Ranelle Brew, Ed.D, MS, CHES
Chair of the Department of Public Health
Director of the Master of Public Health Program
Assistant Professor

Dr. Brew teaches as an Assistant Professor for the Public Health program at Grand Valley State University and is the Chair of the Department of Public Health and Program Director. Her Doctoral and double Master degrees are from Columbia University in Education and Health Sciences respectively. Her doctoral research included Adolescent Asthma Health Education in New York City public schools through collaboration between New York Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University. Dr. Brew's current research interests include a summer health professions camp entitled, sHaPe, for which she is a director, global healthcare partnerships, and health literacy.

She has worked in health care for over 15 years in various settings including clinically, within the public school system, in geriatric health, fitness and currently in higher education. She has more than 10 years of teaching experience in both New York City and the Greater Grand Rapids areas.

Dr. Brew teaches courses in the Public Health Promotion and Education emphasis as well as the Introduction to Public Health course. Teaching online is an area expertise of Dr. Brew's as she has taught, designed curriculum and trained faculty using these technologies for the past 7 years. She is the author of instructor materials for F.A. Davis Publishing for Medical Terminology, Simplified and a children’s book entitled, Healthy Days.   

Dr. Brew serves in the public health community extensively as the 2014-15 President-Elect for the Michigan Public Health Association, Board Chair for the Diagnostics and Therapeutics Kent Count Early College Health programs, a national member of SOPHE, Society of Public Health Education and APHA, American Public Health Association, member of the Great Lakes chapter of SOPHE, member of Michigan Alliance for Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, and Vice President for Membership Development for the Junior League of Grand Rapids with focus on women and children’s wellness programming.

Global health is research area of interest and she has traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, Ghana, West Africa, Beijing, China, Tacloban City, Philippines, and Manenberg, South Africa with students on study abroad programs. Her current project includes a sustainable international health care service learning program for the MPH program and plans to continuously take a group of graduate students internationally annually.



Lara Jaskiewicz, Ph.D., MPH

Dr. Lara Jaskiewicz is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and received her Master of Public Health in Public Health Administration and Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management from the University of Minnesota Schools of Public Health and Business. She received her PhD at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health in Health Policy and Administration. She joined the faculty of GVSU’s School of Public, Nonprofit, and Health Administration in 2012. Lara’s area of research is food access; her dissertation compared spatial measures of access to grocery stores. Currently she has a research project to explore the impact of the new Downtown Grand Rapids farmers’ market on local resident perceptions of and measured access to fruits and vegetables.

Dr. Jaskiewicz has worked for several years in local governmental public health management where she oversaw community assessments, health promotion, and environmental health programs in rural and suburban settings. She worked for 6 years at the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC) where she was involved in managing small grant programs, providing training on the 5-4-3-2-1 Go! Public education message, and overseeing community initiatives. In addition, she worked as a manager with the suburban Cook County, IL Communities Putting Prevention to Work Project where she led several food system efforts, including the creation of a food policy council and a healthy corner store project.



Claudia Leiras, Ph.D.

Dr. Leiras is an Associate Professor for both the Allied Health Sciences and Public Health programs within the College of Health Professions at Grand Valley State University.  She is also the Director of the Clinical Research Trials Management Graduate Certificate.  Dr. Leiras received her master’s degree in Natural Sciences (interdisciplinary program with a focus in oncology and epidemiology) from Roswell Park Cancer Institute, a graduate division of the State University of New York at Buffalo.  Her Ph.D. in Epidemiology (emphasis in oncology and women’s health) is from the Graduate School of Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh.

Over the past seventeen years, Dr. Leiras has worked on all aspects of research studies, including proposal development, grant writing, multi-study site coordination, recruitment strategies (specifically focusing on underrepresented populations), creation and management of study databases, data analysis (SAS, Stata, R, and SPSS), and development of data collection forms and questionnaires in both English and Spanish.  She is an expert in quantitative data analysis, research focused on underrepresented/underserved populations, and community based participatory research. In addition, Dr. Leiras has received funding for her research from the National Cancer Institute and has been the recipient of several Minority Scholar Awards from the American Association for Cancer Research.  Dr. Leiras’ research interests include health literacy, women’s health, health disparities, and biomarkers of cancer susceptibility.

