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Emerging Leaders Committee June 2023 Newsletter

Hey hey,

Summer is finally here, and we’re ready to unplug, unwind, and catch up. 

Keep on keepin’ on, emerging leader!


Experiences as an Emerging Leader Delegate

Sam Ciaravola 

Education Delegate 


 Sam Ciaravola

How has your experience been so far as an Emerging Leader Delegate?

As a delegate for an Emerging Leaders Committee, I have had the opportunity to participate in a remarkable enriching experience alongside other students, professionals, and members in networking, collaboration, and the pursuit of shared goals. ELC provides an experience bringing together individuals with unique perspectives and expertise serving as knowledge exchange, dialogue, and the development of innovative solutions to common challenges. 

What is the biggest lesson you have learned thus far?

As an education delegate, my role is to actively engage in committee meetings, discussions, contribute insights, and advocate for the interests and objectives of my association. Specifically, preparing for Public Health in the Rockies (PHiR) by selecting influential speakers or encouraging various panel discussions, workshops, and interactive sessions to provide members and professionals opportunities to learn and exchange ideas.

How will you use this experience in the future as a public health professional?

I am actively participating in these sessions and meetings, sharing insights from my experiences and absorbing the knowledge and experiences of others which has given me additional confidence to network and connect with professionals from diverse backgrounds and forge meaningful relationships. In addition, these interactions allowed me to expand my professional network, explore potential collaborations, and establish connections that would prove invaluable.

What are you looking forward to in the following months as a delegate?

As I continue my role here with ELC, I look forward to representing CPHA, ELC, and PHiR committees in decision-making, advocating for our priorities, discussing potential partnerships or initiatives, creating equitable spaces, reinforcing the importance of collective action and highlighting the power of associations in driving progress and making a lasting impact.

What advice would you give to someone interested in applying to be an ELC Delegate?

  1. Engage and Network

  2. Actively Participate 

  3. Take Notes and Follow Up

  4. Stay Connected

  5. Share your Experience.

Remember, as a delegate, you can learn, collaborate, and make a difference. Embrace the experience with enthusiasm, openness, and a proactive mindset, and you will undoubtedly derive immense value from your role as a representative of your association.



Emerging Leader Spotlight

Congratulations Ruth Mekonnen, our June Emerging Leader!

Ruth Mekonnen

Ruth Mekonnen is a fourth-year student at the University of Colorado Denver’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), where she is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Public Health and a certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). She is a QuestBridge scholar, the recipient of the HACU/Miller Lite scholarship for distinguished students, and a selected member of the NIEHS-funded Colorado Undergraduate Research in Environmental Health Sciences (CUREHS) program at the University of Colorado Anschutz – Colorado School of Public Health (CSPH). 

Through the CUREHS program, she was placed in the lab of Dr. Katie Dickinson in the Environmental & Occupational Health department, where she has assisted with research on environmental justice (EJ) in North Denver & Commerce City, Sun Valley, and areas affected by the Marshall Fire in Boulder County. As an undergraduate student, Ruth has integrated within the group of all doctoral and master level graduate students with confidence and strong communication & technical skills. She very quickly oriented herself to the nuanced projects or our group and our lab dynamics with ease. Ruth is truly a superlative student, public health trainee, colleague and, certainly, an emerging leader. Her colleague Hannah comments, “we are all so lucky to have had her join us and she has contributed significantly to our work as a lab.” Most notably, she has been instrumental in the lab's community-engaged research partnership with EJ community group GreenLatinos that seeks to promote environmental justice efforts in the region and increase the accessibility of environmental health data for impacted community members and policymakers. Utilizing her passion for environmental health and GIS, she developed an ArcGIS StoryMap to communicate findings from the lab's collaborative report with GreenLatinos on the cumulative impacts of exposures in North Denver with a broader audience (which she presented during the Emerging Leaders Showcase at the 2023 Culture of Data Conference). Ruth’s impressive accomplishments and demonstrated commitment to addressing environmental justice and health issues before even finishing her undergraduate degree reflect the promise of our next generation of public health leaders.

Submit nominations here: Emerging Leader Spotlight.


Emerging Leaders Updates and Opportunities 

  Graduation Cap 

Graduation and Awards

ColoradoSPH CPHA graduation cords

This year, ELC created a cord award for ColoradoSPH students who significantly contributed to CPHA. 8 students this year were given this honor, wore their cords at the 2023 ceremony, and were recognized during convocation. Students who received a cord at graduation are listed below:

  • Cecilia Bedard

  • Molly Bried

  • Yadiel Tesfaye

  • Halley Pucker

  • Hannah Craig

  • Alyssa Dalen

  • Samantha Bertomen

  • Jeni Mitchell

Congrats to our ELC Committee Members for graduating: 

  • Sam Ciaravola, (B.A in Public Health Metropolitan State University of Denver) 

  • Alyssa Dalen (MPH, Colorado School of Public Health), Student Award for Outstanding Contribution to the School, Student Senate Spirit of Anschutz Award, Delta Omega Honorary Society 

  • Jeni Mitchell (MPH, Colorado School of Public Health) and Outstanding Emerging Leader Award

  • Samantha Bertomen (MPH, Colorado School of Public Health), Student Senate Spirit of Anschutz Award, John Muth Award, Delta Omega Honorary Society 

And our other ELC members for their accomplishments:

  • Efren Garcia graduated from the Capital Fellowship program from the Colorado Latino Leadership Advocacy & Research Organization (CLLARO)

  • Lexie King, Student Award for Excellence in Public Health Practice by the Colorado School of Public Health and Colorado Women’s Education Foundation scholarship recipient.

Behavioral Leadership

Equity-Grounded Leadership (EGL) Fellow Program 2023-2024 Cohort: Applications Open!

An immersive 11-month hybrid program for current or emerging leaders who have a deep desire to effect change in their organizations, communities, or regions. 

This program shifts the focus of cross-sector behavioral health leaders to intersectionality, equity, and anti-racism for behavioral health systems transformation.

Learn more now.

Apply before June 12th

Explore Public Health

Explore Public Health

Explore Public Health is a Colorado Public Health Association program designed for people of color ages 15-25 who are interested in learning more about the field of public health. To increase the diversity of public health professionals, Explore Public Health will allow participants to learn about various public health topics and network with a diverse group of public health professionals.

We are seeking presenters for the Explore Public Health curriculum this summer! An ideal presenter is any student of a higher education public health program (MPH, DrPH, etc.) willing to present at least one 60-minute lesson of the provided curriculum. 

If you are interested in volunteering as a presenter, please contact the Emerging Leaders Committee Health Equity Delegate, Taylor Bostic, at [email protected].

RISE Magazine

Have you checked out the second edition of RISE?

RISE is a public health magazine showcasing emerging professionals and students from diverse settings. The second edition of RISE Magazine was released last month — check it out! This edition features artwork, a tasty recipe, an emerging leader showcase, and SO much more.


Want to win some CPHA swag?

This month, we want to celebrate the wins, big and small.

Let us know how you, or your friends, coworkers, or family members, are making career moves, checking off goals, or impacting the community. 


 Job Opportunities


Want to get involved? Attend our Monthly meetings:

Join the Emerging Leaders Committee meetings online on the first Monday of every month!

Connect with other emerging leaders, learn about CPHA initiatives, and develop leadership skills within public health. 

View our calendar!