Fay W. Boozman COPH Graduates 41 Public Health Professionals

The Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health (COPH) Convocation and Commencement was held May 20 in North Little Rock. COPH faculty and graduates attended convocation at the Wyndham North Little Rock prior to graduation at Verizon Arena. At convocation, faculty and student awards were given out, as well as graduation regalia.

Leah Dawson receives Doctorate in Health Prevention and Promotion pictured with COPH Dean Jim Raczynski and Dr. Martha Phillips

Ph.D graduate, Leah Dawson (center), with Dean Raczynski and Dr. Martha Phillips.

COPH 2017 Graduation UAMS 3

MPH graduate, Courtney Sallings, receives her diploma at graduation.

The Joseph H. Bates, M.D., M.S. Professorship in Academic Public Health Practice was also announced at convocation. This professorship focuses on the need for physicians to be educated in public health to enable them to assume leadership roles in academic public health practice. Activities to support the professorship include: supporting practice-based research; promoting population-based public health; and educating medical students and early career-stage physicians about opportunities for rewarding careers in health systems, governmental public health, public health practice research, public health academia, and as administrators in the nation’s healthcare system to provide affordable and quality healthcare for all.


College of Public Health MHA Graduates 2017

MHA graduates at COPH Convocation. From left to right, Adnan Siddique, Rebecca Reif, Cole Pace, Brielle Merchant, and Chase Cooper



COPH had 41 graduates at commencement. The group included: 2 post baccalaureate Certificate in Public Health graduates, 28 Master of Public Health graduates, 7 Master of Health Administration graduates, 2 Doctor of Public Health graduates, and 2 Doctor of Philosophy graduates.


Congratulations to the 2017 COPH award recipients and to the graduates!


The following student and faculty awards were given out at convocation:


Student Awards


Delta Omega Honorary Society Student Inductees:

Melissa Clemens, Chase Cooper, Afsheen Hasan, Cole Pace, and Shelbie Stahr

Dr. Jan S. Richter Health Behavior & Health Education Scholarship:

Avery Cato

Fay W. Boozman Textbook Scholarship Award:

Memory Waddle

Edward F. and Carol C. Stewart Scholarship for Academic Excellence in Public Health:

Mary Katy Allison

Fay W. Boozman Public Health and Community Service Scholarship Awards:

Margaret May, Camille Richoux, and Octavia Toombs

David Bourne, MD, MPH, Public Health Physician Memorial Scholarship:

Brendan Moore and Christine Rutlen

Sonya T. Askew Student Council Award for Outstanding Public Health Student:

Chase Cooper and Shelbie Stahr

Outstanding Master of Health Administration Student Awards:

Chase Cooper and Cole Pace

Neil and Clara Spain Memorial Scholarship:

Nancy Purnell

Honor Graduates:

Michelle Leigh Astor, Crystal Aycock Browne, Di Chang, Melissa Clemons, Chase Alan  Cooper, Afsheen Hasan, Julia Loyd Horton-Bertrand, Rachel Elizabeth Lee, Meera Marji, Cole David Pace, Divya Hemant Patel, Amanda G. Philyaw Perez, Rebecca A. Raciborski, Abeer Saadeh, Mary Savannah Skaggs


Faculty Awards


Fay W. Boozman Public Health through Public Policy Award: Joseph H. Bates, M.D.

Student Council Award for Outstanding Public Health Faculty Member: Saleema Karim, Ph.D.

Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching: Mohammed Elfaramawi, Ph.D.

Faculty Award for Excellence in Research: Karen H. Kim Yeary, Ph.D.

Faculty Award for Excellence in Public Service: Lori Fischbach, Ph.D.

Faculty Delta Omega Inductees: Alesia Ferguson, Ph.D. and Lori Fischbach, Ph.D.

Honorary Delta Omega Inductee: Kevin Ryan, J.D.


Alumni Awards

Alumni Delta Omega Inductees: Marisha DiCarlo, Ph.D. and Catherine Williams


Graduates are listed below by degree:


Doctor of Public Health

Appathurai Balamurugan

Amanda G. Philyaw Perez


Doctor of Philosophy

Leah Cantrell Dawson

Rebecca A. Raciborski


Master of Public Health

Kristen L. Alexander

Michelle Leigh Astor

ReeShema Titilayo Britt

Crystal Aycock Bowne

ReeShema Titilayo Britt

Melissa Clemens

Di Chang

Heather Cathleen Collier

Rachael C. Gleason

Afsheen Hasan

Julia Loyd Horton-Bertrand

Delvory Nikole Howard

Akanksha Katyal

Brian David Kennedy

Stephen D. Lein

Meera Marji

Colbert Charles Nelson

Kavya Pidaparthi

Denise Lucy Rose

Candice Jenia Ruffin

Abeer Saadeh

Courtney Sallings

Sumit K. Shah

Donovan L. Shavers-Cobb

John Thomas Sherrill

Jamila RaShaun Shields

Mary Savannah Skaggs

Shelbie Dawn Stahr

Raven Nicole Turner


Master of Health Administration

Chase Allen Cooper

Adam Crouch

Rachel Elizabeth Lee

Brielle Zackia Merchant

Cole David Pace

Rebecca Jordan Reif

Adnan Siddique


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Public Health

Chevera Annette Blakemore

Divya Hemant Patel