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The Student Public Health Association (SPHA) leadership team are a group of current students at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health (CPH) dedicated to supporting the mission and vision of the College through campus and community events, and activities, that create engagement and connection with their public health peers.

SPHA acts as a liaison between students and faculty, promotes student involvement to develop healthy communities, and represents the needs of students of the College of Public Health.

The 2023/2024 SPHA student leadership team includes:

  • Julia Kollitz, President

  • Victoria Hamilton, Vice President

  • Kangai Miriti, Treasurer

  • Jill Patel, Secretary

  • Ashley Grospitch, Communications Chair

  • Sami Jones, Community Service Chair

Have a question for SPHA? Contact us at

Julia Kollitz, President

I am the President of the SPHA. I am responsible for coordinating and overseeing the group's activities and meetings. I also support the other members of the executive board when they need assistance.

I am in the 4+1 program and am finishing my MPH with a concentration in epidemiology. I also am pursing a graduate certificate in global health. In the future I want to work at a large public health organization in infectious disease epidemiology and global health.

I have always been interested in diseases and originally thought that I wanted to go to medical school. However, as I learned more about public health, I developed an appreciation for the field. I love that it allows practitioners to target the root causes of issues and treats entire communities. Through use of the social determinants of health, you get to examine how all aspects of life impact health, which I found to be where my interests are. This field allows me to combine my interest in infectious disease with population level work, which I really like.

I can play three instruments (trombone, piano, and saxophone).

Victoria Hamilton, Vice President

I have been a member of the College of Public Health for 5 years as a Bachelor of Public Health graduate and a current Master of Public Health Student with a concentration in Epidemiology. This year, I am serving as the Vice President of SPHA.

I have always been interested in improving the quality of life of others and wanted to serve in a “helping” career. Public health merges my interest in helping others and understanding the broader social and ecological environments to which we belong. Where we work, live, and play, have an impact on our health providing a large array of career and learning opportunities within the field of public health.

I have over 55 houseplants!

Kangai Miriti, Treasurer

I am the treasure for the SPHA. I am responsible for managing the group’s funds and helping my fellow executive board members plan meetings and events. I am in the 4+1 program and graduated with my BPH in May 2023, I will be continuing in the MPH program with a concentration in health management and policy.

Prior to coming to UKY, I had little understanding or even an idea what public health really was. Ultimately, the focus and major emphasis that public health has on protecting and promoting health in communities and populations motivated me to pursue a degree in public health.

Over time in the BPH program and now MPH program, I have found my passion in health systems research. In the future, I hope to continue in academia and research to inform healthcare systems and promote equity.

I love houseplants, and in my free time I enjoy going to plant nurseries around Lexington!

Jill Patel, Secretary

This year, I will serve as the SPHA's secretary, which entails duties including processing mail, keeping tabs on paperwork, recording minutes of meetings, setting up events and meetings, and offering general assistance to club members and officers.

I am a Public Health Major with an interest in Health Administration. I was always looking to do something in healthcare but also just helping people in general, but I had no interest in becoming a doctor, PA, nurse, etc. So, this is exactly why I decided to take the public health route.

I can speak 3 fluent languages.

Ashley Grospitch, Communications Chair

I am the communications chair for SPHA. I am responsible for all things social media and work in coordination with the College of Public Health Marketing and Communication team to create flyers and advertise events, run social media accounts, provide event information, and more.

I am currently a senior public health major, and I switched into this college after taking the introductory class as an elective, and I loved my experience. Public health draws the best kind of people – those who care deeply about the health and well-being of their community – and I knew that’s where I was meant to stay.

I plan to purse a master’s degree in public health, but I am still trying to decide which one! As of now, I have accepted a job with Lexington Fayette Urban County Government and plan on working for some time post-graduation.

In my free time, I love spending time outdoors, reading, and trying new foods.

Sami Jones, Community Service Chair

I am the Community Service Chair for the 2023-2024 school year. In this role, I will provide leadership and direction for service projects both on campus and off campus, communicate with local community leaders, and create service events for members.

I am currently enrolled in the BPH Program in the College of Public Health and plan to attend medical school upon the completion of my degree. Initially, I came to the University of Kentucky as a Biology student; however, changed my major to pre-BPH during my first semester of college because of the close-knit community that CPH offers and wanting to remain involved in the health sector.

When I was younger, I actually wanted to be a veterinarian instead of a doctor because I was absolutely enamored with dogs.

Latest SPHA News & Events

Fostering belonging: UKSPHA makes impact, receives several honors

This past year was rewarding on multiple fronts for the University of Kentucky Student Public Health Association (UKSPHA), as the organization hosted multiple events and received several awards.

CPH graduate finds her path through public health, receives several honors

Ashley Grospitch, a senior with the University of Kentucky's College of Public Health (CPH), has distinguished herself through significant achievements and a strong commitment to public health advocacy.

Now Open: The CPH Shop!

Open now from October 30th - November 10th. Get ready! Don't miss your chance to grab CPH branded gear! 10% of the sales will go to the Student Public Health Association (SPHA).

SPHA showcases all public health has to offer to students

Public health is a diverse field and the Student Public Health Association

Public Health Showcase 2024

A unique opportunity for sharing innovative work in public health research, community practice, teaching, and workforce development.

SPHA Research Panel

The SPHA is hosting a panel discussion on how students can get involved in research at CPH.

"Pump It Up" 2023

You are cordially invited to the next “Pump It Up” celebration and semester kick-off event!