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Strong Stories: Sara Plaspohl, Ph.D.

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D.P.H. - Community Health Behavior and Education, Georgia Southern Universtiy

M.H.S. - Georgia Southern University

B.S. - Armstrong State College 

Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES)

Certified IRB Manager (CIM)

Sara Plaspohl, Ph.D.

Teaching since 1994

Dr. Sara Plaspohl is a true teacher at heart.

“I’m just trying to make a difference and help students help themselves,” she says.

Plaspohl is the program coordinator for the Master of Public Health program at Armstrong and has three degrees from Armstrong and a Doctor in Public Health from Georgia Southern University.

Before joining Armstrong, she worked at Memorial Health University Medical Center as a Research Ethics Officer, overseeing the Institutional Review Board process for more than 250 clinical trials.

She believes in the importance of being a good role model. “A lot of what we learn from others is modeled behavior,” she says. “I want to instill that enthusiasm and inspire as our students learn about becoming a public health professional. When people care about you, you tend to step up and perform at a higher level.”  

Plaspohl was the driving force behind the tobacco-free policy on Armstrong’s campus. Her doctoral dissertation assessed the policies of all tobacco-free schools in the United States, and that experience inspired her to lead Armstrong’s task force to research similar options.

After receiving the information collected by the task force, Armstrong President Linda M. Bleicken enacted Armstrong’s tobacco-free policy in August 2012. Two years later, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents passed a policy to ban tobacco at all public schools across the state starting.

“Armstrong took a leadership role in serving as a resource for our colleagues in the USG system as they work to implement the newly mandated tobacco-free policy,” she says. “I’m thrilled to see the USG system go tobacco-free and know this decision will have a positive impact on the health of students, faculty and staff across the state.”