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Meet New Faculty Joining Dornsife in the New Academic Year

headshots of 10 new faculty members

September 20, 2023

As the new academic year begins, Drexel University's Dornsife School of Public Health (DSPH) welcomes 10 new faculty members in various departments.

Their expertise addresses topical and prevailing population health issues, including Black paternal health, infectious disease epidemiology, tobacco-related health disparities, social stratification, global health, health information systems, child trauma, disordered eating, immigration, community-based participatory research, and more. They bring a range of disciplines in public health to enrich the School's research and academic programs.

Meet new faculty members:

Community Health and Prevention Department

Kristal Lyn Brown headshotheadshot

Kristal Lyn Brown, PhD, MSPH, Assistant Professor, College of Nursing and Health Professions, Secondary Appointment in CHP

Brown joins Drexel as part of the second cohort of the Drexel FIRST program. By training Brown is an interdisciplinary health equity scholar. Her work sits at the intersection of stress, obesity and disordered eating. She uses mixed methods and behavioral clinical trials to make lifestyle interventions more equitable.

Brown has two focus areas under the umbrella of improving interventions in service of health equity: 1) Identifying novel targets and 2) intervention adaptions. She is particularly interested in the role of exposure to racism, racial identity and other contextual factors related to cardiovascular/cardiometabolic health. In her second focus area, she explores ways in which to adapt interventions in service of health equity.

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Bertranna A. Muruthi headshot

Bertranna A. Muruthi, PhD, MS, Assistant Professor

Last year Muruthi joined the College of Nursing and Health Professions, and this academic year she is at DSPH. She was part of the inaugural cohort of Drexel FIRST (Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation) faculty. 

Muruthi’s current research looks at the family as the unit of analysis within the context of communities and the community-based organizations that serve them. As such, family needs and resilient behaviors are understood at a systemic level. There are three areas that she addresses to develop her program of research: (a) migration, resettlement, and transnationalism of documented and undocumented immigrants; (b) predictors of risk and resilient behavior in immigrant families; and (c) development of intervention and prevention programming for immigrant families. Her research uses culturally responsive community-based collaborative methods. She uses this strength-based model to look at individuals and families within the context of communities and the community-based organizations that serve them. She also incorporates community culture and knowledge and practices throughout research with the aim of producing culturally effective actions that lead to community transformation and social change.

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Lilianna Phan headshot

Lilianna Phan, PhD, MPH, MS, Assistant Professor (DSPH, 75%), Secondary Appointment in Nursing (CNHP, 25%)

Phan joins Drexel as part of the Drexel FIRST program. Her program of research focuses on understanding multi-level determinants of tobacco use disparities and leveraging health communication science to help reduce these disparities and promote health equity.

Her research aims to help prevent and reduce commercial tobacco use among racially minoritized populations, particularly young adults. She utilizes community-engaged, mixed-methods, and experimental approaches including eye-tracking to understand psychosocial factors associated with commercial tobacco use and develop health education interventions.

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Arturo Zinny headshot

Arturo Zinny, LPC, MA, PhD(c), Assistant Clinical Professor 

Zinny was recently named the executive director of Dornsife's Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice. He previously served for five years as Program Director of Healing Hurt People, a hospital and community-linked violence intervention program housed within the CNSJ. Prior to this role, he was Project Director of the Philadelphia Alliance for Child Trauma Services at Community Behavioral Health and Director of Behavioral Health at Congreso de Latinos Unidos.

His research and professional interests have focused on the implementation of evidence-based and promising practices for trauma-impacted children, adults, and their families.

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Environmental and Occupational Health Department

Ericka Kalp headshot

Ericka Kalp, PhD, part-time Associate Clinical Professor

Kalp has 20 years of experience in epidemiology and infection prevention and control across acute care, long-term care, ambulatory care, and specialty clinics. She is currently the Director of Infection Prevention and Control and Consulting at ECRI. She taught epidemiology and research methods at Shippensburg University and Chamberlain University. Prior to these roles, Kalp served as an epidemiologist and program manager at the Pennsylvania Department of Health for the Bureau of Epidemiology’s Healthcare-Associated Infection Prevention and Antimicrobial Stewardship program.

