2012/2013 PA SOPHE Board Officers and Planning Committee


Laurie Weinreb-Welch
is an Early Learning Specialist for Penn State University's Better Kid Care Program and has served as the PA SOPHE President since 2008. She graduated from East Stroudsburg University with a Bachelors degree in psychology and a Masters Degree in Public Health, and she is a Certified Health Education Specialist. Laurie previously worked Pennsylvania Department of Health’s north central District Office in Williamsport and Penn State Cooperative Extension in Clinton County as a Children, Youth and Family Living Educator.




Stephanie Kuppersmith, MPH is the grant writer and community health project coordinator at the Reading Hospital and Medical Center in Reading, PA. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duquesne University in Political Science and History and received her Master of Public Health degree from Walden University in Community Health. Stephanie has a background in research and marketing as well as nutrition and education. As an experienced Grant Writer, she has written and administrated many program budgets. Stephanie has also developed and managed community wellness programs, including most recently, an elementary school obesity prevention program and a breastfeeding intervention for underserved pregnant women. Her interests include childhood obesity, women’s health, teen pregnancy, and farm to school programming.


Sara Boyer is from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and graduated from Dickinson College with a Bachelors of Science in Neuroscience in May 2011. As of summer 2013, she will graduate from West Chester University with a Master's in Public Health with a focus in Nutrition. Currently, she works as a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania under the Penn Center for Innovation in Personalized Screening (PCIPS). Sara also works with two University doctors in a program called Fitness Now, which provides a low-cost health and fitness program to the obese population of West Philadelphia.

Continuing Education Chair


Molly M. Eggleston,
MPH, CPH, MCHES is committed to the effective provision of the ten essential services of public health. Her experience is greatest in assuring a competent public and personal health care workforce. Eggleston’s expertise includes non-profit and grants management, evaluation, workforce development, training, and professional continuing education. She is currently the sole proprietor of a woman-owned consulting business. She earned a Master of Public Health degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies from Miami University.




Mario C. Browne, MPH, CHES joined the University of Pittsburgh’s Schools of the Health Sciences as the Director of Health Sciences Diversity on July 5, 2011. Formerly a Public Health Administrator for the Allegheny County Health Department’s Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Browne has been responsible for managing county-wide public health promotion/disease prevention programs. His expertise is in community engagement and his primary interest is in translating research and theory into practice and empowering communities and individuals to eliminate health disparities. From 2002 to 2009, Browne served as a Project Director and Community Health Coordinator for the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Minority Health (CMH) where he coordinated the nationally recognized Take a Health Professional to the People Day, a local initiative based upon the national Closing the Gap campaign “Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day.” Browne also served as the CMH liaison to the University of Pittsburgh’s Health Sciences community, and community based organizations, where his primary responsibilities were community outreach, education and health promotion, and recruitment and retention of minorities in community-based health promotion projects. He also coordinated the “Underground Railroad Bicycle Route” and formed the Pittsburgh Major Taylor Cycling Club. Both projects used cultural tailoring to encourage African Americans to use cycling as a means to get physically active. A Pittsburgh native, Mario holds a BS in Biology and a BS in Medical Technology from Salem International University and an MPH from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health, Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences. His professional experience also includes addiction counseling and substance abuse prevention. He is a Competency Based Trainer for Pennsylvania Child Welfare, an evaluator for marriage support initiative TwoGether Pittsburgh and a pre- and post-test HIV/AIDS Counselor.


Past Leadership

Dr. Raffy R. Luquis, PhD, CHES is Associate Professor of Health Education in the School of Behavioral Sciences and Education at Penn State Capital College. Dr. Luquis has taught at the college level since 1997. His primary teaching/research interests are in the areas of community health education, health program planning and evaluation, and multicultural health. Dr. Luquis has several referred publications and more than 40 national, regional and state presentations in the areas of health education, adolescent health, sexuality, and multicultural health.

Darigg C. Brown, PhD, MPH completed his PhD in Biobehavioral Health at The Pennsylvania State University. He is now working as the ORISE Communities of Color Post-Doctoral Fellow at CDC in Atlanta. His primary research interests are global AIDS prevention in sub-Saharan Africa as well as the socio-cultural aspects of eliminating health disparities. He holds a Master of Public Health degree from Saint Louis University, where he studied Behavioral Science and Health Education. Darigg has been a national SOPHE member since 2005 and he just completed serving his second term as Student Trustee. He has also been a Pennsylvania Chapter member since 2006 and recently completed his second term as Student Representative.

Kay Deaner, RN, MEd, CHES has been active in PA SOPHE since 1990, and has served as Continuing Education Chair for many years, as well as Delegate. She has been active in SOPHE for at least 10 years, serving on the Continuing Education Committee (co-chair for at least 4 years), the House of Delegates, Continuing Education Event Review Committee, Test Question Reviewer for Self Study and several Planning Committees for Midyear and Annual Meetings. She has retired from The Good Samaritan Hospital after 25 years of service as a staff nurse in medical unit, hospice nursing, diabetic education, patient education, community education, and served as director of nursing education and coordinator of community education, including other positions. She

Frederick “Rick” Schulze, DEd, CHES
is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Sciences at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Schulze is a former president of PA SOPHE and has also served at the national level. He earned his BA in Communications from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, his both his MEd and DEd in Health Education from Penn State University. In the Spring of 2005, Dr. Schulze was awarded the Fulbright Public Health Lecturer Award at Lugansk State Medical University in the Ukraine. He has been involved in a number of organizations other than SOPHE, including APHA, NCHEC, and Phi Mu Delta. His research interest include HIV prevention, obesity, and weight management issues. He is a certified health education specialist.

