Message-from-the-Director

Message from the Director

My message this month is a conflicted one because we have both bad news and good news.

It is with a heavy heart that I have to announce the resignation of Keelia O'Malley, MPH, (pictured left) as Assistant Director of the Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC). Keelia has been an energetic PRC staff person who has performed 24/7 in her role as supervisor, office manager, grants researcher, community representative and more. Keelia first came to the PRC as the Research Program Manager eight years ago and was promoted to Assistant Director in 2014, in which capacity she has performed admirably. I had come to depend on her for representing the Director with the staff, with professional organizations, and within the community. I know I speak for all of us (Tulane faculty and staff, community partners and researchers, stakeholders, legislators and PRC networkers at CDC) when I say that the PRC will miss her. She is not going far, however, since she will be working with Dr. Diego Rose, MPH, PhD, in his new center and so she will still be at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. She will still be around as our colleague and friend. We do wish her well in her new endeavors.

And now for the good news. Megan Knapp, MPH, (pictured right) has agreed to step up to the plate and take on the role of Assistant Director of the PRC for the next six months (at least). As you have probably figured out, it would be very difficult to advertise for a new Assistant Director when we don't know if we will be funded for another five years. Consequently, enter Megan, who is throwing us a life saver.

Megan is a public health professional with a master's degree from Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, and a BA degree in Biology and Communication Studies from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. Megan has been a full-time lecturer and health educator at Southern Methodist University where her work and interests focused on health behaviors. She has had various other lecture and research positions as well.

Megan came on board at the PRC in fall of 2016 when she entered the PhD program in the Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences. She has completed her coursework and passed her comprehensive exams "with distinction." She already had a number of publications and presentations, to which she has been adding since working with the PRC. Megan is currently the Project Manager for the Eat Fit Evaluation study being conducted by the PRC and funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield, which will serve as her dissertation.

Many of you will know Megan by now, and I would like to ask you to welcome her as the new Assistant Director of the PRC. She will be out in the community becoming acquainted with our many community partners and stakeholders, and will be working closely with Keelia over the next couple of weeks in order to make the transition of responsibilities as smooth as possible. Please welcome Megan and I will ask for your cooperation in making this transition work for all of us.

And life goes on.

Carolyn C. Johnson, PhD, FAAHB
Director, Tulane Prevention Research Center
September 2018

Topics:   community advisory board , health communication

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