Kick-Start Your Career Through SOPHE Leadership

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Attend this live webinar session to learn more about the volunteer leadership opportunities SOPHE has to offer and how they can impact your professional career growth and skill building.

Elaine Auld, MPH, MCHES


Society for Public Health Education

Elaine Auld, MPH, MCHES, has served as SOPHE’s Chief Executive Officer since 1995, where she oversees the organization’s portfolio in professional preparation, professional development, research, and advocacy/public policy.  Over her 30+ year career, Ms. Auld has published on more than 40 journal articles and book chapters on health education’s role in community/school health education competencies, health equity, national and international workforce development, and public policy.  For the last five years, she has been involved in quality assurance in school health education, promotion of the the WSCC model, and supported the National Task Force on the Future of School Health Education.  Ms. Auld holds her MPH from the University of Michigan School of Public Health with a concentration in health behavior and is a master certified health education specialist. 

Antonio Gardner

Assistant Professor

Mississippi State University

Dr. Gardner has a B.S. in Biology from Alabama A&M University in Normal, Alabama, an M.S. in Human Environmental Sciences with a Specialization in Rural Community Health from the University of Alabama, and a Ph.D. in Health Education and Promotion from the University of Alabama. Health disparities have been his primary focus of research with a special interest in HIV prevention.

Dr. Deborah Fortune, PhD


North Carolina Central University

Deborah A. Fortune, Ph.D., MCHES, is an associate professor in the Department of Health Education at North Carolina Central University and is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist. Prior to her current position, Dr. Fortune was the director of the National HIV & CSHE Project with the American Association for Health Education. She has been a faculty member at the following institutions: East Tennessee State University, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Marymount University. Dr. Fortune received her B.S. degree in Biology from Mississippi University for Women, M.S. degree in Community Health Education from the University of Southern Mississippi, and her Ph.D. in Public Health Education from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Dr. Fortune has provided instructor training in comprehensive school health education (Growing Healthy curriculum and Teenage Health Teaching Modules), HIV/AIDS for African Americans, youth violence prevention, and cultural diversity in health education. Her research interests include HIV and sexual health among African American college women, youth violence prevention, professional preparation in health education, and faculty and youth mentoring. She has published and made numerous presentations on those topics.

Dr. Kirsten C. Rodgers, EdD, MSPH, MCHES®

Educational Consultant

Proximate Learning, LLC

Dr. Kirsten Rodgers is an Educational Consultant with over fifteen years of experience teaching and developing instructional programs in public health. As Principal and Lead Consultant of Proximate Learning, LLC, she works with federal, state, and local agencies and academic institutions to develop educational programs for public health and healthcare professionals. She is a founding member of Pedagogy in Health Promotion and serves on two national boards that focus on professional development in public health. Currently, Dr. Rodgers contracts with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to prepare current employees and fellows for the public health workforce.  She also contracts with non-profits and other national agencies to develop educational products and courses that focus on leadership, health equity, public-private partnerships, and community-level change theories in public health. Dr. Rodgers’ educational credentials include a doctorate in Health Education from Columbia University, 2010 and a Masters of Science in Public Health from the University of South Carolina, Arnold School of Public Health, 2003. She has been a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) since 2011. From 2012-2015, she served as a faculty member at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and in 2016, led the undergraduate public health program accreditation at Georgia College and State University where she was an Assistant Professor. She enjoys creating meaningful education that inspires students and professionals to thrive.

Darcy Scharff

Professor, Director of Public Health Practice

Saint Louis University

Dr. Scharff has spent the majority of her academic public health career working with and in the community to help support their work in improving public health. She works with several local public health organizations to support them in organizational management and public health actions, including strategic planning, board development, grant reviews, assessment, planning, and evaluation. She directs the Office of Public Health Practice that assures that students and faculty have opportunities to work with and in the community on public health practice and practice-based research. She currently works with Generate Health, a non-profit organization with a goal of eliminating disparities in infant mortality, serving on committees and reviewing grants. In addition, she supports Nurses for Newborns, an agency that provides home visitation for pregnant and postpartum women, by evaluating their program and serving on the research advisory board. Finally, she is a co-developer with the St. Louis City and County health departments on a jointly formed academic health department that assures collaboration between the organizations in areas of research, policy, workforce development, and student training with the goal of improving the public health infrastructure. 


05/17/2021 at 2:00 PM (EDT)   |  60 minutes
05/17/2021 at 2:00 PM (EDT)   |  60 minutes
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