The University of Iowa

2011: Speaker Biographies

2011 Conference | Conference Schedule | Conference Resources | Speaker Biographies


University of Iowa Global Health Studies Program Conference

March 25-27, 2011

Chris Buresh

Dr. Chris Buresh is an assistant clinical professor in the department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Iowa. He went to medical school at the University of Iowa and then completed residencies in Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Public Health at the University of Iowa.

Dr. Buresh first started working internationally at Karigiri Schiefflein Leprosy Research and Training Center in Tamil Nadu, India. Since then he has also worked in Peru, the Dominican Republic, and has been working in Haiti since 2003. His work has mostly focused on establishing a rural healthcare system for geographically isolated populations. More recently he has joined up with World Wide Village to create the Community Health Initiative to addressing problems of malnutrition, parasitoses, clean water, education, and income stabilization.

After the earthquake in January, 2010 he helped to set up and establish a field hospital in Leogane, Haiti, one of the cities most devastated by the earthquake. He worked closely with a number of groups that worked to fix the water infrastructure and provide water treatment options to displaced populations.

Alexandra Douglas

Alexandra Douglas is Program Manager for the Friends Women’s Association Health Clinic (FWA), a community-based women’s clinic focused on HIV/AIDS, sexual violence, and post-conflict trauma in Kamenge, Burundi. Educated at Macalester College, she studied International Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, a combined interest which led her to spend two years working with the global sex workers’ rights movement. She later spent a year working in public policy in Washington, DC before taking up her post in Burundi.

At FWA, Alex has led the development of a monitoring and evaluation system, the training and implementation of community peace and health workers, and has worked with the community and FWA staff to develop an advanced trauma healing curriculum. In addition, she has organized and led an organizational capacity building program. This summer, Alex will begin premedical and public health programs at Johns Hopkins University.

Eric Holt-Gimenez

Eric Holt-Giménez Executive Director of FoodFirst/Institute for Food and Development Policy. He is an agroecologist, political economist and author. His most recent book published in 2009 by Food First Books is Food Rebellions! Crisis and the Hunger for Justice. His earlier book, Campesino a Campesino: Voices from Latin America’s Farmer to Farmer Movement for Sustainable Agriculture chronicles the development of this movement in Mexico and Central America over two and a half decades. Previous positions include:

International Agricultural Development Specialist- Twenty-seven years in Mexico, Central America, South Africa and California: Sustainable Agricultural Research and Development (SARD), Natural Resource Management (NRM), Agroecology, Cooperative & Community Development and Community Watershed Management , from village and tribal to national and regional levels;

University Professor/Lecturer California and Boston- Four years university teaching (upper and lower division) in Environmental Studies, Area Studies, Development Studies; emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches integrating political economy, agroecology, political science, anthropology, sociology, geography, conservation biology, and ecology; focus on experiential learning, self-directed and group projects, community fieldwork, participatory and action research

Dana W. Kolpin

Dana W. Kolpin
U.S. Geological Survey
400 South Clinton Street
Iowa City, IA 52244
319-358-3614 (voice)
319-358-3060 (fax)

Dana Kolpin is a research hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey in Iowa City, IA. He received his B.S. from Iowa State University and his M.S. from the University of Iowa (both in geology). His research interests include the fate and transport of pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and other emerging contaminants in the environment. He has published over 100 papers and reports on environmental contaminants. He has been the project chief of the USGS Toxic Program’s Emerging Contaminants Project since its inception in 1998.

Daniele Lantagne

Daniele Lantagne is a Giorgio Ruffolo Research Fellow in Sustainability Science in the Sustainability Science Program at Harvard's Center for International Development. She is an environmental engineer (MIT BS 1996, MIT M.Eng. 2001, PE 2003) pursuing her PhD (expected 2010) at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and most recently worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

She began working in household water treatment in developing countries while earning her Master's degree, and continued teaching in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT until she joined the CDC in 2003. Over the past ten years, she provided technical assistance and evaluation of chlorination, filtration, and combined treatment household water treatment implementations in more than 40 countries in Africa, Asia, and Central/South America in both the development and emergency contexts.

She has published 10 papers on household water treatment in developing countries, is a board member of Potters for Peace, and is a technical advisor to FilterPure. She enjoys ashtanga yoga, cooking ethnic and vegan foods, backcountry hiking, and state highpointing.

Robert Mazur

Robert Mazur is Professor of Sociology at Iowa State University, and Associate Director for Socioeconomic Development in the Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods; he served as founding Director 2003-2008. His primary research interests are innovation and diversification in rural livelihood strategies, and linkages among livelihood activities, food security, and health. He is or has recently been Principal Investigator on grants on agriculture, health, and livelihoods from USAID, NIH, and the Borlaug Leadership Enhancement in Agriculture Program. He has received college and university awards for international service at ISU, and received the Iowa Board of Regents Award for Faculty Excellence in September, 2010.

