Activist Lab Staff

Together, we are the Activist Lab! With the help of our BU SPH and Community partners, we take a head-on approach to tackling the most challenging public health issues and advocate for lasting improvements for the health of our communities.

Emily Barbo
Communications Specialist
Emily helps tell the story of the Activist Lab within BUSPH, the local community, and beyond through the management of the Activist Lab website, social media channels, and email communications. During her time at Loyola University Maryland and 5+ years working in the field of marketing and communications, Emily honed her critical thinking skills and developed an enthusiasm for fiction writing, poetry, and photography, giving her the tools to articulate the Activist Lab story with passion and conviction. Her work with the Activist Lab allows us to reach a diverse audience in a meaningful way, not only showcasing the compelling work the Activist Lab does, but how others can become involved in the mission to educate, innovate, and advocate for the improved health of all.

Charoma Blyden
Assistant Instructional Designer
Charoma helps develop online training courses for the Public Health workforce locally and regionally.  She joined the Activist Lab from a position as the Training and Change Management Specialist in the Sourcing and Procurement Department at Boston University in which she aided the University procurement efforts through training and learning and development. Charoma has completed a certificate program in E-Learning and Instructional Design and uses principles from instructional design methodologies when creating training and support materials. Her work in the Activist Lab serves to ensure that the Public Health workforce receives the relevant instruction to assist them in their work.

Harold Cox
Director, Activist Lab and Associate Dean for Public Health Practice
Harold is Associate Dean for Public Health Practice and Associate Professor of Community Health Sciences at Boston University School of Public Health. Trained as a social worker, he has extensive experience in direct services, administration, and advocacy in a variety of public health care settings, including developmental disabilities, HIV/AIDS, and governmental public health. Dean Cox directs the new Activist Lab at BUSPH, which engages the school and community in real-world activism.

At BU, Dean Cox has managed the MPH practicum program and co-directed the MPH/MSW program. He has served as PI and program facilitator for emergency preparedness initiatives, and governmental training program. Cox teaches two courses: “Public Health Response to Emergencies” and “Cases in Public Health Management.” Dean Cox is an appointee to the Massachusetts Public Health Council and the board of the Boston Public Health Commission. He is a member of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Cross-Jurisdictional Sharing Advisory Committee. He is the past president of Massachusetts Public Health Association, past president of the Multicultural AIDS Coalition, past chair of the Boston AIDS Planning Council, and former member of DentaQuest Oral Health Foundation.

Prior to joining Boston University, Harold Cox served for 10 years as chief public health officer for the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was responsible for managing all aspects of the city’s health department.

Kerry Dunnell
Senior Program Manager
Kerry is the Urban Action Initiatives Manager at the Activist Lab at BU School of Public Health.  She provides strategic planning, facilitation and program and project management services for a variety of programs including the Partners for Health and Housing (PHH), the Boston Senior Oral Health Program and the Blackstone Working Group. Kerry previously provided similar support to the MA Department of Public Health Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management related to the development of health and medical coordinating coalitions. 

She uses the knowledge and skills developed in those roles every day, and bring a keen understanding of how important personal interactions matter. An avid fan of baseball, Kerry spends her free time taking in a game or enjoying the ocean.

Seth Eckhouse
Senior Program Manager
Seth is a Senior Project Manager and manager of the Local Public Health Institute (LPHI), whose mission is to improve public health and preparedness capabilities and the health of the residents of the Commonwealth by helping to create and deliver high-quality trainings in person and online. Seth has over 15 years’ experience in Public Health working on projects as diverse as health informatics to econometrics of oncology research in Europe. Since arriving at the Activist Lab, he has focused on issues relating to regionalization of public health services, training, and emergency preparedness for local public health.

Before his Public Health career, Seth worked in pre-hospital medicine with the City of Boston Emergency Medical Services, and as a Corpsman attached to an infantry Battalion of the United States Marine Corps.

Anne Fidler
Assistant Dean for Public Health Practice
Dr. Anne Fidler is the Assistant Dean for Public Health Practice and Associate Professor of Environmental Health at the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH). She is responsible for the BUSPH Practicum Program, working with students, faculty, and public health agencies and organizations to assure that students have an excellent field experience that integrates and enhances their academic learning. She is the Principal Investigator of the HRSA-funded New England Alliance for Public Health Workforce Development, which trains public health practitioners across the region. She teaches practitioners through the Local Public Health Training Institute of Massachusetts and has taught several courses to MPH students, currently “Applying Public Health Skills in the Community.”

Anne worked as an epidemiologist at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in Cincinnati, Ohio. She later became CDC’s Academic Liaison assigned to the BUSPH, working with the Practice Office to increase opportunities for student field placements, and on several initiatives to assess and improve the practice of public health at the state and local level.

Beverly Heinze-Lacey
Director, School Health Institute for Education and Leadership Development
As SHIELD’s Director, Beverly is responsible for delivering high-quality professional development programs for school nurses and school health professionals statewide. SHIELD is a workforce development program funded by the MA Department of Public Health. Educating, innovating, and advocating for the improved health of school children is at the core of SHIELD as it seeks to advance school health practice statewide. Beverly has worked as a school nurse and manager, SBIRT coordinator, HIV/AIDS epidemiologist, and clinical research nurse. She has also worked non-profit arena, training local citizens in environmental advocacy and non-profit management. Beverly has a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from UMass Lowell and is a BUSPH alumna (Epi/Biostats).

Liam Hunt
Educational Technologist
Liam has always been interested in computers and art, so he combined the two at the Activist Lab! He creates engaging digital media in photography, videography, graphic design and mobile application development. In addition to his digital media work, he manages the Learning Management Systems for our training centers, NEPHTC and LPHI. Liam loves solving problems and wearing many hats. He also loves riding bikes, skiing and hanging out with his dog, Benny.

Kathleen MacVarish
Director, Practice Programs
Kathleen oversees the workforce development programs of the Activist Lab and has a faculty appointment in the Environmental Health Department.  She teaches MPH courses that focus on environmental health, community engagement, and public health preparedness and develops and delivers online, classroom, and blended trainings for the public health workforce. Kathleen is Principal Investigator (PI) for the Local Public Health Institute of MA, co-PI for the School Health Institute for Education and Leadership Development, and director of the Massachusetts Local Performance Site of the New England Public Health Training Center.

Kathleen was a local Board of Health Agent in Massachusetts for 15 years and also directed local tobacco control programs and worked as a Sanitarian/Inspector in California and New York. She has been a Registered Sanitarian since 1986 and currently holds national (Registered Environmental Health Specialist) and state (Registered Sanitarian) credentials. Her work with the Activist Lab allows us to build and improve the specialized and strategic competencies of students and public health workers who are (or will be) on the front lines delivering essential public health services.

Kate McLarty
Program Assistant

Heather Mitch

Office Manager

Karla Todd
New England Public Health Training Center Coordinator
A strategy consultant turned training professional, Karla manages the HRSA-supported trainings and partnerships with our six New England states to deliver trainings according to the unique needs of each state. She develops partnerships, plans the scopes of work, works on training scope design and development together with a team of partner schools and their partner organizations.  She also works with the national Public Health Learning Network, which is a group of ten peer regional training centers across the country, to develop common standards, tools and to share best practices.