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New faculty bring new ideas, research efforts

The CPHHS welcomes new faculty for the 2013-2014 school year

The College of Public Health and Human Sciences is welcoming more than 20 new faculty members who bring with them diversity, experience and expertise that is essential to expanding the college’s mission of ensuring lifelong health and well-being for every person, every family and every community in Oregon and beyond.

With accreditation around the corner, the new faculty – who come to the college from a range of schools and backgrounds – will help propel the college even further into the 21st century and enhance its efforts to become a preeminent college of public health and human sciences nationally.

Please join the college in welcoming our new faculty members.

John Geldhof

Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Sciences

John GeldhofJohn comes to the CPHHS from Tufts University in Medford, Mass., where he held positions including research assistant professor and postdoctoral research associate at the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development. He’s also served as a quantitative consultant at the Center for Research Methods and Data Analysis at the University of Kansas. He received master’s and doctoral degrees in Psychology at the University of Kansas.

His research interests include studying adolescent and positive youth development; development of self-regulation over the lifespan; and developmental methods, latent variable models and multilevel models.

“The thing that excites me most about joining the CPHHS is the people,” John says. “Everyone has been so friendly, and the opportunities for collaboration are endless. I can’t wait to see what kind of projects my new colleagues and I come up with!”

Bridget Hatfield

Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Sciences

Bridget HatfieldBridget comes to the CPHHS from the University of Virginia, where she served as a postdoctoral research associate in the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning. She’s also worked as an adjunct faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a consultant and trainer at Teachstone Inc. She received a master’s degree in Child & Family Studies at the University of Tennessee and a PhD in Human Development & Family Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Bridget is interested in physiological and biological indicators of stress and emotion regulation in early childhood; influences of classroom quality, and the teacher-child relationship.

Susan Keys

OSU Cascades – Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Sciences

Susan KeysSusan is the former Executive Director, Special Adviser on Mental Health and Director of Research for the Inspire USA Foundation, a nonprofit focused on the use of technology to promote the health and well being of young Americans and to prevent suicide. She also led Inspire’s involvement in a social marketing initiative in California focused on mental illness stigma reduction through online discussions and youth engagement as a part of the ReachOut.com system of services.

Prior to joining Inspire, Susan served as the Branch Chief for Prevention Initiatives and Priority Programs at the Center for Mental Health Services, in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a Division of the Federal Department of Health and Human Services. In this role she oversaw national programs for suicide prevention, youth violence prevention, HIV-AIDS treatment and young child wellness, including the Garrett Lee Smith funding to states and colleges, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the National Suicide Prevention Resource Center

Susan is interested in topics relevant to mental health promotion, public health, youth violence and suicide prevention. Most recently through her work with Inspire, Susan has advanced her skills in the use of technology and social media for the delivery of health related social marketing messages.

Gloria Krahn

Barbara Emily Knudson Chair in Family Policy, Director of External Relations

Gloria KrahnGloria comes to the CPHHS from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention, where she served as the director of the Division of Human Development and Disability in the National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. She previously held positions as a research associate at the University of Pittsburgh, and several positions at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland including professor of pediatrics in Public Health and Preventive Medicine, director of the Oregon Institute on Disability & Development/University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, director of Rehabilitations and Research Center on Health of People with Long Term Disabilities, and associate director of the Child Development and Rehabilitation Center. She earned a master’s degree and a PhD in psychology from the University of Manitoba, Canada, an MPH from the University of California, Berkeley, and completed a postdoctoral residency at the Oregon Health Sciences University.

Her work is grounded in intellectual and developmental disabilities, and she has found that health disparities provide a valuable lens for a public health approach to disabilities.

Robert Stawski

Associate Professor in Biostatistics and Human Development and Family Sciences

Robert StawskiRobert comes to the CPHHS from the University of Michigan, where he served as a faculty research fellow in the Survey Research Center at the Institute for Social Research. He also served as a research associate in the Gerontology Center at Pennsylvania State University. He received master’s and doctoral degrees in Experimental Psychology at Syracuse University in Syracuse, N.Y.

