These Health Promotion Alumni Are Making A Difference With Their Degrees

The students in our health promotion management master’s program go on to do incredible things in areas including corporate health, exercise physiology, health communication, health policy, global health, and nutrition.

Here are a few examples of American University alumni who are applying their knowledge and passion to truly benefit the communities around them:


Kristen Cox (Class of 2008)

Title: Senior Director, Policy & Advocacy, Cancer Support Community

Kristen Cox left the health promotion management program with an understanding of health behaviors, the healthcare system, policy, and “hot topics” in the industry.

These bricks of her health promotion management education gave her a strong foundational starting point when building policy positions, white papers, and talking points were needed.

In her current role as senior director of policy and advocacy for the Cancer Support Community, Kristen works to support people living with cancer, as well as their families. Her work is promoting health—in a powerful way—by:

  • Convening experts in the cancer field to come to consensus on timely topics
  • Advocating for increased access to cancer care, pain management, and hospice and palliative care
  • Raising awareness about cancer prevention


Abigail Walsh (Class of 2014)

Title: Wellness Program Analyst, Bon Secours Health Systems

From developing stages of change within programs, to learning about the new national and local healthcare policies, Abigail Walsh puts theory—and her training from AU’s master’s program—into practice on a daily basis.

Bon Secours, a nonprofit healthcare system in Virginia, has been a great place for Abigail to utilize the communication concepts she learned in the Health Promotion Management Program. Having professors at AU with extensive experience in the health promotion field helped smooth the transition from studies to “real-world” work, she said.

“There is only so much you can learn from a textbook. Having professors with real life experience enables us to see the paths that others have traveled,” Abigail stated. The graduate program work was important because every single class, research paper, and task was directly related to a topic she likely would encounter in her upcoming career.

Now, right in the middle of that “real world” work, Abigail is ardently trying to move the needle on health risk factors that employees across Virginia encounter. As she helps people manage pre-existing conditions, she also keeps preventive healthcare measures at the forefront of her efforts.

“The total savings for the employee and the employer are incredible. Plus, there are some things that can’t be measured on a monetary scale, such as a longer life with an improved quality of living and an increase in productivity at work.”


Brian Katzowitz (Class of 2011)

Title: Health Communications Specialist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

As a health communications specialist at the CDC, Brian Katzowitz’s background in health promotion management enables him to consider the principles of behavior change theory when determining communication strategies. He uses his health promotion training to interpret scientific manuscripts and translate complex data into relevant information for consumers.

Brian’s job isn’t the run-of-the-mill public relations gig. He fulfills an integral role in public health initiatives.

“On a day-to-day basis, the outcome of my work can be seen when traditional news outlet like the Washington Post or New York Times publish stories featuring CDC spokespeople, new research, or information on disease outbreaks,” Brian said.


Laurie DiRosa (Class of 2000)

Title: Assistant Professor, Rowan University

Laurie DiRosa, a professor of health promotion and wellness, prepares students to go forth and change lifestyle behaviors throughout the world.

Specifically, going through the thesis process at American University continues to influence how Laurie mentors and guides her own students—both undergrads and graduate students—in their research and capstone projects.

“I still pull out my textbooks from AU when I’m helping students or preparing for classes,” Laurie said. “I feel that the rigorous program at AU was one of the guiding forces for me to continue on to doctoral studies.”


Ready to influence healthy lifestyle behaviors?

Learn more about how a master’s degree in health promotion management from American University can help you impact the world and change health behaviors.

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