Activist Lab


The purpose of the USF College of Public Health Activist Lab is to serve as the hub of excellence in providing interdisciplinary advocacy, education, research, and service opportunities for students to develop the skills that will promote their success as effective public health advocates and leaders. Included in the Activist Lab are the following functions/activities.

Activist Lab Functions & Activities


The Activist Lab offers advocacy training and a chance for students to advocate for particular public health issues and become active in the workings of our local, state, and national government.


The Activist Lab provides seminars, webinars, and other educational opportunities for students and faculty to learn public health advocacy skills and competencies.


The Activist Lab focuses on building and/or utilizing the evidence-based research to inform advocacy efforts around critical public health issues. The Lab will lend itself to practice-based research projects as well.


The Activist Lab allows students to develop leadership skills through mini-leadership institutes that will include seminars, journal clubs, and more.


In the Activist Lab, students are able to join together to develop and implement service activities within the surrounding communities focused on the selected advocacy topics.

Development of Applied Practice Experiences and Integrated Learning Experiences

Through the activities done within the Activist Lab, students may be able to fulfill many of their APE and ILE requirements needed for graduation. Activities include volunteering at the Lab and participating in Lab Activities and Programs. Students may also help develop new programs and activities as well.

Who We Are

Dr. Karen Liller

Administrative Specialist:
Kay White

Graduate Assistants:

Yingwei Yang, PhD Candidate, COPH
Andrew Lim, MPH Student, COPH

Student Advisory Board:
Hunter Harrison
Carson Bell
Caitlynn Carr, PhD in Anthropology/MPH
Waleska Santiago-Datil
Ashley Hydrick
All Master in Public Health students

Faculty Advisory Board:
Dr. Donna Petersen
Dr. Ellen Daley
Dr. Kay Perrin
Dr. Katherine Drabiak
Dr. Joe Bohn
Dr. Ronee Wilson
Somer Burke
Ellen Kent
Jay Evans
Natalie Preston

Focus Areas

Red, white, and blue pins with the words gun safety written on them


Photo of a child's hand holding dirty teddy bear against a scenic road landscape

Human Trafficking

Educational Events & Activities: Advocacy and Leadership Training Projects

Find Your Voice Seminars

  • January 18, 2019-Advocacy to Prevent Human Trafficking presented by Liana Dean, MSW, Chair of the Pasco County Commission on Human Trafficking
  • November 2, 2018 - Join the Guardian ad Litem Program, presented by Senior Attorney, Michelle Blume, Esq

Journal Club

Led by Yingwei Yang, the purpose of this Journal Club is to familiarize students with the theoretical and practical foundation of Public Health advocacy and to provide background on effective advocacy practices

Activist Lab Bootcamp

The 2019 Activist Lab Bootcamp was held on Thursday, January 31st (8am-5pm) and February 1st, 2019 (8am -12pm) at the USF College of Public Health!  At this link please find the related Power Points and Handouts. Join us soon for future events!

Public Health In a Minute

These one minute video segments will feature public health leaders and they will discuss what they are passionate about and what they are advocating for. Look for our segments on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and other social media sites!!

 - Refugee Health: Elizabeth Dunn,

 - Building More Resilient Communities: Disaster Management: Elizabeth Dunn,

 - Human Trafficking:  Elizabeth Dunn,

 - Gun Violence—This is Our Lane:  Dr. Karen Liller,

 - It is Important to Vote:  Dean Donna Petersen,

Research and Practice: Collaborations and Projects

Get Published

Focus Area/s Writing Groups - literature reviews, secondary data analysis and more! Come to our Journal Club to learn more!

Opportunities to Use Skills from the Activist Lab:

More opportunities coming soon!

Additional Resources

The Activist Lab Student Advisory Board with U.S. Representative Katherine Castor (second from left-first row).

Thank You to Our Partners

University of South Florida
USF College of Public Health
Guardian ad Litem