MCH Student eNewsletter

May 2020

Big picture

Center Announcements

Good luck to all of you finishing up the semester, and congratulations to all those graduating this spring! On behalf of everyone at the Center, we are proud of your accomplishments and look forward to seeing where your futures lead you.

We know you’re busy but please take time to scan the May newsletter. It has LOTS of fun updates and info for MCHers around commencement, updates on the launch of the MCH peer-to-peer networking program, four new Spotlights (including one on faculty member Susan Mason!), a new student-created MCH video and lots more.

Please note that this e-newsletter will be the last one for the academic year, until our July summer e-Newsletter. If you have any events, accomplishments or resources that you’d like to see featured in the summer eNewsletter, or anytime on social media, please email us at

Support the MCH Class of 2020

Help your fellow MCHers celebrate a major milestone! COVID-19 might be postponing in-person celebrations, but you can share a message, words of wisdom, or just a quote with the class of 2020 and send them off feeling supported and encouraged. We LOVE the ones we've already received; the class of 2020 thanks you!!

Submit a short written or video message by Thursday, May 14, or visit our webpage for more info.

2020 School of Public Health Virtual Commencement

The SPH will honor the class of 2020 this spring through a virtual commencement with a systemwide UMN celebration and a SPH celebration. In conjunction with the UMN celebration, the SPH is hosting a school-specific experience for all SPH graduates, family, and friends. More details will be shared as plans are finalized. If posting your accomplishments on social media, consider using these hashtags! #umnmch #umnmchgrad #mchgrad2020 #UMN20 #UMNAlumni #UMNProud

-For more information on the SPH commencement

-Access the UMN virtual commencement toolbox (including UMN Zoom backgrounds)

-To use our Congratulations Graduate template for social media or

-Provide your photo here and we will apply our Congratulations Graduate template (above) and share on social media

MCH Faculty Spotlight: Susan Mason, PhD, MPH

MCH faculty spotlights are short interviews with faculty who teach, support and advise our students. They are a great opportunity to learn more about our faculty members! Faculty spotlights will be featured on our website and in monthly newsletters. Our first spotlight is Dr. Susan Mason, PhD, MPH. Susan is a social epidemiologist whose research focuses on adverse childhood experiences and trauma.

-Learn more about Susan Mason

Congrats to Center RAs Abhi Ramesh and Teale Greylord!

Next year Abhi Ramesh will begin working towards her PhD in Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology at the University of Iowa. Teale Greylord has been awarded the 2020 SPH Henry Blackburn award. Congrats, Abhi and Teale!

Maternal and Child Health Interest Group (MCHIG) Looking for Executive Board Members

As the 2019-2020 school year comes to a close, the MCHIG will be looking for additional students to join our executive board for the following academic year. Please fill out this form to apply for this leadership position. If you have any questions please email Please complete the form no later than Friday, May 15.

-To learn more about position descriptions and benefits

MCH Peers News

We are excited to welcome the newest MCH cohort this fall, and we hope you are too! The Center and the EpiCH Division are launching “MCH Peers,” a program designed to match incoming students with second year peers to help ease the transition into graduate school. If you are a current student and you would like to be a peer for an incoming student, fill out this survey.

-To learn more about the MCH Peers program

“What Is MCH?” Video created by MCH Student, May Seo!

MCH student and MCH Interest Group (MCHIG) Executive Board Member, May Seo, created a brand new “What is MCH?” video, designed to inform viewers about the field of MCH and its importance in public health. This two-minute video is an excellent introduction to MCH and we encourage students to share this video to anyone who may be interested!

MCH National Blog Post

This month’s blog post features UNC Chapel Hill doctoral student, Alexandria Lesak, who studies how child maltreatment affects the life course. This post addresses MCH Competency #1: MCH Knowledge Base/Context.

-Read Alexandria’s story here

Student Spotlight: How Did Lai Jing Su Help Create Necessary Research Data for a Local Non-Profit?

First year MCH student, Lai Jing Su, completed a deployment with Find Your Power, a startup nonprofit with a mission to empower underrepresented women by expanding their access to vital resources and the internet. Read about Lai Jing’s experience conducting research to inform FYP’s knowledge of their target communities.

