About Us

Maureen Lichtveld, MD, MPH

Dean, School of Public Health
Professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health
Principal Investigator, PHUSP

Maureen Lichtveld is the lead for the program's climate and health focus and a member of the environmental justice and maternal and child health focus teams. A native of the South American nation of Suriname, Lichtveld was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2016, and her research focuses on environmentally induced disease, health disparities, community resilience, and climate and health. She led the development of the Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) degree program at Pittsburgh and was coleader of a similar program at Tulane University. She also designed and led summer academies for underrepresented and minority high school students at Tulane and Pitt. 


Jeanine Buchanich, PhD, MEd, MPH

Associate Dean for Research, School of Public Health
Associate Professor, Department of Biostatistics
Co-Investigator; Team Member, Environmental Justice Focus

Jeanine Buchanich has more than 25 years of experience in occupational and environmental health epidemiology. She has engaged local communities in projects relating to environmental hazards (e.g. fracking and petrochemical development) and in disparities in life expectancy associated with social, economic and environmental determinants of health. She has mentored high school, undergraduate, and graduate students as well as pre-doctoral, post-doctoral, and junior faculty members. 


Hannah Covert, PhD

Research Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health
Co-Investigator; Lead, Evaluation and Team Member, Climate and Health Focus

Hannah Covert's research interests focus on climate and health, environmental health literacy, and community health worker programs. Her work is grounded in community-academic partnerships that work to advance resilience in communities facing environmental health threats and longstanding health disparities. She is Co-Director of the Pitt Public Health Science Academy, a summer program for public high school students from Pittsburgh to learn about public health science and careers.


Jessica Burke, PhD, MHS

Vice Dean, School of Public Health
Professor, Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Co-Investigator; Team Member, Maternal and Child Health Focus

Jessica Burke is committed to an integrated public health program of conducting innovative research, educating the next generation of professionals, and serving communities. The primary focus of her work is on the complex realities and context of women’s health, specifically the interactions of sexual and reproductive health, intimate partner violence, substance use and mental health.


Ashley Hill, DrPH, MPH

Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology
Co-Investigator; Lead, Maternal and Child Health Focus

Ashley Hill is an alumna of the Undergraduate Public Health Scholars program at Morehouse College and Ferguson Fellowship at Kennedy Krieger Institute. Her research interests focus on social and reproductive epidemiology, health disparities and the confluence of social, environmental and biological factors that increase reproductive and perinatal morbidity. 


Mara Leff Koperwas, MPH

Director of Public Health Innovation and Strategic Initiatives
Director of Undergraduate Curriculum

Mara Leff Koperwas oversees community engagement and coordination with the PHUSP internship placement sites by leveraging existing relationships with public health practitioners in the field. She co-developed the school’s BSPH program and oversees several programmatic components including experiential learning. She also developed, and currently teaches the program's required introductory course, Fundamentals of Public Health. Koperwas has more than 10 years of experience working with health and human service nonprofits and community-based organizations in Pittsburgh.


Tina Ndoh, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health
Co-Investigator; lead environmental justice focus

Tina Ndoh is a dedicated education, equity, and environmental leader. She is passionate about environmental justice and has worked toward efforts that allow all people to enjoy the natural environment free of pollution. She has over 20 years of engineering and air quality experience, has mentored early-career environmental professionals, and has managed student interns in environmental fields.


Terri Washington

Program Manager, School of Public Health

As Program Manager, Terri Washington has coordinated the logistics of comprehensive occupational and epidemiological studies, including recruiting participants. She looks forward to engaging with emerging scholars, faculty, mentors, and community stakeholders to help ensure students' exposure to public health careers, development and success.


Ada Youk, PhD

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
Associate Professor of Biostatistics
Co-investigator; lead, curriculum assessment

In her roles as an educator and mentor, Dr. Youk teaches courses in introductory biostatistics, applied regression analysis, scientific communication skills, mathematical methods for statistics, and mixed models, and directs the MS capstone in biostatistics. She has mentored over 100 students, fellows, and early-career faculty.