Alumni updates summer 2021

News and updates from the college's alumni

Jane Benton, M.D., master’s in public health ’12, was appointed to the board of directors of the Space Coast Health Foundation, a grant-making organization established to enhance the health and wellness of individuals and communities in Brevard County.

Jacky Lagrace headshotAfter spending four years in California, Jacky Lagrace, bachelor’s in health science ’06, relocated back to Florida. He joined Baptist Health of Jacksonville in October as the executive director of Baptist Physician Partners, a clinically integrated network comprising more than 1,000 physicians. His background is in clinically integrated networks, population health management, value-based care partnerships and integrated care strategy.

Chris Louis, Ph.D., master’s in health administration ’06, received the 2021 John D. Thompson Prize from the Association of University Programs in Health Administration. The prize recognizes faculty based on their overall contributions to the field of health administration education, including scholarly and practice-oriented research and teaching accomplishments. He is a clinical associate professor of health law, policy & management and director of the health care management and dual degree programs at Boston University School of Public Health.

For news on Katherine Pizarro-Gutierrez, bachelor’s in health science ’15 and master’s in public health ’17; Jessica Kramer, bachelor’s in occupational therapy ’99; Christine Myers, bachelor’s (’95) and master’s (’00) in occupational therapy; Emily Plowman, doctorate in rehabilitation science ‘05; and Barbara Smith, master’s in physical therapy ’98 and doctorate in rehabilitation science ’10, please see page 6.

Arlyn Thobaben, doctorate in physical therapy ’12, made a gift to the UF Physical Therapy Equal Access Clinic to support the purchase of artwork to promote health and wellbeing for community members who attend the clinic. She is a physical therapist and clinic director at Texas Therapy Specialists.

Vanessa Walthall, doctor of veterinary medicine and master’s in public health ’17, is a veterinary medical officer with the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the New York Animal Import Center, where she inspects livestock and birds during their quarantine period upon importation into the U.S. Her work is crucial to protecting American agriculture by preventing the incursion of foreign animal diseases, such as African swine fever, highly pathogenic avian influenza, and glanders (an uncommon, but dangerous zoonotic disease).

Laura Zahodne, doctorate in clinical psychology ’12, won both the Society for Clinical Neuropsychology’s Robert A. and Phyllis Levitt Early Career Award in Neuropsychology and the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contributions to Psychology in the category of Individual Differences. She is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Michigan.