Public Health Bachelor of Arts • Bachelor of Science
This is the time to enter into the public health sector — the demand for public health careers is expected to steadily grow over the next decade. This exciting field of study will introduce you to an array of fulfilling, diverse job opportunities that concentrate on human health, illnesses, disease prevention and the environment. Public health is integral to every society; it addresses the most pressing health concerns to date by going beyond traditional medical care provided by physicians and current healthcare systems. Through research, public policy and by supporting various organizations, public health graduates learn unique ways to indirectly and directly impact the well-being of a population.
Often labeled a “hot field for a global generation,” public health trains future leaders and advocates for a better tomorrow by offering a strong foundation for studying the health of human populations through education, research and practical, hands-on experience outside of the classroom. Beginning your freshman year, you’ll work directly with distinguished faculty on cutting-edge research. Additionally, Mercyhurst's liberal arts approach gives you an advantage — by combining the public health program with 15 other fields of study, you can create a unique, multidisciplinary undergraduate education that can lead you to a career that better fits your interests.
The only way to do great work is to love what you do. —Steve Jobs
I could not imagine a career doing anything else but teaching. I have been able to combine my nursing and military background together to become an educator. I have been a nurse for almost thirty years and in higher education for fifteen years. I am truly blessed to have had the opportunity to serve my country and gain global experience. I am a retired United States Air Force Lieutenant Colonel.
My military and extensive worldwide experience has provided me with a background and knowledge of different cultures, health issues, political climates, health policy and determinants of health. For that reason, I thoroughly enjoy teaching Public Health courses. It is a natural fit for my skill set
B.S.N., Dominican College
M.S.N., University of Maryland
Ph.D., Capella University
Research and Interests:
Factors influencing student success
Autism and special needs
PUBH 105 Health Policy and Law
PUBH 211 Global Health
Associate Professor and Chair of Public Health at Mercyhurst University. Dr. Torres has 18 years of experience teaching nationally and internationally, both undergraduate and graduate students (Argentina, Ohio, New Hampshire and Minnesota) in various interdisciplinary programs including Public Health. Fourteen of those years were spent teaching in the Liberal Arts context, which emphasizes lifelong learning, service and social justice. She specializes in Health Communication, Community Health Promotion and Health Disparities using CBPAR (Community Based Participatory Action Research). In the past 9 years, Dr. Torres has been working in several community based participatory action research projects developing entertainment education media and mHealth intervention strategies to promote the health of Latino, Hmong and Somali immigrants in Minnesota.
Education: PhD. In Cross-Culture & Health Communication from Ohio University; Master’s in Public Health (Community Health Promotion & Health Disparities) University of Minnesota; MA Organizational Communication, Ohio University and BA (Journalism) Universidad Nacional de Cordoba. Fluent in English and Spanish.
Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation for Higher Education
CONICOR(Research Council of Córdoba)/Fulbright
CONACYTMexico (National Council of Science and Technology)
Ohio University, Outstanding doctoral student
Peer Reviewed Journal Articles
Mitchell, J., Torres, M.B., Asmar, L., Danh, T. & Horvath, K. (2018). Developing sustainable and impactful mobile HIV testing interventions for Spanish-speaking men who have sex with men in the United States (US): Lessons learned from informative interviews. JMIR Public Health and Surveillance in Progress. doi:10.2196/publichealth.8992
Mitchell, J.,Torres, B., Joe, J., Dahn, T., Gass, B. & Horvath, K. (2016). Formative work toward developing a
tailored HIV testing smartphone application for diverse, at risk-HIV negative men who have sex with men: A focus group study. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 4(4), 1-11.
Rosser B.R.S., Capistrant, B. D., Torres B.,Konety, B., Merengwa, E., Mitteldorf, D., & West, W. (2016). The effects of radical prostatectomy on gay and bisexual men’s mental health, sexual identity, and relationships: Qualitative results from the Restore study. Journal of Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 31(4), 446-461.
Rosser B.R.S., Capistrant, B. D., Torres B., Konety, B., Merengwa, E., Mitteldorf, D., & West, W. (2016). The effects of radical prostatectomy on gay and bisexual men’s sexual functioning and behavior. Qualitative results from the Restore study. Journal of Sexual and Relationship Therapy,31(4), 432-445.
Capistrant B.D., Torres, B.,Merengwa, E, West W.G., Mitteldorf, D., & Rosser, B.R.S. (2016). Caregiving and Social Support for Gay and Bisexual Men with Prostate Cancer. Psycho-Oncology,25(11), 1329-1336.
