Masters in Public Health Faculty


Dr. LaShaune P. Johnson
Assistant Professor, Master of Public Health Program
  • B.A., Sociology and Medieval/Renaissance Studies, 1999, Wellesley College
  • M.A., Sociology, 2004, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Ph.D., Sociology, 2009, University of California, Santa Barbara (with doctoral emphases in Feminist Studies and Human Development)
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, University of Connecticut Health Center, 2009-2011
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Missouri, School of Health Professions, 2011-2013

Dr. Johnson is a graduate of the Head Start program for low-income children, a two-time cancer survivor, and a former poet. These personal experiences help to drive her interest in studying health disparities and in telling the stories of community members (through research methods such as Photovoice). Before coming to Omaha, she was involved in the Mid-Missouri Komen-funded project, “Walking in the Spirit”, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation project, “Playgrounds without Borders”, and an American Academy of Pediatrics-supported CATCH planning grant. Her areas of interest are: childhood obesity prevention, qualitative research methods, cancer survivorship and “previvor”-ship in the African American/Black community, online learning for health professional students, and health practices among Muslim-identified women. In Omaha, she is a member of the African American Women and Breast Cancer Task Force and the Connection Project at UNMC.


Dr. Bill Raynovich, EdD, MPH, NREMTP
Associate Professor and Interim Program Director, Master of Public Health Program

Dr. Raynovich (Bill) earned his MPH at the University of Pittsburgh, graduating with honors as a University Scholar in 1984. Over the past three decades, Dr. Raynovich has held faculty appointments as a Lecturer in the School of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh (1978-1988), the School of Medicine at the University of New Mexico (1996 – 2004), and as an Assistant Professor at the Creighton University School of Pharmacy and Health Professions (2004 – 2008), and as Associate Professor at Creighton University (2008 to the present). Bill earned an EdD in Educational Leadership at the University of New Mexico – Albuquerque, in 2006.

Bill has conducted research, published scholarly papers and presented at national and international conferences in health care services and patient safety for more than 30 years, including lecturing and consulting in Canada, England, Trinidad and Tobago, and Saudi Arabia. Bill also serves on the editorial board of several peer reviewed publications. Bill has also served on state legislative and regulatory health policy committees in Pennsylvania and New Mexico and has testified as an advocate for health policies in Nebraska. Bill’s research interests include studying community health assessments and informatics, clinical practitioner roles, scopes of practice, education and patient and community safety, as well as emergency management and emergency medical services.

In addition to Bill’s scholarly interests, he has volunteered with numerous public service agencies and served on the board of directors of the Wilkinsburg, PA, Junior Symphony, the East Mountain Charter High School in Albuquerque, the AM PM Day School in Mohnton, PA, as well as having served as a member of the Board and charter member of the National Association of EMS Educators, an organization that recognized Bill with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.


Dr. Marlene Wilken
Associate Professor, Master of Public Health Program
  • B.S.N., 1970, University of Nebraska School of Nursing
  • M.N., 1974, Montana State University-Bozeman
  • Ph.D., 1993, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Dr. Wilken’s professional life has been as a registered nurse, with a master's degree in nursing and a Ph.D. in political science. She has been at Creighton for 17 years in both the School of Nursing and in the Health Administration and Policy programs. Population-based health care and essentials of public health are her primary teaching areas. Her passion is environmental health, and she has done numerous presentations on this topic to nurses and other health professionals. She served on the board of the Public Health Association of Nebraska (PHAN) and helped to establish the state association of local boards of health (SALBOH), serving as co-chair for several years. Since 1998, Dr. Wilken has served on the Douglas County Board of Health and was elected to serve two-three year terms as the Midwest Regional Director for the National Association of Local Boards of Health as a board member. In June 2011, she received a $207,000, two-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to address the growing problem of type 2 diabetes mellitus in adult American Indians.


Dr. Wei Vivian Zhuang
Assistant Professor, Master of Public Health Program
  • B.B.A. in Management Information Systems, 2001, Nanjing University
  • M.S. in Management Information Systems, 2003, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • M.S. in Biostatistics, 2007, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Ph.D. in Biostatistics, 2012, Boston University

Dr. Zhuang was motivated to make a lasting contribution to public health by the outbreak of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in 2003. She had 1 year of training in Bioinformatics at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and 6 years of education in Biostatistics at Boston University and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She was a grader, a teaching assistant, and an instructor of Master of Public Health students in 2010 and 2011 at Boston University. Her study and teaching experiences have shaped her commitment to excellent teaching.

Her research interest is to develop advanced statistical methods and innovatively apply existing approaches for biomedical research and public health. She has performed research on statistical genetics, epidemiological studies, missing data, pathway analysis, brain imaging, microarray analysis, and data mining. Her research experience has allowed her to connect statistical methods with specific research problems in genetics, human ageing process, Parkinson’s diseases, and HIV-associated disease. She is also interested in working on other biostatistical and epidemiological areas. She finds teaching and research rewarding on both a personal and professional level.