Public Health Alumni Participant Bios

Read about the 2018 alumni participants’ biographies and work histories.

Alyssa Buczynski '16

Alyssa graduated from Muhlenberg in May of 2016 with a double major in Business and Public Health and started working the day after graduation. She is currently employed as a Communicable Disease Investigator at the Allentown Health Bureau, which means she is responsible for the prompt and thorough investigation and follow-up of individual cases and outbreaks of communicable diseases in accordance with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Pennsylvania Department of Health (PDH) guidelines. Other responsibilities of hers include; conducting field investigations of communicable diseases, submitting disease and data reports to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, interacting with area laboratories and hospitals, assisting with epidemiological aspects of community and clinic patient care and participating/conducting professional development programs. Alyssa believes very strongly that Muhlenberg prepared her immensely for her job from instilling core knowledge of the Public Health field to teaching her how to interact and work effectively with others in a professional setting. She has quickly learned that graduating from a liberal arts school gives you such an advantage over others who haven’t received the same educational experience. It provides a well-rounded and balanced education, which employers value. Take advantage of all the resources Muhlenberg provides, it will pay off!

Christina Cellante '14

Christina Cellante is an Administrative Fellow at the Mount Sinai Health System in New York City. She graduated from Muhlenberg College in January 2014, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and a Minor in Public Health. Christina graduated a semester early and therefore was able to volunteer and pursue healthcare related internships before embarking on a graduate career in September 2014. Christina graduated with a Master of Health Administration degree in May 2016, from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Christina pursued summer hospital internships while she attended Muhlenberg where she gained knowledge and experience in reviewing hospital policies and researching best practices in various departments. In addition, she worked as District Office Assistant for a New York State Assembly member and collaborated with various governmental agencies in order to resolve constituents’ issues in a fast paced environment. Christina co-founded the Social Justice Collaborative club, this club provided a forum for the campus community to collaborate and spread awareness of issues impacting society. Christina credits her Muhlenberg experience which fostered a nurturing environment and the excellent professors for contributing towards her success. The experience enabled her to improve her leadership and management skills, which adequately prepared her to successfully complete the Masters of Health Administration program and to pursue a postgraduate career as an Administrative Fellow.

Michael Grunstein '15

Michael Grunstein ’15 graduated from Muhlenberg College with a Bachelor’s of Science as a Neuroscience major. While at Muhlenberg, Michael was actively involved in a number of extracurricular activities, including research under Dr. Jeremy Teissere, volunteering at Eye-To-Eye and a local hospice, and was an active member of the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity. Michael discovered his passion for public health during a MILA course his sophomore year. In this “Public Health and Social Justice in Botswana,” Michael was provided the opportunity to witness public health in action through the lens of healthcare delivery and policy, as well as work alongside public health officials to facilitate adolescent male circumcision as a preventative measure for HIV/AIDS. Following graduation from ‘Berg, Michael enrolled in a Masters in Public Health program at Boston University (BUSPH), where he is currently double concentrating in Epidemiology and Health Policy and Management. Upon graduation this spring, Michael hopes to pursue a degree in medicine where he will utilize the skills he mastered in public health to provide a unique perspective on the systems based practice in medicine.

Alana Lerer '11

Alana Lerer ’11, originally from a New York City suburb, is currently a Master of Public Health (MPH) candidate at the University of Minnesota and is expected to gain her degree in May 2017. Her professional interests include program management and policy analysis relating to obesity prevention in underserved populations. At ‘Berg, Alana majored in Psychology and minored in Women’s Studies, co-founded the student group, Active Minds, and was a member of Alpha Phi Omega, where she focused her community service hours in implementing an Allentown Health Bureau program to improve youth levels of physical activity. In her spare time, she could be found at GQ enjoying a Bagel Bomb, at Woody’s, or seeing a dance/theater/a cappella show on campus. Soon after graduating from ‘Berg, Alana pursued internships at the New York City Department of Health within its Physical Activity and Nutrition team and at the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, D.C., a federal nutrition advocacy group. Alana then worked at the Society for Women’s Health Research as a Programs Administrator for almost three years in D.C., before moving to the Midwest to pursue her MPH. Alana is looking forward to returning back to D.C. this summer.

Sean Maloney '10

Sean is a public health professional who currently works at the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP) on the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative, a 5-year global project funded by USAID designed to strengthen developing country capacity to implement state-of-the-art social and behavior change communication (SBCC). Sean’s team works on providing strategic SBCC technical assistance to key national level stakeholders, ranging from Ministries of Health to USAID implementation partners, in 5 Latin American countries. Sean recently graduated with his Master of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in May 2016 as part of the school’s Centennial Class. After graduating from Muhlenberg College in 2010, Sean lived in Guatemala for 6 months to participate in USC’s Somos Hermanos to learn medical Spanish and gain firsthand experience with the healthcare challenges facing many Latin American countries. From 2011 to 2013, Sean served as a Peace Corps Health volunteer in the Coast of Ecuador where he partnered with the Ministry of Health assisting them with HIV prevention and wellness programs. From 2014 to 2015, Sean worked as the Medical and Safe Water Programs Coordinator for Timmy Global Health in the Amazon Basin of Ecuador. With Timmy, Sean coordinated medical mobile clinics with the Ecuadorian Ministry of Health, Provincial Government and 20 rural communities along the Napo River. Under this role, Sean also coordinated Timmy’s first community driven safe water, sanitation and hygiene pilot project with 5 rural communities. Throughout Sean’s extensive travels in Latin America, he has always tried his best to indulge in new foods, become absorbed in each location’s culture, play at least one pick-up game of futbol, learn a new dance, and leave with new friendships formed.

Abigail Tapper '13

Abigail Tapper came to Muhlenberg in the fall of 2009 from Belmont, Massachusetts (Just outside of Boston).  While she thought she wanted to study Biology as a possible route to medical school, she ended up majoring in theatre with a minor in public health.  While at Muhlenberg, she held several positions on the board of MCEMS, was an active participant in the MTA, and worked in the costume shop.  After a semester abroad in Durban, South Africa, she was determined to move up in public health by getting her Master’s in Public Health.  She received her degree from Northeastern University in Boston in the Spring of 2015, with her culminating master’s thesis research on the relationship between urban gardening and mental health.  Currently, she works as a Research Associate at the Institute for Community Health, as well as a founder of Mill City Lacrosse, a lacrosse based youth development program in Lowell, Massachusetts that focuses on reducing gang violence through sports and academic achievement.  While she is ecstatic to be coming home to Berg, she is also not-so-patiently waiting to get pizza from Woody’s.