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.

Delali Degbey is minoring in Global Health. She also holds a BS and a certificate in Health Informatics from the UMN. Born in a small coastal nation in West Africa, Togo, Delali was a graduate of the Togolese National School of Midwifery and practiced in one of the country’s largest health centers prior to immigrating into Minnesota, which she considers as her second home. Delali is very passionate and committed to women’s and children’s well-being across the world and particularly in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. Delali compiles the Center’s monthly eNewsletters and is responsible for creating a 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.

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. She is a member of the SPH’s Equity and Diversity Inclusion Team (EDIT). Teale facilitates and supports the UMN’s inaugural Mental Health Wellbeing & Resilience Learning Community (MHWRLC). These interactive, monthly gatherings consist of webinar and discussion that occur in locations across the state. Each location has a host who accesses and broadcasts the webinar to those present in the location (i.e., a webinar is viewed together at the host site). Teale is also creating a mental health and wellbeing ecological model with input from MHWRLC.

Rae O’Leary is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa and resident of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe conducts research and public health initiatives for Missouri Breaks in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. O’Leary holds degrees in Nursing and Respiratory Therapy. Her primary interest is to address social, behavioral, and environmental determinants of health at an individual and community level so being American Indian is no longer a risk factor for poor health. As part of her RAship, Rae is developing RED Talks Videos on MCH topics. RED Talks are intended to share Native wisdom, tribal research, policy and community success stories to shape the future of tribal nations. She will also develop interactive and engaging trainings that will allow participants from Tribal Nations and other disparate populations to navigate a tobacco policy framework. Participants will receive tools to address the tobacco disparities in their community, or to help them invest in caring about tobacco use among underrepresented and disadvantaged populations.

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. As an undergrad, Abhi founded the UMN chapter of Girl Rising. As part of her RAship, Abhi is creating a new MCH trainee blog, which is intended to better connect the HRSA-funded Centers of Excellence and Catalyst Programs across the nation. She is also responsible for the monthly MCH Student eNewsletter. 

Elizabeth Stanczyk graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College with a Spanish Teaching degree and continues to use her Spanish skills in the MPH Program. She recently completed her field experience in the Dominican Republic working for a women empowerment program and currently assists Dr. Zobeida Bonilla in an ongoing project for Latina mothers in the Twin Cities. Elizabeth has a strong interest in working for social justice in achieving equity in health care, housing, and education. As part of her RAship, Elizabeth is responsible for building and maintaining our social media presence, creating Center products, serving as a technical editor for our three newsletters, creating, managing and tracking Student Spotlights and alumni features on our website, and all things communications-related.

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.

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

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