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  • 2023: A Look Back at Our Accomplishments

2023: A Look Back at Our  Accomplishments

Ranked Among the Best in the Country: Rutgers School of Public Health Shines in Top 25

The Rutgers School of Public Health has been ranked No. 22 among the 2023-2024 Best Graduate Schools in Public Health by U.S. News & World Report.

Designed for prospective students looking to further their education beyond college, the Best Graduate Schools rankings evaluate programs in a variety of disciplines, including business, education, engineering, law, medicine, and public health.

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Setting Research Records

Rutgers School of Public Health primary faculty and students were directly awarded a historic $88 million in federal grant/contract funding. These were prime awards made to Rutgers University.

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Exceeding the Mark: Successful CEPH Re-Accreditation Site Visit

​​​​​​Rutgers School of Public Health’s successful re-accreditation site visit in December by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) highlights our standards in public health education and our dedication to maintaining excellence. Our official results are expected in the summer of 2024.

Professor helping two students working on laptops.

Supporting Change: Historic Endowment for LGBTQ+ Health

A $3 million gift from James F. Dougherty, a Rutgers alumnus and longtime supporter of the university, will fund the Perry N. Halkitis Endowed Chair in LGBTQ+ Public Health, a new position at the Rutgers School of Public Health. The gift ensures there will be an emphasis on LGBTQ+ health at Rutgers long into the future. 

Headshot of J. Dougherty.

Expanding Expertise: Record Number of Faculty are Increasing our Impact

With over 85 primary faculty members across our four departments, Rutgers School of Public Health is setting new records in expanding the scope of our research and educational expertise. Each faculty member contributes to a broader and deeper understanding of public health issues, making our collective efforts more impactful than ever. Keep scrolling to meet our newest faculty. 

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Jon-Patrick Allem

Jon-Patrick Allem, Ph.D., M.A., has joined the Rutgers School of Public Health’s Department of Health Behavior, Society, and Policy as an associate professor. He is also an associate professor of general internal medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and a core member of the Rutgers Institute for Nicotine & Tobacco Studies. Allem's research harnesses digital data sources and cutting-edge methodologies to improve population health surveillance and policy. 

Headshot of Jon-Patrick Allem.

Ellen C. Francis

Ellen Francis, Ph.D. has joined the Rutgers School of Public Health’s Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology as an assistant professor. Francis's research integrates biochemical and clinical information to refine metabolic profiles during pregnancy, with the goal of improving how we identify maternal-offspring pairs at risk for poor metabolic health later in life. Through the use of 'omics data generated from blood and placenta, she seeks to provide a more precise understanding of the developmental origins of health and disease. Using approaches from lifecourse epidemiology, systems biology, and computer science, she contributes to the identification of modifiable targets and mechanisms leading to premature cardiovascular morbidities.

Headshot of E. C. Francis

Elizabeth Handorf

Elizabeth Handorf, Ph.D., has joined the Rutgers School of Public Health’s Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology as an associate professor. She is also a researcher at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Handorf’s research focuses on methods for observational data, such as those derived from the Electronic Health Records, registries, and insurance claims. She also develops methods for cost-effectiveness analysis of medical interventions. Her further research interests include a wide variety of other topics in biostatistics, including machine learning, risk prediction models, survival analysis, and design of epidemiological and interventional studies.

Headshot of Elizabeth Handrof

Mobolaji Ibitoye

Mobolaji Ibitoye, Dr.PH., M.P.H. has joined the Rutgers School of Public Health’s Department of Urban-Global Public Health as an instructor. Ibitoye is a social and behavioral public health researcher whose work addresses sexual and reproductive health. Her research explores how various structural, social, behavioral, and biological factors interact to affect the sexual and reproductive health of populations internationally and domestically. Ibitoye employs both qualitative and quantitative methodologies to gather valuable insights into the sexual and reproductive health needs of underserved populations in various settings in sub-Saharan Africa and the U.S. Her current research is focused on understanding the fertility desires and the interpersonal processes that translate the desire to avoid or delay pregnancy into decisions on modern contraception among men and women in sub-Saharan Africa as well as among African immigrants in the U.S.

Headshot of M. Ibitoye.

Kymberle Landrum Sterling

Kymberle Landrum Sterling, DrPH, has joined the Rutgers Institute for Nicotine & Tobacco Studies as the associate director for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in July 2023. She will also join the Rutgers School of Public Health as an associate professor in the Department of Health Behavior, Society, and Policy and Assistant Dean for Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion for Faculty & Talent Development. Sterling’s research focuses on adolescent and young adult tobacco use, tobacco-related health disparities, and tobacco regulatory sciences, with particular emphasis on cigars. 

Headshot of K. Sterling

Lan Luo

Lan Luo, Ph.D., has joined the Rutgers School of Public Health’s Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology as an assistant professor. Luo’s research focuses on developing real-time analytics to meet the methodological requirements associated with the analysis of streaming data. These include large-scale databases that are periodically updated and mobile health data. In particular, Luo is interested in developing online analysis toolboxes with a main focus on statistical inference. Luo’s research pursuits also encompass adaptive experimental design, longitudinal mediation analysis, and epigenetic clocks.

Headshot of Lan Luo.

Emily V. Merchant

Emily V. Merchant, Ph.D., has joined the Rutgers School of Public Health’s Department of Urban-Global Public Health as an assistant professor. As a faculty member focused on contributing to the education program at the school, Merchant is excited to lead students in active discussions and activities on global food and culture, food systems, global public health, and more as well as use her research portfolio as a vehicle to increase student engagement both in and out of the classroom. She will also be helping lead the public health nutrition concentration. 

Headshot, Emily Merchant.

Megan Rockafellow Baldoni

Megan Rockafellow Baldoni, Ph.D. M.P.H., has joined the Rutgers School of Public Health’s Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and Justice as an assistant professor. She is also the administrative director of research and evaluation for the Rutgers School of Public Health Center for Public Health Workforce Development. Rockafellow Baldoni’s research interests include evaluating and enhancing the effectiveness of occupational health and safety and public health training programs.

Headshot of Megan Rockafellow Baldoni.
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Headshot of Jon-Patrick Allem.
Headshot of E. C. Francis
Headshot of Elizabeth Handrof
Headshot of M. Ibitoye.
Headshot of K. Sterling
Headshot of Lan Luo.
Headshot, Emily Merchant.
Headshot of Megan Rockafellow Baldoni.

Career Launchpad: 50 Career Services Events Engaged the Rutgers School of Public Health Community

Rutgers School of Public Health's Office of Career Services has had an exceptional year hosting 50 events designed to pave career paths for students. These workshops and programs have been instrumental in bridging connections between students and a wealth of professional contacts and opportunities, fostering a dynamic learning and career development environment.

Alumni April was a resounding success, drawing in more than 50 alumni panelists to share their wisdom across 11 unique events. With over 300 attendees, both prospective and current students, this event serves as a career catalyst, guiding professional journeys.

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Exploring How Art Impacts Health: Launch of Arts in Health Research Lab

Building on a growing field of Arts in Health across the country and around the world, Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers School of Public Health, and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center have joined in an interdisciplinary partnership to launch the Arts in Health Research Lab. The goals of the Arts in Health Research Lab are to perform Arts in Health research that benefits populations across the state of New Jersey, innovate new research strategies including arts-based research methods and art-as-data collection, and establish a research plan to assess the health impact of NJPAC and Mason Gross arts experiences and programs.

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