The Center is proud to co-sponsor the following event:

2020 Virtual Summer Institute in Adolescent Health: Adolescent Mental Health–Identifying Influences and Promoting Well-Being

July 27-30, 2020 | 8:30 am - 12 noon CST

During the Institute, explore trends and patterns in adolescent mental health, as well as psychosocial, cultural, and societal influences on mental well-being. Delve into the everyday issues that affect the mental well-being of our youth: sleep, social media, identity development, and school pressures. Examine how COVID-19 has and will continue to change the landscape related to youth mental health. Strategize with caring adults who help young people sustain and reclaim their mental well-being. Develop strategies for public health initiatives and policies, as well as for mental health promotion, prevention and treatment efforts that best serve adolescents.

Spots will fill up quickly; register soon!

Pets of MCH

We’re doing an Instagram campaign to start showing more MCH pets... because we all need some more positive animal photos in our lives! If you want to submit your MCH pet, feel free to do it here. Follow @UMN_MCH on Insta and keep up with the influx of fluff!

MCH in the News

Center Faculty Featured in SPH’s Health In All Matters Podcast: COVID Affects Us All… Just Not Equally

As the pandemic moves across the US, it’s clearly showing that certain populations are suffering far more than others. In this episode, learn what particular challenges face the homeless, the incarcerated, people of color, and new immigrants as they try to stay safe. America’s inequities are undeniable. Featuring Center faculty Drs. Rachel Hardeman, Jaime Slaughter-Acey and Rebecca Shlafer.


Submit Content to the Public Health Review (PHR)

Submissions are now open for the PHR, a graduate student-led, peer-reviewed public health journal that is published by the UMN Libraries. PHR invites anyone with a public health perspective—including students, alumni, professionals, and community members—from any discipline or affiliation to submit content to PHR that highlights or focuses on a public health topic or issue. PHR accepts research articles, literature reviews, analytical essays, opinion editorials, issue briefs, policy proposals, public health practice pieces, editor’s choice, and images. Email PHR at or read more about the submission information. The deadline for submissions is June 7, 2020.

Public Health Review Journal Cover Design Contest

The Public Health Review (PHR) is having a journal cover design contest! PHR will be accepting designs until Monday, May 18 and the winner will receive $50. Email your design to with the subject heading “Cover Design Contest.” In the email, please include your name, a brief introduction, your design, and what inspired it. Requirements: no faces in the design, design something that reminds people of public health, and 8” x 11”.

New or Soon-to-Be Graduate? Apply for the MCH Performance Measurement and Evaluation Fellowship

The Office of Epidemiology and Research (OER) in HRSA's MCH Bureau (MCHB) is seeking applicants interested in:

  • Gaining first-hand exposure to and understanding of major MCH investments supported by the Federal MCHB

  • Training in support of research, analyses and synthesis of performance measurement and/or evaluation data for major MCH investments supported by the Federal MCHB, e.g., Healthy Start

  • Refining data processing and analyses skills utilizing SAS/SUDAAN or STATA

  • Refining and expand written and oral communicative skills and competencies

  • And more!

The deadline is June 3, 2020; applications are considered on a rolling basis.

COVID-19 and Perinatal Experiences (COPE) Study

University researchers around the world are reaching out to pregnant and postpartum women over 18 that may have interest in sharing their experiences related to COVID-19 (also called SARS-CoV-2). Those who participate are entered in a raffle to win an Amazon gift card.

-Take the survey

March of Dimes Virtual March for Babies

March of Dimes has organized a virtual “March for Babies” event to raise funds and awareness for keeping mothers and babies healthy during COVID-19. Turn your steps into support!

-Register here


Conference: Making Lifelong Connections

At this conference, current and former MCHB trainees come together to enhance their leadership skills, network and develop professional connections. This is an interactive career development opportunity in the MCH field. Interested in future conferences? Learn more about MLC here.

Recorded Webinar: Social Determinants of Grief–The Impact of Black Infant Loss

Understanding African American grief requires taking a long look at the historical and contemporary experiences around the issues of death. But troublingly, there is very little research conducted on Black grief and its connection to racism and the social injustices. Understanding the impact of systemic racism and its influence on how a person reacts to loss sets the stage for addressing how best to support communities that are disproportionately affected by infant death. Gain knowledge on how to best serve communities of color affected by infant loss by attending this 1-hour pre-recorded webinar (presented April 10) offering insight on how some women of color deal with compounded loss and trauma. This webinar was hosted by the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality on behalf of Baby 1st Network.