Kathy Allison, PhD, MPH, CHES
is Associate Professor in the Department of Health Sciences at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania. She is a former planning committee board member for PA SOPHE and has served national SOPHE in various capacities. Dr. Allison earned her BS Ed in Biology Education from Indiana University of PA, her MPH with a focus on health education and promotion from the University of South Carolina, and her PhD in Health Studies at Texas Woman's University. Her research and professional interests include online health education, health literacy, and college age health issues.

Carl Fertman, PhD, MBA, CHES is a former chair of the publications committee for national SOPHE, and was a long time planning committee member in various leadership roles for PA SOPHE. He is Associate Professor in Health and Physical Activity and Executive Director of the Maximizing Adolescent Potentials (MAPS) Program, both in the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Fertman earned his BS from Philadelphia University in 1971, MBA from Temple University in 1973, and PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in 1986. He is a certified health education specialist (CHES #7199).

Stephen Gambescia, PhD, MEd, MBA, MHum, MCHES is a former national SOPHE president and former chair of the national SOPHE Marketing the Profession Task Force, and has served in many roles in PA SOPHE leadership and planning. He is Assistant Dean of Academic and Student Affairs and Clinical Associate Professor of Health Services Administration in the College of Nursing and Health Professions at Drexel University. Dr. Gambescia has held a number of educational leadership roles eventually serving as a vice president in a metro and multi-state division for two of the largest national voluntary health agencies (American Cancer Society and American Heart Association). He has more than 20 years of experience in the field of health promotion/disease prevention. His research interests have been in tobacco control, chronic disease risk awareness/prevention, and broadly in health communications. His research interests in higher education include continuing professional education program development, evaluation, credentialing, and in distributed learning. He has co-authored a recently published book on Managing a Public Speaker Bureau for Health and Human Services Organizations.


Rob Simmons, DrPH, MPH, CHES is a former national SOPHE president, and has served on several other national SOPHE boards and committees along with several PA SOPHE leadership positions. He is a Clinical Associate Professor and the Program Director of the Master of Public Health at Thomas Jefferson University. He has formerly worked as a public health educator, most recently as Visiting Associate Professor and Adjunct Professor at Drexel University School of Public Health, as well as Adjunct Professor at the University of Delaware and Delaware State Univerisity. Dr. Simmons earned his BA and California Lifetime Teaching Credential from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1971, his MPH with a focus on Community Health Education from Loma Linda University School of Public Health in 1973, and his DrPH from UCLA School of Public Health in 1990. He is also a certified health education specialist (CHES #1268). Dr. Simmons is fluent in Spanish, and has more than 35 years of public health experience in the U.S. and Latin America working in state and local government, voluntary health organizations, private health foundations, health care, and most recently academia. His expertise includes preventive health program planning, implementation, and evaluation, health promotion theory to practice, cChronic disease prevention and health promotion, public health policy and advocacy, capacity building of public health and health care professionals, health communications and health literacy.


Matt Groesbeck, MPH, CHES is a clinical research consultant and medical writer with more than 12 years experience in both the pharmaceutical and medical techonology industries. He is a past Vice President of PA SOPHE, has served on the national SOPHE electronic communications committee, and was chair of the fundraising committee for national SOPHE's 2009 annual meeting. He has served as the Webmaster for PASOPHE.org since 2007 and was declared an honorary member for his contributions. He earned his BS in Mass Communication from the University of Utah and MPH from Drexel University. He is also a graphic designer and a certified health education specialist (CHES #13743).


Elected Officer Descriptions

Executive Board

This committee is comprised of the officers President, Past President, Secretary, Treasure, Delegate and Continuing Education) act in the best interest of the Society and its membership on issues where time is of the essence.


Provides leadership to the Executive Board chairs meetings of the Board and developing the agenda, appoints the chairpersons of committees, in consultation with other Board members. The President serves ex officio as a member of committees and attends their meetings when invited. This is a one year term.

Past President

To provide guidance to the President and for the continued involvement and advisement of PASOPHE board. This is a one year term.


Maintains records of the board and ensures effective management of organization's record, manages minutes of board meetings and ensures minutes are distributed to members shortly after each meeting. This is a 2 year term.


To manage the financial affairs of the organization and provide an annual budget for the board’s approval and provides financial reports to the organization. This is a 2 year term.

Continuing Education Chair

To coordinate PA SOPHE's status as a multiple event provider of continuing education contact hours and to propose PA SOPHE policies and procedures for CE and to distance learning.

National Delegate

To represent and support the interest of the chapter at the National events and meetings. This is a 2 year term.

Member at Large/Trustee

Participates in board officer meetings even though not currently in the area.