Robert’s research interests lie in understanding the role of cognition as an outcome, indicator and resource for stress and health; understanding stress processes and the psychological and biological pathways on cognition, health and well-being; and using longitudinal measurement burst designs for tracking the influence of stress reactivity on long-term health trajectories and outcomes.

“I am excited to be part of the College of Public Health and Human Sciences because of the strong interdisciplinary focus of college,” says Robert. “With the integration of biological and population health sciences, and social and behavioral health sciences, the college offers a unique and ideal context for conducting collaborative health-related research and providing students with truly interdisciplinary training. Additionally, with the recent growth of the college, it is exciting and inspiring for me to be part of group with such dynamic and energetic scholars, and leadership possessing a clear vision and strong commitment to the continued cultivation of the best possible environment for interdisciplinary health-related teaching, research and outreach.”

Karen Volmar

Clinical Associate Professor of Health Management and Policy

Karen VolmarKaren comes to the CPHHS from Penn State University, State College, Pa., where she’s held positions as an associate professor in the Department of Health Policy and Administration and director of the Manage Master of Health Administration Program, a research associate/special assistant to the vice president for Human Resources and a manager of the Employee Benefits Division. She also worked as a director of corporate services and compliance officer/legal counsel at Pioneer Behavioral Health in Peabody, Mass., a contract analyst at Private Healthcare Systems in Waltham, Mass., and a managed care coordinator for Fenway Community Health Center in Boston, Mass. She received master’s and juris doctor degrees from Boston University School of Law and School of Public Health in Boston, Mass.

Her research interests lie at the interface between public health policy, healthcare administration and international health. Her work focuses on health plan design, impact of insurance on healthcare delivery, legal issues in healthcare financing, and delivery and comparative health systems.

“I am excited to be joining a college with such a strong outreach and service orientation at a pivotal time for the healthcare system,” Karen says. “I am looking forward to collaborating with Extension offices and working with a wonderful group of public health faculty and students.”

School of Biological and Population Health Sciences

Neilann Horner

Clinical Assistant Professor, Dietetics Program Director

Neilann HornerNeilann comes to the CPHHS from Western Oregon University, where she served as a visiting assistant professor of Community Health. She currently serves as a media representative for the Oregon Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and has held positions as volunteer director for the nonprofit Hershey Free Food Bank, a senior metabolic regional medical scientist at GlaxoSmithKline Inc., and vice president of scientific programs at Nutri-Logics Inc. Additionally, Neilann has experience among a broad range of scientific, dietetics, and industry positions related to nutrition and dietetics. She received an MPH from the University of Illinois in Springfield, Ill., a PhD in Nutritional Sciences from the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle, Wash., and completed her postdoctoral research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Public Health Sciences in Seattle.

“In my role in CPHHS, I am positioned to impact the training of the next generation of nutrition experts,” Neilann says. “This may be tougher than it seems at first glance because the healthcare environment is rapidly changing and effective chronic disease prevention is more critical to the health of this country than ever. On a more basic level, I want to equip people to do jobs they love doing, things that matter, and I think I can do that here at OSU. When I look to my left and to my right, it becomes shockingly clear that I just joined a very capable team.”

Perry Hystad

Assistant Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety

Perry HystadPerry comes to the CPHHS from Canada, where he’s held numerous roles including teaching positions at the School of Public Health and Social Policy at the University of Victoria, Canada. He also served as a researcher at Cancer Care Ontario, a research consultant at Health Canada, an environmental researcher at Carex Canada at the University of British Columbia, a research consultant at Environment Canada and Public Health Agency of Canada, and a children’s health and wellness researcher at the University of Athens. He received a master’s degree in Geography from the University of Victoria and a PhD in the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia.

Perry’s research interests include environmental epidemiology, spatial exposure assessment, air pollution, and interactions between social and environmental health determinants.