Torres, M. B.& Rao, N. (2007). Disclosure and truth in physician-patient communication: An exploration of Argentina, Brazil, India and the U.S. Journal of Creative Communications, 2(3), 279-305.
Beck, C. S., Benitez, J. L., Edwards, A., Olson, A., Pai, A. & Torres, M.B.(2004). “Enacting ‘Health Communication’: The Field of Health Communication as Constructed Through Publication in Scholarly Journals.” Health Communication, 16(4), 475-492.
Torres, M. B. (2003). Gendered acculturation: A comparison of Latin American and Asian Sojourners. The Journal of Intergroup Relations, XXX (2), 64-94.
West, W.G., Rosser, B.R.S., Capistrant, B.D. Torres, B., Konety, B.R., Mitteldorf D., Ross, M.W., Talley, C. (2017) The effects of radiation therapy for prostate cancer on gay and bisexual men’s mental health, sexual functioning and behavior, sexual identity and relationships: Qualitative results from the Restore study. In J. Ussher, J. Perz, B.R.S. Rosser (Eds). Gay and Bisexual Men Living with Prostate Cancer: From Diagnosis to Recovery. New York, NY: Harrington Park Press.
Pörhölä, M., Cvancara, K., Kaal, E., Tampere, K, & Torres, M. B.(2016). Cross-cultural comparisons of bullying among university students: Perspectives from Argentina, Estonia, Finland and the United States. In H. Cowie & A. Myers (Eds.), Bullying among university students: Cross-national perspectives(pp. 169-185). London, UK: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
Torres, M. B. (2012). Health promotion from the grass-roots: Piloting a radio soap opera
for Latinos in the US. In R. Obregon & S. Waisbord (Eds.), Handbook of global health communication, development and social change(pp. 522-538). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Manuscripts under Preparation:
Pörhölä, M., Cvancara, K., Kaal, E., Tampere, K, & Torres, M. B.(2018). Bullying in University Between Peers and by Personnel: Cultural Variation in Prevalence, Forms, and Gender Differences in Four Countries.
West, W., Torres, M.B. et al. (2018). Perceptions of patient/provider communication by gay and bisexual men being treated for prostate cancer: Restore study results.
CONFERENCE PAPERS AND PRESENTATIONS
Xiong, S., Vue, B., Vang, H., Vang, N., Culhane-Pera, K., Pergament, S., Torres, B., Desai, J., & Lee, H.Y. (2018). Barriers, Facilitators, and Decision-Making Processes about HPV Vaccination for Hmong-American Adolescents. Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) 39th Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions, New Orleans, LA. April 14 2018.
Xiong, S., Vue, B., Vang, H., Vang, N., Culhane-Pera, K., Pergament, S., Torres, B., Desai, J., & Lee, H.Y. (2018). Barriers, Facilitators, and Decision-Making Processes about HPV Vaccination for Hmong-American Adolescents. 2018 Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians Innovation & Research Forum, Minneapolis, MN. March 3rd2018.
Capistrant, B.D., Torres, B., Mitteldorf, D, & Simon, B.R.S. (2016). Social Support for Gay and Bisexual Men with Prostate Cancer. Paper presented at: Gerontological Society of America Annual Meeting; November 16-20, 2016; New Orleans.
Irbahim, S., Marschalk, S., & Torres, M.B. (2016). “Hospice Stories: Hmong, Latino and Somali Voices” presented at the Health Equity Conference, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, May 6th 2016.
Torres, M.B. (2015). “We do not talk about it: Disclosing about sexual abuse” presented at the Latino Conference “Woman to Woman: Closing Circles” Minnesota State University in Mankato, October 30thand 31st2015.
Pörhölä, M, Tampere, K, Kunttu, K., Björklund, K., Cvancara, K. & Torres, M.B. (2015). “Bullying among university students in four countries: Associations with health and well-being” presented at the XVIII Biennial European Union for School and University Health and Medicine Congress and to the Annual Estonian Health Promotion Conference. June 4-5, 2015 in Tallinn, Estonia.
Arcan, C., Torres, M.B. et al. (2013). Somali, Latino & Hmong Radio Stories About Children’s healthy eating and exercise: A SoLaHmo Pilot Study, poster presented at The Power of Partnerships: Poster Session & Awards Dinner - Nov. 20, 2013 University of Minnesota's Program in Health Disparities Research (PHDR), Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), and Center for Health Equity (CHE).