In addition to mentoring graduate students in research projects, Dr. Leiras teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in research methodology. She teaches Ethical and Legal Responsibilities in Health Care and Introduction to Health Care Research for undergraduate students. In the public health department, Dr. Leiras teaches epidemiology for public health, quantitative research methods for public health, chronic disease epidemiology, and cancer epidemiology, in addition to mentoring students in their research projects. Dr. Leiras serves in several university committees, including the Undergraduate Research Council, the Graduate Council, the Graduate Council Curriculum Committee, and is the chair of the Responsible Conduct of Research Advisory Committee for the University.



Azizur Molla, Ph.D., MPH

Dr. Molla is an Associate Professor for the Master of Public Health program of College of Health Professions at Grand Valley State University. He is a medical anthropologist with experience in community health, environmental health, health education and promotion, and health communication and advocacy, including research methods. He has ten years of college and university level experience in teaching and doing research on health in South Asia and the U.S. As an Assistant Professor he has taught social aspects of health, population health, environmental health, research methods in anthropology, and summer ethnographic field school. Dr. Molla has worked with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in designing, implementing and assessing reproductive and public health programs in South Asia. Azizur also coordinated and provided training on global health, reproductive health and healthcare system to the health officials in Bangladesh and Indonesia.  


Azizur has done extensive ethnographic research on public health issues in his home country of Bangladesh, in the U.S. and in Haiti. Since 2008, he has been engaged in public health research, education, and community health advocacy in Western Michigan and Grand Rapids. His research interests have focused on: i) health risks of indoor radon gas in West Michigan, ii) transdisciplinary assessment of water quality and development intervention in Haiti and Bangladesh, iii) the role of policy to sustain international development programs, iv) sustainable healthcare services for the homeless population in Grand Rapids, MI, and v) Assessment of healthcare for veterans in West Michigan. His studies and publications focus on diseases caused by water contamination and air pollution, health disparities, public health policy, the  roles of local and international organization that address public health challenges.



Jody Vogelzang, Ph.D., RDN, LD, FADA, CHES

Best described as a “scholarly practitioner”, Dr. Vogelzang teaches from the prospective of an academically prepared health professional. As a registered dietitian and Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Vogelzang is nationally recognized for her work in community nutrition. She holds a BS in Dietetics from Michigan State University, a MS in Health Sciences from Grand Valley State University, a PhD in Health Services with a specialization in Community Health from Waldon University, and a MAT in Biology from Miami University. She has studied internationally and has research experience in the area of international conservation and sustainability as well as domestic research in health behavior and food insecurity.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, recently recognized Dr. Vogelzang as a Fellow. This designation recognizes her commitment to the field of dietetics and celebrates her professional accomplishments and pursuit of life-long learning.

Dr. Vogelzang is a recipient of many awards and honors in the field of dietetics, including Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year, Honored Dietitian by the state of Indiana, and Distinguished Member of the Dietitians in Continuing Care Practice Group. In addition, Dr. Vogelzang was recognized for her excellence in practice in Community Dietetics by the Academy, and was one of the youngest recipients ever to receive the Academy’s esteemed Medallion Award.

Dr. Vogelzang has served on local, state and national Academy boards. She is currently the Director of the Master of Science program in Clinical Dietetics (currently passing through the university's review process) at Grand Valley, in addition to her faculty position in the Department of Public Health



Sheng Li, Ph.D., MD, MPH

Dr. Li received his PhD in Epidemiological Sciences from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. His areas of research include system epidemiology, environmental health, global health and public health practice. Dr. Li is interested in quantitative data analysis and multidisciplinary research. He applied both statistical modeling and novel system modeling approaches to understand mechanisms and risk factors for infectious and non-communicable diseases. His previous research has focused on influenza, measles and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Supported by US CDC and China CDC, Dr. Li’s current project creates new system modeling methods to evaluate ongoing national measles immunization programs and to explore future adult vaccination strategies.


Dr. Li has worked as a field epidemiologist in state governmental public health agencies where he led public health response team to control infectious disease outbreaks.


Photo coming soon!

Page last modified October 15, 2014