Health Professions

New alumni council supports wide range of SHP efforts

alumni council

By Kate Hunger

The School of Health Professions Alumni Council held its inaugural meeting virtually in January. 

The council represents the voice of health professions alumni and supports the mission and goals of the School of Health Professions while serving as an advisory council in conjunction with alumni initiatives at the school. 

The council’s support extends to advocacy, and volunteer, philanthropic, and faculty and student recruitment efforts. During the first meeting, council members shared ideas for engaging alumni and students, including possible mentorship opportunities. 

“We are thrilled to launch this initiative to explore ways to strengthen engagement and foster opportunities for productive partnerships together with our alumni,” said Lindsay Helsel, director of development for the School of Health Professions.

Members of the inaugural council are graduates of the school’s programs, including two current faculty members. They include:

•    Kathryn Crane, MOT, 2017 
•    Tracey Fontenot, BS, PT, 1996
•    Carlos Herrera III, MOT, OTR, 2019
•    Lynda Jennings, BS, OTR, 1990
•    Michael Nash, PT, DPT, LMT, 2019
•    Sarah Purcell, MOT, 2018
•    Kenneth Queliza, PT, DPT, 2017
•    Bridgett Piernik-Yoder, PhD, OTR, 1993, Department of Occupational Therapy chair and associate professor 
•    Kristina Ramirez, MPH, RRT, CHES, FCCP, Class of 2012, assistant professor and director of clinical education in the Division of Respiratory Care

The council will hold two meetings each year. Although the current council was appointed, subsequent members will be elected by the council and they would love to hear from fellow alumni who may have an interest in sharing their time and expertise in the future. Council members serve two-year terms and can renew up to three consecutive terms. 

For more information on the council or to learn more about opportunities to support the School of Health Professions, please visit or contact

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