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Leslie teaches primarily undergraduate courses at PSU, including Global Health and Consumer Health. She is the pilot program coordinator for PSU’s BUILD EXITO program, an undergraduate research training program that supports students on their pathway to becoming scientific researchers.
Her own research focuses on conservation medicine and on zoonotic (from nonhuman animals to humans) disease transmission. Conservation medicine strives to understand the interaction among human health, environmental changes and the health of nonhuman species. She was a co-investigator on the Bighorn Sheep Disease project, examining disease dynamics of pneumonia in bighorn sheep. She has researched and written about several bat viruses transmissible to humans and sampled livestock in Nepal for bovine brucellosis and tuberculosis, surveying farmers about their understanding of these diseases.
Leslie was a regular contributor to Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment for many years. She has published in Orion, Open Spaces, Conservation Magazine, and other places.
B.A., Princeton University
M.F.A., University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop
D.V.M., Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
- 2010-2015: Co-Principal Investigator on a two-year study entitled “Connectivity, Isolation, and Disease Dynamics: Trade-offs in Recovering Bighorn Sheep Populations study”; this work is funded by the Morris Animal Foundation. This funding was renewed in 2012.
- 2008-2010: Co-Principal Investigator on two-year study entitled “Climate Change, Wildlife Corridors, and Health Consequences in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and Northern Rockies”; work funded by the New York Community Trust.
- 2006: Participated in collaborative research project, sponsored by the East-West Center and funded by a NIH Roadmap Research Teams of the Future grant, on development of transdisciplinary approaches to investigation of emerging diseases and social-ecological systems (lead author on published paper).
Katie Borofka is an adjunct Instructor at the School of Public Health. Her academic background has evolved from the macro studies of Peace and Conflict Studies at University of California, Berkeley and her work in the M.P.H. program at PSU to more micro and clinical studies in the Master of Social Work program at PSU. The bulk of her professional and academic work has focused on issues of human sexuality, from sexuality education, to domestic and sexual violence prevention and intervention work, to providing advocacy services to queer youth to providing therapy, to students struggling with relationships and questions of sexuality and gender identity. She currently teaches Human Sexuality and Women’s Reproductive Health at the School of Public Health.
B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 2010
M.P.H., Portland State University, 2012
Awards and Honors
2010, Phi Beta Kappa
Carrie Cohen is an instructor with both the School of Public Health and the PSU University Studies departments, where she teaches classes primarily focused on birth and breastfeeding. She also assists with administering and coordinating the lactation practicum courses for students pursuing the International Board Certification for Lactation Consultants.
Carrie has a background teaching secondary science education before transitioning into women’s health and her work with PSU. She has worked as a health educator and labor doula and currently works as a Lactation Consultant with a hospital system in Portland.
M.S., PSU, 2005
M.A., Pacific University, 2005
I.B.C.L.C., University of California, San Diego 2014
Debra Harris is a senior instructor II in the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health. Her areas of specialization are health education instructional strategies and techniques, child/youth health promotion program planning, school health, school physical education, youth/obesity, death/dying, and emotional abuse in the workplace. She also is an adjunct instructor in PSU’s Graduate School of Education, supervising teacher candidates in the area school health and physical education, and teaching the health and physical education methods courses. For the past four years, Deb has served as a visiting lecturer to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, where she teaches Death/Dying and Emotional Abuse in the Workplace.
Deb is an native Portlander and has mentored hundreds of students in both school and public health in her four-decade career.
A.A., Central Oregon Community College, 1974
B.S., Southern Oregon University, 1976
M.S.T., PSU, 1978
M.S.T., PSU, 1982
Ph.D., University of New Mexico, 1998
Awards and Honors
- 2015, Top Professors in the College of Urban and Public Affairs
- 2002, National Health Professional of the Year (K-12) from the American Association of Health Education
- 1998, National Secondary Physical Education Teacher of the Year from the National Association for Sport and Physical Education
Debbie sees her role in our undergraduate program as challenging students to critically examine the status quo and create innovative solutions to public health problems. She has been teaching Drug Education and related courses for over a decade, and developed and teaches Marketing Public Health, which is based on her work in public health advocacy prior to coming to academia. Most recently, Debbie has turned her research and critical lens on the impact of weight bias and stigma on the public’s health, and integrating body size diversity into our work on equity, intersectionality and inclusiveness.
Prior to coming to PSU and the School of Public Health, Debbie worked for 17 years in the non-profit community in Portland, including five years in statewide tobacco control advocacy efforts. She also managed the implementation of a Kellogg Foundation grant in support of school-based health care in Oregon. In 2014, she was a Multnomah County Public Health Hero nominee.
B.A., University of Oregon, 1981
M.A., Portland State University, 1996
Alissa Leavitt, an adjunct instructor at the School of Public Health, has been a full-time faculty member in Health Studies at Portland Community College since 2011. Her responsibilities include program planning at the Rock Creek campus.
Alissa became a certified health education specialist in 2008 and master certified health education specialist in 2014. Her interests include community-based learning, food systems, nutrition, consumer health issues, and community and public health. Alissa currently acts as chair for the Health Education and Promotion Section of the Oregon Public Health Association.
She also has done child health services research and policy projects in the Department of Pediatrics at OHSU and worked for the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service where she helped plan, implement, and evaluate cancer control strategies for organizations that reach medically underserved populations.
B.S., Community Health Education, PSU, 2005
M.P.H. in Health Management and Policy, PSU, 2007
Marshall Meyer has over 30 years experience teaching health education. He was a full time instructor at Portland Community College for 13 years and also taught classes at PSU and Mt. Hood Community College. Prior to teaching at PCC, Meyer was a program manager at the American Red Cross.
B.S., University of Oregon, 1976
M.S.T., Portland State University, 1983
Doris Onnis is a clinical instructor in the School of Public Health’s Lactation Education Program.
Maternal-child health has been the focus of Onnis’ career. She has worked as a registered nurse for more than 35 years, working in neonatal intensive care, postpartum care and community health, and helped to develop an outpatient postpartum and lactation program for Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland.