Log in

Texas Society for Public Health Education

Log in

Texas SOPHE 2023-2024 Executive Board


Haley Delgado

Past President

Affiliations: Baylor University / Oregon State University / CAN DO Houston

Haley Delgado is an experienced health disparities researcher surrounding culturally relevant health research/program implementation for rural and/or Latino populations. Her research experience began in genetics and obesity, transitioned to affective and cognitive influences on decision making in the Psychology field, and now focuses on working with the Colonias that raised my mother on the south Texas-Mexico border from a Public Health perspective.

Lisa Blackwell


Affiliations: Dell Medical School, University of Texas at Austin

Lisa Blackwell is a Texas native and a UT - Austin graduate with an MPH from UTHealth - Houston. Blackwell spent 6 years as a Residency Coordinator, including starting a new family medicine residency with Texas A&M. She worked in Epidemiology during the height of the pandemic, then started a Community Health Worker training program for the City of Austin. She currently works as a Research Project Manager for Dell Seton Medical Center's Abdominal Transplant Clinic.

Blackwell is especially interested in health equity and preventable disparities. She enjoys walking her dogs around Ladybird Lake, taking yoga classes, and visiting breweries with friends. She loves hiking and got married at a waterfall in Washington State in 2020, with two passing hikers as witnesses.

Ghia D. Johnson


Affiliations: The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health / CAN DO Houston

Ghia Johnson is a graduate from Baylor University with a Master of Public Health in Community Health. She received her Bachelor of Science in Animal Sciences and Pre-Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She also received her community health worker certification through Día de la Mujer Latina, Inc. She currently lives in Houston, Texas and works as the Coordinator of Community-Driven Initiatives for CAN DO Houston, a community-based organization that advances healthy living through community-driven solutions. She serves as the President-Elect for the Texas Society for Public Health Education (TSOPHE) and seeks to continue her professional growth, collaborative interprofessional team building, and networking experiences as she acquires experience in the Texas public health sector.

Ghia is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Public Health at UTHealth Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health to advance and elevate her skills in public health research, program development, implementation, and evaluation. Her future career endeavors include providing high-quality leadership and management in community-based public health organizations for under-resourced minority populations, specifically impacting African American and Hispanic/Latino communities. In her spare time, she enjoys exercising, traveling, and loving on her precious cat Autumn.


Brittany Buchanan


Affiliations: UTHealth School of Public Health, Austin

Brittany is a second-year doctoral student at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) in Austin. She is working towards her Ph.D. in epidemiology, with a focus on infectious diseases and disease prevention. Brittany grew up on a horse farm in South Georgia where she was first introduced to the importance of preventative measures so that horses can not only socialize with each other but also live a long, happy life. From there, Brittany went to Georgia Southern University where she earned her bachelor's degree in biology and her Master of Public Health (MPH) with a focus on epidemiology before moving to Austin, Texas to pursue a professional career. Her long-term goal is to work as an infectious disease practitioner in a healthcare setting.

Outside of school and work, Brittany loves all things Disney and makes frequent visits to Walt Disney World in Florida. She can also be found curled up on the couch with a good book or watching the latest binge-worthy Netflix show. Her favorite things, though, are playing with her Corgi, Biscotti, and sharing snacks with her two cats, Crouton and Marshmallow.

Shelby Flores-Thorpe


Affiliations: The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston / Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living

Shelby Flores-Thorpe is currently a 5th-year year doctoral student at UTHealth School of Public Health in Austin. She currently works with legislators and researchers to support the use of health research in the policymaking process. She received her M.Ed from Texas State University in 2018 and her bachelor's degree in Kinesiology from St. Edward's University in 2015. She started with TSOPHE in 2022 as the Treasurer and looks forward to continuing to support health educators and researchers' work in Texas.

Eva González Villanueva

National Delegate

Affiliations: Latino Research Institute, University of Texas at Austin

Eva González Villanueva is a bilingual Research Associate at the Latino Research Institute with over six years of experience in data collection and project management. Eva has clinical experience in school and pediatric inpatient settings and is committed to working with underserved populations using a socio-ecological framework. Her research interests intersect with child and adolescent mental health, sleep health; cultural adaptation of evidence-based interventions (with an emphasis on immigrant and Latino populations), and health communication. Eva holds an M.S. in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Public Health from UTHealth School of Public Health at Austin. Eva also holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.

general board members

Joshua Yudkin

General Board Member

Affiliations: UTHealth Science Center at Houston School of Public Health / Children's Health, Dallas

Joshua Yudkin MPH MA PhD(c) is an epidemiologist by training who focuses on public health issues and community building initiatives both here in Texas and abroad. His expertise is in eHealth solutions for vulnerable populations. His research has been presented at national conferences for organizations like the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) American Public Health Association (APHA) and he has guest lectured on four continents. Yudkin is committed to building a strong community of passionate, informed, and supported public health educators across the state.

