Our Alumni Chapter

The School of Public Health Alumni Chapter (SPHAC) is a community of alumni and current students of the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta. The Chapter executive consists of alumni and student representatives that are supported by School staff who work together to foster a sense of community among the Chapter's members.


Mission

To champion and foster a sense of community among School of Public Health alumni.


Guiding Principles

The School of Public Health Alumni Chapter strives to:

  • build a sense of community among alumni.
  • engage alumni and students through hosting a variety of events.
  • support and champion relevant initiatives by the School of Public Health and the University of Alberta.

History

The School of Public Health Alumni Chapter was approved in 2011 as an alumni chapter under the auspices of the University of Alberta Alumni Association. All graduates of programs in the Centre for Health Promotion Studies and the (former) Department of Public Health Sciences are members.

This new, unified chapter was launched in cooperation with the executives of two previous chapters affiliated with our School: the Public Health Sciences Alumni Association (PHSAA) and the Health Promotion Alumni Association (HPAA).

This new chapter represents renewed enthusiasm and commitment to pursue its mission.


SPHAC Executive Members

Katelynn Theal (MPH '10); chair

Katelynn Theal earned her master's in public health in health promotion in 2010. Following a short time at MacEwan University as a fitness consultant, she started working at Ever Active Schools (EAS) in 2012, and has never looked back. Her passion for physical activity and working with children and youth aligned perfectly with the organization's mission and vision.

At EAS, Katelynn currently acts as the comprehensive school health coordinator and a team lead. Within her portfolio, she oversees the development of resources, coordinates events and manages the operation team. Through all of her work, Katelynn assures a lens of comprehensive school health is taken.

Some project highlights from her years at EAS include; working with fellow alumni on committees looking at healthy eating environments, supporting schools to think differently about activity permissive spaces, and working with urban Indigenous youth to receive certifications and high school credits to support them in working in the recreation and active living sector.

Kayla Atkey (MSc '14); past-chair

 

Kayla Atkey is the policy analyst for the Alberta Policy Coalition for Chronic Disease Prevention, located in the School of Public Health. In this role, Kayla helps to coordinate the activities of the coalition as well as synthesizes evidence on policy activities to reduce chronic disease in Alberta. Kayla is also a board member for Alberta Food Matters and the Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance of Canada, and is a member of the leadership council for Farm to Cafeteria Canada.

As a student, Kayla was actively involved in the school of public health community and served on the School of Public Health Students' Association as the external relations coordinator.

Kayla is passionate about health promotion from an ecological lens and the use of collaborative advocacy to facilitate healthy policy change.

Misha Miazga-Rodriguez (MPH '20); events chair

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Misha is a recent graduate from the University of Alberta School of Public Health’s Master of Public Health (MPH) Program (2020) Epidemiology Stream with a certificate in Communicable Diseases. Prior to completing his MPH degree, Misha completed a B.Sc. and M.Sc. from the University of Alberta majoring in microbiology and biotechnology. During his MPH degree, Misha served as VP External for the School of Public Health Student’s Association and as the SPH’s representative on the Graduate Student Association Council. Since graduating, Misha has worked in surveillance and reporting for Alberta Health Services and is currently working for Alberta Health Analytics and Reporting Branch. Misha is a born and raised Edmontonian who loves to share the hidden gems of the city with newcomers and lifelong Edmontonians alike, especially if they are food related.

Colin Reynolds (MSc' 18); treasurer

Colin received a master of science in environmental health sciences in 2018. His research focused on the spatial and temporal occurrence of pathogenic bacteria in drinking water. As a student, he served as an executive on the School of Public Health Students' Association as well as the School of Public Health's representative on the University of Alberta Graduate Students' Association.

Now, Colin is a Research and Evaluation Consultant with Health Systems Evaluation & Evidence at Alberta Health Services. He is part of a team that conducts program evaluations for clients throughout Alberta Health Services, supporting evidence-informed decision-making to improve practice and patient care. 

Simrat Sandha (MPH '20); communications chair

Simrat received her Master of Public Health specializing in epidemiology in 2020. As a student, she was the epidemiology director-at-large on the School of Public Health Students' Association and also served as a student representative on the School of Public Health Alumni Chapter. Currently, Simrat is working as an epidemiologist in Winnipeg with the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch. She is a member of the Health Surveillance and Analysis Unit that works on developing surveillance reports and dashboards for communicable diseases and has also recently been involved with the COVID-19 outbreak response.

Outside of work, Simrat is a volunteer on the Women in Scholarship: Engineering, Science, and Technology (WISEST) Program Committee that helps to increase gender diversity in STEM fields. She also enjoys spending time experimenting in the kitchen and playing the piano.
Justin Kehoe (MPH '13); director-at-large
Justin focused on health equity and Indigenous Health during his MPH in Global Health under the supervision of Dr. Duncan Saunders. Back then, he served as Vice President of the School of Public Health Students’ Association. Now, he appreciates the opportunity to serve his fellow alumni.
As a community volunteer, Justin has chaired a non-profit board of directors, co-managed a municipal election campaign, served on a community-based research advisory committee, and volunteered for local festivals. His professional career has involved work with non-profit organizations and several orders of government, most recently on public policy pertaining to affordable housing, while he questions the virtue of incremental change. He still has much to learn.
Sateen Werner (MPH '19); events chair

Sateen Werner

Sateen graduated with a Master of Public Health specializing in Health Promotion in 2019.  As a student, she served as the Social Coordinator for the School of Public Health (SPH) Students’ Association where she was the student representative on the curriculum review committee and SPH Alumni Chapter (SPHAC).

Since completing her degree, Sateen has worked in injury prevention with Alberta Health Services and stakeholder and community engagement with Alberta Seniors and Housing. Currently, Sateen is a Policy Advisor in the Continuing Care Branch with Alberta Health.

Sateen enjoys playing the guitar, swimming, watching reality tv, memes, and spending time with family and friends. As a member of SPHAC, Sateen is looking forward to supporting the SPH community and connecting with alumni.  

Mahmood Kazi Mohammed; student representative

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Mahmood Kazi Mohammed is an international medical graduate, originally trained in Bangladesh, and currently enrolled in the Master of Public Health program specializing in Health Policy and Management at the School of Public Health (SPH), University of Alberta. He is currently serving as the External Relations Representative at the School of Public Health Students’ Association (SPHSA), and as a Student Representative at the School of Public Health Alumni Chapter (SPHAC) and Health Sciences Students’ Association (HSSA) at the University of Alberta.

Mahmood is currently working for the Public Health and Compliance Division, Alberta Health, supporting them with data management for immunization operations. Before coming to Canada, Mahmood gained substantial experience in research, program management, and policy advocacy while working for multiple international agencies and non-profit organizations in Bangladesh.

Mahmood’s research interests include establishing a better patient-oriented health care system and developing health policies focused on best practices to improve the quality of life of vulnerable populations, as well as maternal and child health, addiction and mental health etc.

Mahmood likes to travel and finds joy in exploring new places across the world. He indulges in learning about human evolution in his free time. He is also passionate about cooking and likes to experiment with different cuisines. Mahmood looks forward to creating and fostering meaningful connections between the SPH students and Alumni Chapter.