Serrano, L., Arcan, C., Culhane-Pera, K.A., Pergament, S., Adam K., Chang, X.G.S., Dhore, N., Dualeh, H., Hang, M., Ly, N., Navarrete, M., Omaar, L., Ortega, L., Rosas-Lee, M., Thao, M., Vang, C., & Torres, M.B. (2013). Somali, Latino & Hmong Radio Stories About Children’s healthy eating and exercise: A SoLaHmo Pilot Study. Poster presented at the 2013 University of Minnesota Clinical and Translational Science Institute Research Conference--Discovery Through the Lens of Innovation: Transforming TranslationalResearch--on October 1 and 2 at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Tufte, T., Waisbord, S., Obregon, R. Fox, E., Douglas, E., Greiner, K. & Torres, M.B. (2011). “Global Health Communication, Development and Social Change” panel presented at the Health Communication Division, Annual Convention of the International Communication Association, Boston, May 26-30 2011.
Rao, N., Pant, S., Sen, R. & Torres, M.B.(2011). Storytelling, performance, discovery
and dialogue: Bringing the margins into the center of Intercultural Communication research, panel presented at the Annual Convention of the International Communication Association, Boston, May 26-30 2011.
Pant, S., Torres, M. B., Wojno, A.E., Greiner, K. & Sharma, D. (2009). Panel: “Tap your Feet, Move your Body, Perform your Story, and Organize Yourselves! : Non-traditional Approaches of Analyzing Global Health Communication Interventions. National Communication Annual Convention, Health Communication Division, in Chicago, November 2009.
Teaching and Research Interests:
Community Health Promotion (former Community Health Education)
Community based Participatory Action Research
STI prevention and Sexual Health
Chronic Illness Prevention
Social Determinants of Health
Immigrant and Refugee Health
Health Communication Campaigns
Adjunct Faculty of the Public Health at Mercyhurst University. Prior to this Jean served Director of Organization Effectiveness at Saint Vincent Hospital in Erie; Shriners Hospital for Children Director of Performance Improvement with responsibilities for Patient Safety, Patient Satisfaction, Risk Management and Regulatory. Jean’s career also includes two years of a grant funded position as system redesign coordinator at the VA Medical center including leadership of the Preventative Ethics committee and ten years at Hamot Medical Center as Director of Education and Library Services.
Jean is Board certified in healthcare management as a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE), has a black belt in Six Sigma, earned Lean Certification from the University of Kentucky School of Engineering and a Masters Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University. Jean has over thirty-five years of experience in hospital administration with a strong focus on quality improvement and culture change methodologies and safety.
Jean is currently serving as Regent for Pennsylvania and is on the Board of The American College of Health Care executives for Western Pennsylvania, the Board of Trustees for Presbyterian Homes of Lake Erie, the Past President East Erie Chapter of Kiwanis International.
Mrs. Tauber is a lifelong Erie Resident and has been married to Bob for 36 years. The have an adult son who also lives in Erie. Mrs. Tauber is semi-retired and enjoys travel.
PUBH 101 Foundations of Public Health
PUBH 285 Professionalism in Public Health
Assistant Professor of Public Health at Mercyhurst University. Over 15 years of epidemiology experience. Top skills include epidemiology and teaching public health courses at Stanford University and at Touro University. Other skills include publication of peer reviewed articles and skills in SQL, SAS, R, SUDAAN, SPSS, Excel, Microsoft Access and other data management programs. Occasional HIV/AIDS consultant at UNICEF and at the World Health Organization.
Education: Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Nutrition from Cornell University. Undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from France. Fluent in four languages, including French.
Chechi T, Siyahian S, Thairu L, Hagerman R, and Lozano R. Participation of underrepresented minority children in clinical trials for Fragile X syndrome and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Intractable & Rare Diseases Research. 2014; 4(3), 147-152.
Thairu L, Wirth M, Lunze K. “Innovative newborn health technology for resource-limited environments” Trop Med Int Health. 2013 Jan;18(1):117-28.
Wirth M, Thairu L, Lunze K. “Low-cost technologies that can save the lives of newborns: Designing promising innovations for developing countries” Global Health and Diplomacy 2012 Sept; 2(2):106-10.
Thairu L and Wirth M (2012) “Medical devices for pregnancy and childbirth in the developing world” Health and Technology journal. 2012 Aug 8
Thairu L, Katzenstein D, Israelski I (2011) “Operational Challenges in delivering CD4 diagnostics in sub-Saharan Africa” AIDS Care. 2011 Mar 10:1-8
Morton J, Hall J, Wong R, Thairu L, Benitz WE, Rhine WD (2009) “Combining Hand Techniques with Electric Pumping Increases Milk Production in Mothers of Preterm Infants” Journal of perinatology Nov;29(11):757-64.
