cancer and obesity prevention. My research on the optimizing the visual aspect of warnings for e-cigarette advertisements led to an interest in data visualization and more broadly using visuals to communicate our findings to the public.


Elizabeth G. Klein, PhD

College of Public Health

The Ohio State University

Dr. Klein is an Associate Professor and Interim Chair in the Division of Health Behavior & Health Promotion at Ohio State University’s College of Public Health.   She is a public health “lifer” as she completed her undergraduate training in Community Health Education, her MPH in Epidemiology/Biostatistics, and her PhD in Behavioral Epidemiology. Dr. Klein’s research has focused on primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention of tobacco use within priority populations of youth, young adults, as well as among rural adults across the diversity of tobacco products, including cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, e-cigarettes, cigarillos, and waterpipe tobacco.  Recently, she has focused her research on the use of biobehavioral methods, focusing around eye tracking technology, to optimize attention to health-related messages to prevent and/or reduce tobacco use.


Leigh Ann Simmons, Ph.D., M.F.T.

University of California, Davis

Dr. Simmons is Chair and Professor in the Department of Human Ecology at the University of California, Davis, Director of the Health Equity Across the Lifespan (HEAL) Lab, and Co-Director of the UC Davis Perinatal Origins of Disparities (POD) Center. The overall aim of Dr. Simmons’ research, which has been funded by the NIH, the USDA, and the Veterans Health Administration, is to promote population health equity in the incidence and prevalence of common chronic diseases (e.g., obesity, depression, cardiometabolic disorders, cancer) with a specific focus on childbearing women, rural residents, and underrepresented minorities. She has published extensively and presented nationally and internationally on three core areas of scholarship: (1) characterizing co-occurring chronic disease risk factors for specific disparities populations (e.g., rural, minorities); (2) understanding the impact of early life exposures (e.g., prenatal, family, and community environments) on later life chronic disease risk; and (3) developing and testing remote delivery models (e.g. text, telephone) of personalized behavioral change interventions to reduce chronic disease risk. Dr. Simmons earned a PhD in child and family development from the University of Georgia, a master's degree in couple and family therapy from MCP-Hahnemann University (now Drexel University), and a BA in literature/writing from the University of California at San Diego. Between 2005-2010 she served as a Health Disparities Scholar through the NIH Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities. Dr. Simmons has extensive policy experience, having served as a Congressional Fellow on the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee for the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA).


M. Renée Umstattd Meyer, PhD, MCHES, FAAHB

Baylor University

Dr. Renée Umstattd Meyer is an Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director in the Department of Public Health at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.  She works with communities using mixed methods to understand cultural context and advance approaches and policies to foster healthy and active opportunities and lifestyles for ALL people.  She focuses much of her work partnering with underserved rural communities and families. Renée co-leads the RWJF-funded Physical Activity Research Center (PARC) and the Rural Physical Activity working group of the previously CDC-funded Physical Activity and Policy Research Network + (PAPRN+).  She also leads an Activating Rural America Voices for Healthy Kids Innovation, Equity, and Exploration special project work group; the physical activity portion of a 5-year USDA-funded project (Familias Saludables) aimed at increasing physical activity and healthy eating behaviors of Mexican-origin children and families residing along the Texas-Mexico border; and a CDC-funded project that is providing guidance to the CDC regarding surveillance approaches for policy, systems, and environmental factors related with active living, healthy eating, and breast feeding for rural communities. 

Professional Development and Mentoring Council Workshop Speakers


Matthew E. Rossheim, PhD, MPH, CHP

George Mason University

Dr. Matthew E. Rossheim holds a Bachelors’ of Arts degree in economics from the University of Florida (2009), a Master of Public Health in social and behavioral sciences from the University of Florida (2011), and a Doctor of Philosophy in public health sciences from the University of North Texas Health Science Center (2014). From 2014-2015, he served as the director of the MPH community health program at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. In 2015, he joined the Department of Global and Community Health as an Assistant Professor.

Dr. Rossheim’s research focuses on substance use and related health outcomes. Dr. Rossheim has published peer-reviewed manuscripts appearing in journals such as: Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental ResearchAddictive BehaviorsThe American Journal of Drug and Alcohol AbuseDrug and Alcohol DependenceTraffic Injury PreventionThe American Journal of Health Behavior, and The American Journal of Public Health. His research has drawn attention to harmful alcohol product features and analyzed the strength of scientific evidence on this topic. One of these studies was cited by the Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission in their letters to the manufacturers of pre-packaged caffeinated alcohol, stating that caffeine was an unsafe additive to their products. These letters resulted in manufacturers removing caffeine from their alcoholic products. In general, his research has supported the need for stronger public health policies and better enforcement of these policies. Dr. Rossheim has also been involved with various community coalitions, to help evaluate community-based public health interventions and to advocate for stronger tobacco-free policies.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 Professional Development and Mentoring Council (PDMC) Luncheon Speaker

Title:  Managing and Analyzing Secondary Data with STATA 


  • Participants will learn about some of the benefits and drawbacks of using various statistical software packages
  • Participants will learn about resources available to them that can help them learn how to use Stata
  • Participants will learn about some important practices in quality data management
  • Participants will learn about some basic Stata commands


Matthew Lee Smith, PhD, MPH, CHES, FGSA, FAAHB


Center for Population Health and Aging

Texas A&M University

Associate Professor

Department of Environmental and Occupational Health

School of Public Health

Health Science Center

Texas A&M University

Recognizing health status is influenced by a vast and interconnected set of determinants, Dr. Matthew Lee Smith has devoted his career to create synergistic partnerships and initiatives to encourage positive lifestyles and reduce rates of preventable morbidity and mortality.  As an evaluator and survey methodologist, he has initiated many projects to better understand risky health behavior and develop scalable interventions to evoke behavior modification. Dr. Smith’s involvement in local, state, and national evaluation initiatives have been integral to foster understanding about the reach, adoption, implementation, effectiveness, and maintenance of different evidence-based programs.  His ability to form interdisciplinary collaborations affords him opportunities to apply his translational research and evaluation experience to bridge research and practice issues among the healthcare sector, aging services network, and public health system. Dr. Smith is the Co-Director of the Texas A&M Center for Population Health and Aging and holds faculty positions in the Texas A&M School of Public Health and University of Georgia College of Public Health.  He has been the AAHB Research Scholars Mentorship Program (RSMP) Director since 2016.

Monday, March 9, 2020 Professional Development and Mentoring Council (PDMC) Luncheon Speaker

Title:  Keys to Quality Mentorship and Productive Collaborations: Lessons Learned from AAHB Scholars


  • Attendees will increase their familiarity with the scope and potential benefits of participation in the AAHB Research Scholars Mentoring Program.
  • Attendees will be able to describe several specific ways in which mentoring can promote the development and scholarship of early career professionals.
  • Attendees will be able to identify at least three strategies for making the most out of a mentoring relationship.
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