Cliff Missen

Cliff Missen is the director of the WiderNet Project and an instructor in the School of Library and Information Science at the University of Iowa.

With over 25 years experience in computers, networking, multimedia design, teaching, and applications development, Missen oversees the WiderNet Project’s efforts to improve digital communication in developing countries through the development of human capacity and research into low cost applications of information technology.

As well, he leads the development of the eGranary Digital Library, an innovative way to deliver the world’s knowledge to people and institutions with inadequate Internet access. The eGranary Digital Library is installed in more than 350 schools, hospitals, clinics, and universities in Africa, India, Bangladesh, and Haiti.

Missen started working in Africa in 1982, training water well drillers, was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Jos, Nigeria, in 1999 and a TED Fellow in 2007. Since 2001, Missen has trained over 4,500 people across Africa and India in information and communication technologies.

Robert Quick

Robert Quick, MD, MPH
Medical Epidemiologist, Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch

Robert Quick, MD, MPH, is a medical epidemiologist in the Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Since 1980, he has worked at CDC, conducting research on the etiology, control, and prevention of enteric diseases in the developing world. His work on cholera in Latin America and Africa revealed the seriousness and extent of the problem of lack of access to safe water and sanitation in the developing world and inspired a research focus on waterborne diseases and their prevention.

With colleagues at CDC and the Pan American Health Organization, he developed the Safe Water System, a simple, inexpensive household based water quality intervention, and has conducted field trials in Latin America, Africa, and Asia to establish the evidence base regarding its use and dissemination (

He has collaborated with numerous partners from the public and private sectors, Rotary, NGOs, UN agencies, and academic institutions to implement and evaluate the Safe Water System and other water and hygiene interventions in vulnerable populations in the developing world, including people living with HIV/AIDS.

He received his medical training at the University of California, San Francisco, obtained an MPH from the University of California, Berkeley, completed residencies in family practice and preventive medicine, and worked as medical director and clinician at the Indian Health Service hospital in Bethel, Alaska.

Angela Tagtow

Angela Tagtow, MS, RD, LD

M.S. Family and Consumer Sciences Education, Iowa State University
Dietetic Internship, Iowa State University
B.A. Dietetics, University of Northern Iowa

“Healthy soil, healthy food and healthy eaters – nourishing our natural resources is the optimal health insurance plan.”

While it’s uncommon for voices in the good food movement to come from a hard sciences background, Iowa’s Angela Tagtow defines the balance between environment and nutrition – educating eaters, health professionals and policy makers on cultivating and participating in sustainable food systems that promote good health, vibrant communities and environmental stewardship.

Tagtow entered the movement as a nutritionist, but upon observing the damage to her Iowa farmland from years of monoculture and pesticide inputs, she realized helping individuals understand what you put in the land is as essential as knowing what you put on your plate.

A former Fellow with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s Food and Society Policy Fellows program, Tagtow operates Environmental Nutrition Solutions, a consulting firm aimed at leveraging partnerships and policies to build resilient and sustainable food systems that advance public health. She is the co-founder of the Iowa Food Systems Council ( and is the coordinator of the Iowa Food Access and Health Working Group. She works directly with regional food and farming coalitions, not-for-profit organizations, professional associations, government agencies and universities to provide community assessment and engagement, strategic planning, event and project management, policy analysis and expertise in other essential areas.

Tagtow is the founder and managing editor of the Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, which coalesces local, national and international hunger and environmental nutrition issues. She also serves on
the editorial board of the Journal of Childhood Obesity. Her “Good Food Checklist for Eaters” – featuring dozens of everyday healthful and environmentally sustainable choices for families – has been distributed
to audiences around the world. She is co-author of “Healthy Land, Healthy People: Building a Better Understanding of Sustainable Food Systems for Food and Nutrition Professionals” and co-producer of
“Healthy Land, Healthy Food, Healthy Eaters- Dietitians Cultivating Sustainable Food Systems,” the online continuing education module for dietitians.

Oft-cited in the media, Tagtow has been featured in such outlets as Today’s Dietitian, Des Moines Register, Washington Post, Civil Eats and IDEA Fitness Journal in addition to radio, television and podcast appearances. Tagtow has more than 18 years of experience working in public health nutrition and food system arenas. Her work within public health focused on researching the extent of food insecurity and hunger among WIC participants, conducting community health needs assessments and health improvement plans, and establishing public health performance standards.

Her professional affiliations include the American Dietetic Association, American Public Health Association; Society for Nutrition Education; Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society; National Farm to School Network; Practical Farmers of Iowa; Iowa Network for Community Agriculture; Iowa Prairie Network; Women, Food and Agriculture Network; and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture Regional Food Systems Working Group.