Thairu L and Pelto GH (2008) “Newborn Care Practices in Pemba Island (Tanzania) and their Implications for Newborn Health and Survival” Maternal and Child Nutrition Journal;4(3):194-208.
Abiona TC, Onayade AA, Ijadunola KT, Obiajunwa PO, Aina OI, Thairu L (2006) “Acceptability, Feasibility and Affordability of Infant Feeding options for HIV-infected Women: A qualitative study in South-West Nigeria” Maternal and Child Nutrition Journal;2(3):135-144
Thairu L, Pelto GH, Rollins NC, Bland RM, Ntshangase N (2005) “Socio-Cultural influences on Infant Feeding Decisions Among HIV-Infected Women in South Africa” Maternal and Child Nutrition Journal;1:1-16.
Pelto G, Levitt E, Thairu L (2003) “Improving Infant Feeding Practices: Current Patterns, Common Constraints and Designs of Interventions” Food and Nutrition Bulletin of the United Nations University; 24:45-82.
Thairu L (2001) “Infant Feeding Options for Mothers with HIV—Using Women’s Views to Guide Policies” Nutrition Policy Paper, United Nations’ Sub-Committee on Nutrition; 20:63-69.
Books and Book Chapters
Thairu L “Dental Health in Pregnant Women and Children.” Frontiers in Public Health. (Forthcoming)
Thairu L “Soins et alimentation de jeunes enfants en Afrique.” Éditions Universitaires Européennes. (Forthcoming)
Pelto GH, Levitt E, Thairu L (2013) ‘Babies: Practices, Constraints and Interventions’ in ‘Nutritional Anthropology: Biocultural Perspectives on Food and Nutrition’ Dufour, DL, Goodman AH, Pelto GH, (eds.) Oxford University Press. Second Edition.
Thairu L (2011) “Maternal Care of the Newborn in Pemba Island” LAP Lambert Academic Publishing GmbH & Co. KG: Saarbrücken, Germany. ISBN-13: 978-3843363143.
Thairu L (2010) “Breastfeeding HIV/AIDS transmission in sub-Saharan Africa” in “Infant Feeding Practices: A Cross-Cultural Perspective” Liamputtong, P. (Ed.). Springer: New York.
Thairu L (2009) “Achieving Optimal Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices: Case Studies from Rwanda and Tanzania” in “Infant and Young Child Feeding: Multicultural challenges to implementing a Global Strategy” V. Moran and F. Dykes (eds.). Wiley-Blackwell Publishers.
Namey E, Guest G, Thairu L, Johnson L, (2007) “Data Reduction Techniques for Large Qualitative Data Sets” in “Handbook for Team-based Qualitative Research” G Guest and K MacQueen (eds.). Lanham, MD:AltaMira Press.
Teaching and Research Interests
Melissa Lustic-Long MS, ATC, CSCS, is the Clinical Education Coordinator and an Instructor in the Athletic Training Program.
She completed a BS in Athletic Training, with concentrations in Exercise Science and Chemistry, and BS in Nutrition and Dietetics, and an MS in Nutrition with Science.
Her research interests range from rural health disparities and the outcomes related to nutrition and exercise education, to sports and athlete nutrition science. Melissa has presented and sponsored students at several athletic training conferences, including NCATA and EATA, as well as the AAOFP annual conference.
Melissa enjoys distance running, hiking, and spending time with her husband and young daughters. She can be reached at email@example.com, or extension 2084.
Be the change that you want to see in the world. —Mahatma Gandhi
I believe that my purpose is to help others transition through change. I have always said, “the only thing constant in the OR (operating room) is change.” It was that comfort with “change” that brought me to education. I have been a Registered Nurse since 1996, and have spent the majority of my career as an OR nurse, with specialties of vascular and general surgery. Surgery patients are usually scared, and I can offer my knowledge to give comfort and support as they experience a life-altering event. I felt that I could apply this same principle to teaching, and I have found great satisfaction in supporting students and their aspirations. I have been teaching at Mercyhurst since 2012, and I have truly enjoyed every minute of it.
My many years in acute healthcare has given me a wide perspective of the needs of our community. Health policies and health disparities are of particular interest to me, as is our impact on our environment. I feel that it is vital for our future health professionals to understand the needs of our people—our families, friends, and neighbors—and make a positive impact on our world. Teaching in public health gives me a great opportunity to work with these future health professionals and trigger their positive impact.
Diploma, Saint Vincent School of Nursing
B.S.N., The Pennsylvania State University
M.S.N., Clarion and Edinboro Universities
Ph.D. in progress, Nova Southeastern University
Research and Interests:
Online nursing education and instructional design
Innovative teaching methods
Intraoperative nursing care