Kira Swensen

General Board Member

Affiliations: Baylor Scott and White Research Institute

Kira Swensen completed her MPH in 2021 from Utah State University. She served on the Student Advisory Board for her program as a public information officer/social media coordinator as well as an events coordinator. Her professional background includes work as a certified nursing assistant, Advanced-EMT, volunteer firefighter, graduate teaching assistant and education advocate. Her public health experience includes community-based opioid overdose prevention and harm reduction services, child nutrition, dementia caregiver health and wellness, policy development and advocacy, research, and mental health service management. She is currently employed by Baylor Scott and White Research Institute where she serves as a Program Manager for the Trauma Research Consortium, managing a Veteran Mental Health clinic to provide free services to Veterans and their family members.

Ricardo Garay

General Board Member

Affiliations: Dell Medical School, University of Texas at Austin

Ricardo A. Garay was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and became interested in health disparities and community organizing at a young age. His lived-in experience as an immigrant has informed his approach toward health equity and project design. He also continues to participate in community events and social justice initiatives to enhance his perspective on social determinants of health. Ricardo serves as a program manager for the community engagement and health equity team under the Department of Population Health. He also serves as a facilitator for Dell Medical School’s Community Strategy Team and serves as an advocate for community health workers in Central Texas. Ricardo is certified by the Texas Department of State Health Services as a community health worker instructor. He serves as a board member at the National Association of Community Health Workers and the Texas Association of Promotores and Community Health Workers. He also serves on the Hispanic/Latino Quality of Life Resource Advisory Commission for the City of Austin.

Emily Levin

General Board Member

Affiliations: UTHealth Science Center at Houston

Emily Levin is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a Master of Public Health. Emily has a strong background in community nutrition research and education, and experience with state and federal nutrition advocacy, policy, and grant writing. Emily has excellent written and oral communication skills and high attentiveness to detail. Emily is adept at analyzing scientific research and design with implementation for diverse community populations; committed to working in groups and working through problems; and driven to find solutions that benefit the greater good. Emily seeks to combine her nutritional sciences background with her policy experience to find solutions to public health inequities.


Charlie Moses

Graduate Board Member

Affiliations: UTHealth Science Center at Houston 

The well-being of individuals, families, and communities experiencing substance use disorder is Charlie’s public health focus. They have an extensive background in opioid and tobacco-related policy, harm reduction, recovery, prevention, cessation, and treatment. They work to combat the opioid epidemic as well as big tobacco's predatory practices at the micro, meso, and macro levels; and focus their doctoral research on community interventions for sexual and gender minority youth substance use. They are the Western Regional Manager of Parents Against Vaping e-cigarettes (PAVe) as well as a Graduate Research Assistant on the evidence-based CATCH My Breath youth nicotine vaping prevention program. Charlie is a doctoral student in the Health Promotion and Behavioral Science program at UTHealth Houston. They collaborated with the New York City Department of Health to develop and launch the socio-environmental campaign, Vapes Are Trash, that intersects the health effects of the youth vaping epidemic with the environmental impact of single-use vaping electronics and plastics.

Charlie has developed, implemented, and presented substance education programs and policies across multiple states utilizing strategic planning, needs assessments, focus groups, key informant interviews, case studies, scientific and academic research, the creation of multimedia toolkits and materials, community partnerships, community organizing, and coalition building. They collaborated with the Pima County Health Department, Parks Department, and Mayor and Council to implement the county's first public syringe disposal site, and they created and launched its supporting promotional campaign.

In their free time, Charlie enjoys running trails in Memorial Park with their dog Guzzie and writing and recording music.

About Us

The Texas Society for Public Health Education (TSOPHE) is a nonprofit professional organization (EIN 32-0302790) that represents a diverse membership of health education professionals and students across Texas.


1401 Lavaca Street, Box 1269

Austin, TX 78701, USA

Contact Us

Phone/Text: 512-387-3720

Fax: 512-599-5958 Attn: Box #1269

© 2023 Texas Society for Public Health Education

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software