“During my initial visit I was very impressed with the interdisciplinary and collaborative culture that seemed to be integrated throughout the college,” Perry says. “This is very much aligned with my research approach and what I believe is needed to address the most pressing issues in population health. I am very excited to be joining the college and look forward to contributing to this unique research environment.”

Drew Ibarra

Director of Physical Activity Programs

Drew IbarraA longtime Beaver, Drew takes on his new role as director of Physical Activity Programs after holding several positions on campus. He previously served as a graduate teaching assistant of Physical Activity Courses, a Challenge Course instructor, a PAC instructor and a teaching assistant of Lifetime Fitness for Health at Oregon State. Before coming to Oregon State, Drew served as the Mr. Spartan philanthropy advisor at Corvallis High School, the volunteer and internship coordinator at the Corvallis Boys & Girls Club and an AmeriCorps member at the Corvallis School District. He received a master’s degree in Education in College Student Service Administration from Oregon State.

“I am proud to be associated with a college that focuses on improving individuals’ quality of life through a holistic and multifaceted approach and I look forward to working with the distinguished professionals that the college attracts.”

Sunil Khanna


Sunil KhannaWith Beaver blood already running through his veins, Sunil joins the CPHHS family after holding positions at Oregon State as the associate provost for International Programs and a professor of Anthropology. He previously served as a NCSA faculty with the London Program Northwest Council on Study Abroad, an adjunct professor in the Department of Public Health at Oregon State and editor-in-chief of Ecology of Food and Nutrition, among many other related positions. He earned a master’s and PhD in Biological Anthropology and Human Genetics at the University of Delhi, and a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from Syracuse University.

Sunil is a medical anthropologist interested in examining the complex interrelations of biology, culture, gender, ethnicity and health in South Asia and the United States. He uses diverse yet complementary field techniques such as ethnographic research and qualitative methods, microdemographic survey, and nutritional anthropometry in his research studies.

“I’m delighted to join the College of Public Health and Human Sciences,” Sunil says. “I am excited to be part of a growing community of distinguished professionals committed to ensuring the health and well-being of people across the world. I’m particularly impressed with the focus on global health in the college, and I’m looking forward to contributing to its excellent work.”

Kara Witzke

OSU Cascades – Instructor and Program Lead, Exercise and Sport Science

Kara WitzkeInstructor and Program Lead of Exercise & Sport Science, OSU Cascades. Kara received her bachelor’s degree from Biola University, her master’s degree from California State University Fullerton and her PhD from Oregon State University. Her most recent position was as professor and department chair of kinesiology at California State University San Marcos. She is currently wrapping up an NIH-funded intervention study examining the dose-dependent effects of jumping exercise on bone health in young women and has previously studied bone health in Type 2 diabetic patients. She is currently collaborating with OHSU and St. Charles Hospital in Bend to implement an evidence-based exercise program for cancer survivors in Central Oregon.

“I am thrilled to be a part of the vibrant faculty in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences because we have the privilege of training the next generation of health and fitness professionals who will impact the world,” Kara says. “Now, more than ever, society needs our students to deliver the message about how to live healthier lives, with the skills and abilities that we have trained them with. OSU Cascades is poised to make a meaningful impact in Central Oregon, and I am excited to be leading the charge.”

Health Sciences Business Center

Hong Chen – Finance
Kim Cholewinski – Human Resources
Lisa Butler – Payroll
Robert Schellenger – Finance
Ryan Mitchel – Maintenance
Valerie Mouw – Human Resources


Chris McDonald – 4-H Global Citizenship Program
Melissa Sherman – Malheur County
Sue Hunt – Josephine County
Emily Anderson – Union County
Ashley Jones – Morrow County
Kate Hammarback – Lane County

Family and Community Health
Sara Wilson – Nutrition Education, Statewide
Rose Jepson–Sullivan – Lane County
Cheryl Kirk – Josephine and Jackson Counties
Aoife Magee – Parenting Education, Statewide
Amanda Armington – GROW Project
John Hicks – GROW Project