-View here

Webpage: COVID-19 Information Repository

This new COVID-19 Information Repository from our sister Center of Excellence in MCH at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health's Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health Program contains COVID-related information about adolescent health; gender and global health; environmental health; technology and innovation; mental and emotional health; pregnancy and delivery; school closures; and domestic and sexual violence.

MCH Competency-Based Resources for Difficult Times

The COVID-19 pandemic presents difficulties on many fronts, especially for the MCH workforce. The MCH Navigator is committed to continuing to provide useful resources and support as we fight this public health issue together. With new obstacles around working from home, connecting with organizations and colleagues, and our own personal needs and fears, there is a lot to figure out. This is the perfect time to focus on coming together as a workforce to support each other and put our MCH knowledge and skills to the test. The MCH Navigator has organized resources and information as it relates to COVID-19 through the lens of select MCH Leadership Competencies.


Webinar Series: Free Yoga Sessions with SPH

Monday, May 11, 2020 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM CST

Start your week with a relaxing hour of yoga! A certified instructor will be leading a virtual session each Monday through the end of the semester. Clear space in the living room, lay down your mat, and join your friends for a fun session while remaining home.

-For more information

Webinar: Pandemic Call and Response: Black Queer and Trans Communities

Wednesday, May 6, 2020 | 12:00 PM CST

This webinar highlights the disparate impact of the disease in the most vulnerable communities in our nation. Speakers share their lived experiences of grassroots organizing and practical solutions for equity in Black Queer and Trans Communities during COVID-19.

-Register for the webinar

Webinar: Striving for Patient-Centered Contraceptive Access

Wednesday, May 6, 2020 | 2:00 - 3:00 PM CST

Speaker Dr. Christine Dehlendorf, MD, MAS, is the Director of the Person-Centered Reproductive Health Program at the University of California at San Francisco. She will be addressing performance measures for contraceptive services and patient experience of contraceptive use.

-To register

Summer Public Health Institute (PHI)

Monday, May 18, 2020 - Friday, June 5, 2020 | Times vary

The Summer Public Health Institute offers courses for students and practicing professionals in public health and related fields. Participants can build or expand their professional expertise, learn best practices, broaden career options, network with other professionals, or explore a new area of interest. PHI will be held exclusively online this year.

Competency Corner

MCH Competency #9: Developing Others through Teaching, Coaching and Mentoring

Every month we will send you information on MCH Navigator training, organized around the 12 MCH Leadership Competencies. Each competency sits within one of three larger foci areas: self, others, and the community. This month we will focus on Competency #9: Developing Others through Teaching, Coaching and Mentoring. Teaching involves designing the learning environment, coaching focuses on providing guidance and structure, and mentoring influences the professional growth and development of others.

Career & Professional Development Corner

Coaching and Mentoring Others: An Interview with Vic Massaglia!

This month’s competency focuses on developing others through teaching, coaching and mentoring. Who better to talk about this competency than our director of the Career and Professional Development Center, Vic Massaglia! Vic has spent years developing our SPH students into career-ready professionals, and strives to provide personal and professional growth opportunities to each student he meets. Vic has answered some questions about what it means to teach, coach and mentor others, and how we can use this skill in our careers.

-Check it out here


May National Observances

May recognizes the following national public health observances: Mental Health Month, Hepatitis Awareness Month, and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

The aims of the Center include providing continuing professional education in maternal and child health (MCH) and support for students in online and in-person MCH graduate programs at the University of Minnesota. Center and MCH Program faculty are involved in research and training in infant and child health, adolescent health, family health, health disparities, reproductive health, and women's health.

The Center for Leadership Education in Maternal and Child Public Health is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number T76MC00005 for Leadership Education in Maternal and Child Public Health in the amount of $1,725,000. This information or content and conclusions of our outreach products are those of the authors and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

You are receiving this message because you are subscribed to the UMN SPH MCH listserv.
Copyright © 2020 The Center for Leadership Education in Maternal & Child Public Health - University of Minnesota.
All rights reserved.

Big picture