The American School Health Association’s (ASHA) presents the following individuals to serve on the 2020 Board of Directors.
Sarah Blanton, MPH, CHES® currently serves as the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Program Coordinator in the Student Wellness Center at the University of Cincinnati. Previously, she has worked as an educator in elementary, middle and high school classrooms and continues to work in schools as a health educator teaching prevention classes. Sarah completed her undergraduate degree at Wittenberg University and received her Master of Public Health degree from the University of Cincinnati. She serves on ASHA’s Networking Committee and founded ASHA’s Emerging Professionals Networking Group.
Jim Farmer– I have been fortunate to work in the Office of School and Adolescent Health for the past 15 years as a staff manager and now as the Director. I provide guidance and direction for the operations of OSAH including the clinical guidance for our school nurses, school counselors and school social workers and a wide variety of other health and prevention services. I have been married for 23 years and have two grown children, a daughter, 21, and a son, 18. I am a volleyball fanatic and have been playing for the last 35 years, an official for the last 30 and a coach for the last 10 years. I often tell people how lucky I am that I get to go to work and act like a kid. The reality, though, is that I get to go to work and look at things through the adolescent lens of what young people need to be healthy and successful.
Mary Martinasek currently serves as an Associate Professor in Public Health in the Department of Health Sciences and Human Performance at the University of Tampa. Dr. Martinasek is also a registered respiratory therapist, a certified asthma educator, and a tobacco treatment specialist. Her initial research focused on understanding the psychosocial aspects of hookah smoking among young adults. Currently, her research team has been conducting inquiry into the social and behavioral aspects of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) among young adults. Her interest in serving on the board of ASHA stems from her involvement in policy initiatives for other organizations and involvement as a peer reviewer for both conference presentations and articles in consideration for the Journal of School Health. As a board member, Mary will maintain the high quality and standards consistent with ASHA.
Kayce Solari Williams has been actively involved with school health for 22 years as both a dance and physical educator, an engaged parent, and now a professor and leader in higher education. She has taught elementary, middle, and high school students in the dance room and gymnasium, incorporating health education when the campus did not offer a curriculum. Kayce played an integral role in one of her children’s schools establishing a student-led health coalition and continues to advocate for student voice in schools. In addition to her primary role as a faculty member at the University of Houston, she is actively engaged in her local and international communities in the promotion of a healthy school environment for students. She is committed to maintaining ASHA’s position as the leading national organization for school health and advocacy aimed at promoting school health initiatives that align with ASHA’s Core Beliefs.
Elizabeth Whitney received her PhD in Health Education & Promotion with a concentration in school health education from Kent State University in 2013. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion at the University of Kentucky and her research interests are in the broad area of child/adolescent health topics; including bullying prevention, nutrition education, and classroom-based physical activity. Dr. Whitney’s work has also been defined by K-12 health education curriculum development projects and evaluating the effectiveness of teaching strategies in higher education. Dr. Whitney teaches courses in the Health Promotion (undergraduate and graduate) and Health Education (Teacher Education) programs at the University and as part of her teaching she developed a new course on Youth Violence to address the need for health educators and other health professionals to be trained to recognize and respond to violence-related issues of youth. Dr. Whitney has been a proud member of ASHA since 2009 and her service commitments to the organization include completing an internship at ASHA headquarters in 2009, serving as student volunteer coordinator for the annual conferences in 2009, 2010, and 2011, acting as an abstract reviewer from 2015-current, completing Future Leaders Academy training with a cohort from 2016-2018, and as a member of the Leadership & Recognition committee from 2016 – current.