IA SOPHE Board of Officers

Dr. Gayle Walter

Past President

Gayle is currently a lecturer in the Department of Health and Human Physiology at the University of Iowa. She received her PhD in Public Health and MPH from Walden University.  Dr. Walter has served in leadership positions for national SOPHE as a Delegate Trustee and the Trustee for Research and Ethics.  She also served on the Task Force to revise the code of ethics for the health education profession.  Her areas of interest include social determinants, cultural competency, and access to care for vulnerable populations.  Gayle is also involved in the community by serving on the Board of Directors for the Free Medical and Dental Clinic in Iowa City.

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Jess Wiedenhoff

Advocacy Committee Chair

Jess is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology & Health from Iowa State University, and is currently employed in rural Iowa as a Community Health Specialist with a focus on public health literacy and positive environment structure. She has previous experience working in physical education, health education, employee wellness, health coaching, advocacy, and health care.

Jess is currently a member of several coalitions working together to promote healthy behaviors and address the needs of the community. Her areas of interest are health promotion, program planning and evaluation, and data analysis.

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Angela Trible

Membership Chair

Angela, a born and raised Midwesterner from Des Moines, Iowa, is a senior at the University of Iowa, studying Health and Human Physiology with a Health Studies emphasis on the Pre-Dentistry Track. She is also graduating with a Chemistry minor and Entrepreneurial Management certificate. When she is not studying, you can catch her volunteering at Boys and Girls Club of Iowa City/Cedar Rapids, doing undergraduate research, or riding Saddlebred horses in competitions. Throughout her life, she has discovered that she has a huge passion for helping others and making a difference, no matter how small it might be. She will stand up for what is right on all occasions, and speak up for those who cannot. After she graduates, she plans to become a dental assistant before entering dental school in the fall of 2021. Go Hawks!


Erica Thomas


Erica currently resides in Davenport, Iowa. She is an Assistant Professor at St. Ambrose University in the Department of Kinesiology and the Master of Public Health program. After starting at a community college with intentions of pursuing a 2-year certificate, she quickly realized she had found a passion for education and research. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in Biology and a master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at Des Moines University, Erica began a clinical teaching position at St. Ambrose which confirmed and grew this passion. She recently completed her terminal degree in Health Promotion and Health Education from A.T. Still University. Her research interests focus on whole-person wellness in the college student population and wellness curriculum in higher education. Erica also is active in the Quad Cities community, which includes serving on the Board of Directors for the Vera French Community Mental Health Center.   

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Haley Graves


Haley is from Waterloo, Iowa.  She is currently a sophomore at the University of Iowa majoring in Accounting and minoring in Spanish.  She currently works at the University of Iowa Billing Office as a Treasury Support Student. She has always been interested in public health and wishes to do more for the Iowa City and Waterloo Communities. In her free time, she likes running, exercising, and exploring Iowa City.


Kaci Ginn

National Delegate 

Kaci is a second-year student at the University of Iowa studying Public Health. At the University of Iowa, Kaci is involved with the Health Equity Advancement Lab as well as the Undergraduate Public Health Organization.  Kaci is currently employed at the Institute for Public Health Practice as a Student Research Assistant. She has also worked as an intern for Jones County Public Health in Anamosa, IA. Additionally, Kaci spent time in Peru with the World Food Prize Foundation as a Borlaug-Ruan International Intern where she studied the native population and the health impacts of their nutritional habits. Through these experiences, she has worked with social media as a tool in public health communications, outreach in rural communities, and data collection. Kaci’s interests include improving health literacy in rural populations, nutrition, and maternal and child health.


Zoe Horak


Zoe is a senior at the University of Iowa studying Health and Human Physiology on the Health Promotion track. She will be attending the University of Iowa College of Public Health in fall 2019 to obtain her Master’s in Health Administration. She currently does research with the University of Iowa Injury Prevention and Research Center.

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Tiffany Tjepkes

Continuing Education Chair

Tiffany is currently a Community Health Coordinator at the Scott County Health Department in Davenport, Iowa, where she oversees the Community Relations, Information, and Planning Services.  She received her MPH in Executive Public Health Administration and Policy from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. in Health Promotion: Women’s Health and Gerontology from the University of Northern Iowa.  She is a Certified Health Education Specialist and was inducted into the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health.  Her areas of interest within community health include assessment, program planning, policy change, and health promotion.

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Sierra Kelman

Student Representative

Sierra is a sophomore at the University of Iowa and is currently a Public Health Interest Major. She has plans to advance into the College of Public Health and continue her education on the Healthcare Administration path. She is from Danville, Iowa and enjoys visiting home and spending time with family, friends, and her 10 month old Great Dane. She has volunteered for many years with the Alzheimer’s Association where she has used her organizational and leadership skills to advance their mission and vision. With ample amounts of experience regarding student involvement, social media, and healthcare education.