Kalp was the Director of Epidemiology and Infection Prevention at WellSpan Health (formerly Summit Health) for fourteen years. She has also been Project Coordinator and Senior Research Assistant at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Infection Control Epidemiologist at Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and Bioterrorism Surveillance Review Epidemiologist for Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

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Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department

Craig Longenecker headshot

J. Craig Longenecker, MD, MPH, PhD, Teaching Professor

Longenecker joined the department after serving at Kuwait University’s College of Medicine and College of Public Health. During his tenure there, he taught a wide range of students, including medical students, medical residents, and public health students at the BSc and MPH levels. As Inaugural Vice-Dean, Academic, in the College of Public Health between 2015 and 2021, he was instrumental in launching the college. As an educator, he has taught courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including topics in clinical epidemiology, chronic disease epidemiology, research methods, community medicine, general public health, health promotion and disease prevention.

His research interests have focused on non-communicable diseases, particularly cardiovascular and renal disease, hypertension, and diabetes. He also has experience in national health surveys in Kuwait such as the World Health Organization STEPS Study and the Kuwait Salt Intake and Renal Disease Study, which have been used to inform public health practice in that country.

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Goro Yamada headshot

Goro Yamada, PhD, MHS, MHS, MMS, Assistant Teaching Professor of Biostatistics

Yamada teaches biostatistical methods with an interest in effective learning and teaching and applying analytical methods to research and public health practices. He also oversees the data and analytical aspects of the SALURBAL project, a multi-country collaborative research project on urban health in Latin America. Before joining Drexel, Yamada served as an epidemiologist, biostatistician, and public health officer at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, WHO (World Health Organization), and JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency).

His fields of experience include data management and analysis, health information systems, disease control, maternal and child health, and project management and evaluation. He has worked in the U.S., Japan, Switzerland, Bolivia, Honduras, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, and Ghana.

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Health Management and Policy Department

Adaobi Anakwe headshot

Adaobi Anakwe, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor

Anakwe studies the preconception (and perinatal) health of men and women with the goal of improving health outcomes for Black families and communities. Currently, her work seeks to address disparities in maternal and child health outcomes by focusing on paternal contributions to these disparities. She applies health equity lenses, with emphasis on the effects of intersecting roles/identities, and social, structural, and political determinants, to examine Black men’s health prior to having pregnancies with their partner(s), their health development across the life course, and the implications of these changes for mothers, children, and men themselves. She is an expert in Black paternal health.

She is experienced with utilizing quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches; and community-based participatory research that centers community voices with relevance for health policy. Anakwe’s research includes domestic and international global health equity-focused projects that focus on creating an understanding of and improving the social conditions that drive paternal health inequities experienced by the Black/African male diaspora.

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Christy Dure headshot

Christy Dure, MPH, MHA, Assistant Teaching Professor

With over a decade of dedicated service in the healthcare field, Dure brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the forefront. Her journey through dentistry, healthcare administration, consulting, and academia has been marked by a relentless pursuit of excellence and a commitment to improving healthcare systems.

Her career commenced in dentistry, where she honed her skills through various clinical and administrative roles in private practice. She distinguished herself by successfully overseeing Electronic Medical Record (EMR) mergers, navigating complex health compliance regulatory affairs, and providing invaluable guidance on dental health services to military services. Transitioning to the academic sphere, Dure served as a supervisor at Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, where she orchestrated courses for practicing physicians, focusing on their Continuing Education (CE) requirements. Later, at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing, she worked as the college's compliance officer and liaison, adeptly handling reporting models for the New York State Board of Education.

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Gabriel Schwartz headshot

Gabriel "Gabe” Schwartz, PhD, Assistant Professor of Health Management & Policy & Urban Health Collaborative, secondary appointment in Nursing at Drexel's College of Nursing and Health Professions

Schwartz joins DSPH as part of the second cohort of the Drexel FIRST program. He is also a faculty member at the Drexel Urban Health Collaborative. His work examines how social stratification and the places we live shape health across the life course. It treats structural, racialized exploitation as a population health problem, including housing insecurity, segregation, and the criminal legal system.

Ongoing lines of research specifically focus on the health impacts of eviction and on how racial segregation in our schools and neighborhoods bends health trajectories as children age, as well as descriptive work about the population health burden of police violence.

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The Dornsife School of Public Health is committed to improving population health and promoting health equity by generating rigorous evidence and transforming that evidence into actions. Dornsife has a special emphasis on improving health in cities, eliminating health disparities and promoting health in all policies. Learn more about our bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in all areas of public health.