Who We Are

The Center’s leadership team has a wide range of backgrounds and interests. Learn about Center faculty and staff below.

Please note that Center staff, students and faculty do not accept or respond to unsolicited requests to post content to our website.


Sara Benning, MLS, directs the day-to-day activities of the HRSA-funded Center for Leadership Education in Maternal and Child Public Health. If you’re interested in know more about the Center, the technical assistance we provide or how to partner on an educational event or training, contact Ms. Benning at sbenning at umn.edu.


Zobeida Bonilla, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor in Epidemiology & Community Health. She is also a Co-Investigator on the HRSA-funded Center for Leadership Education in Maternal and Child Public Health training grant. Learn more about Zobeida’s areas of research, courses taught, publications and collaborations.


Teale (like the color) Greylord is a bilingual health educator with a background in violence, addiction, and mental health. She specializes in trauma-informed care and is passionate about serving high-risk and diverse community populations in order to promote sustainable behavior change that increases health outcomes. Her goal is to use communication and community engagement to create safe spaces that facilitate inclusivity and education around these topics. Teale is a second year MPH student with a focus in Maternal and Child Health (MCH).

In the 2019-2020 academic year, Teale will create a mental health and wellbeing ecological model. She represents the Center as a member of the School of Public Health’s (SPH) Equity and Diversity Inclusion Team (EDIT). EDIT is a group of staff, students, and faculty who proactively increase awareness around equity and diversity and build a more inclusive SPH community.


Alyse Haven  graduated in December 2018 with a degree in Psychology and minors in Neuroscience and Public Health. She always knew she wanted to pursue a career in public health, and chose the MCH Program after many years of working with families and children in public health and psychology settings. Alyse’s interests include the interaction of caregiver health and the development of children, as well as family health outcomes after natural disasters. Alyse also heads the SPH Ambassador program. Alyse’s top 5 CliftonStrengths are: Communication, Maximization, Individualization, Deliberative, and Futuristic. 

Alyse is responsible for promoting MCH students’ and alumni efforts. She’s complies the monthly student eNews, creates, manages and tracks Student Spotlight and Alumni features on our website, and capturing and sharing life on campus.


Abhi Ramesh graduated in May 2018 from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Physiology and minors in both Public Health and Neuroscience. She chose to pursue a Masters in Public Health because of her strong interests in health equity and health education. She became aware of these issues through her community involvement and witnessed the impact they have on our society locally and globally. When she isn’t studying or working, you can find her playing tennis, listening to Bollywood music, or exploring the Twin Cities with friends. She is excited for her second year as an MCHer and to continue her RAship with the Center for Leadership Education in MCH! 

Abhi created and now maintains the national blog for COE trainees around 12 MCH leadership competencies. She also assists with Center outreach and other activities, including providing orientation to new Center RAs. 


Emily Reimer graduated in May 2014 from the College of Saint Benedict with a degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in Gender Studies. She spent the last four years in the healthcare software industry, working as a project manager for outpatient products. Throughout her career, she worked closely with population health, public health, and patient engagement programs. She hopes to bring her strong understanding of healthcare systems, passion for women’s health, and interest in the environment to the MCH division and RA role. 

Emily is the Center’s communications RA. She’s responsible for promoting our social media channels, compiling the Center’s monthly newsletter, and keeping our website updated with recourse, educational opportunities. 


Rebecca Shlafer, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor in General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health. Learn more about Rebecca’s areas of research, courses taught, publications and collaborations.


Jaime Slaughter-Acey, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor in Epidemiology & Community Health. Learn more about Jaime’s areas of research, courses taught, publications and collaborations.


Jamie Stang, PhD, MPH, RDN, is an Associate Professor in Epidemiology & Community Health. She is Principle Investigator for the HRSA-funded Center for Leadership Education in Maternal and Child Public Health, and the director of the Leadership Education and Training Program in Maternal and Child Health Nutrition and co-chair of the Midwest Center for Lifelong Learning in Public Health. Learn more about Dr. Stang’s research areas, courses taught, publications and collaborations.


Laura Villarreal is from rural Iowa and completed her B.S. in Global Health Studies at the University of Iowa. She is excited to begin the MCH MPH Program this fall. In addition, she enjoys experiential learning and traveling which led her to participate in an internship in Mysuru, India. Laura is the Report Card and Mini-Lab Research Assistant and is dedicated to being more involved with the community through this opportunity. 

Laura is working with Zobeida Bonilla, and together they will update the MN Women’s Health Report Card and corresponding website, which will serve as a periodic progress report on chronic disease, mental health, and substance use data specific to women. Students enrolled in the FOundations of MCH Leadership course will be intimately involved in making these updates. Laura will also assist with running Qualitative Mini-Lab to arrange trainings, schedule lab usage, update the webpage, conduct user evaluations, and more. 


Questions about the Center? Email us at mch at umn.edu.

Read about the MCH research taking place at the UMN-Twin Cities.