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Mariana Toma-Drane, MPH, MIS, PhD

Associate Faculty

University Of Phoenix

School of Business

Columbia, SC, 29250



Mariana Toma-Drane is a graduate of the University of South Carolina from which she holds an MPH and a Master’s of Industrial Statistics. She continued her graduate education by completing a Ph.D. at the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health. Her work experience extends in the United States as well as in Europe; she is fluent in several languages.


During her master’s years, through a Fulbright Alumni Initiated Award, Dr. Toma-Drane started her work within communities affected by the Chernobyl nuclear accident in the town of Narodichi, Zhytomyr district, Ukraine. She assessed Ukrainian children exposed to internal nuclear radiation through radioactively contaminated food. This research brought her the first “New Investigator Award” from the American Statistical Association in 2006.


During her doctoral years, Dr. Toma-Drane expanded her work among residents of two Belarusian counties, Mogilev and Gomel by assessing long-term effects of post Chernobyl evacuation on Belarusian’s health risk perceptions. This research brought her the second “New Investigator Award” from the American Statistical Association in 2008. Her work would not have been possible without the assistance of a multidisciplinary team of Americans, Ukrainian and Belarusian scientists, and myriad of innocent individuals affected by the Chernobyl nuclear accident, who volunteered to be part of international projects. In 2008, Dr. Toma-Drane becomes a Visiting Research Scholar at the Hazard & Vulnerability Institute at the University of South Carolina.


In 2009, she joined Veteran Medical Center, West Haven Connecticut Division, one of the fifth coordinating research center of the Department of Veterans Affairs, as member of a research team on a clinical trial – “Neuropsychological and Mental Outcomes or Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF): a longitudinal cohort study.” She then returned to South Carolina, her home state and worked of Research and Statistics, Health and Demographic Statistics for the South Carolina Budget and Control Board, Office. During this time she acted briefly as Information Resource Consultant for the South Carolina Department of Social Services, Division of Information System. She is an Associate Faculty at the University Of Phoenix, School of Business since January 2009.


Leadership Development Opportunities

The Environmental Public Health Leadership Institute (EPHLI) come at a time when I thought there was not much that I did not know in the field of public health. EPHLI give me the opportunity to transition my public health approach from micro to a macro, and it provided me the specific tools through the Systems Thinking, an approach to problem solving. It gives me insights about the mechanisms behind organizational approach, where society, regarded as an ecosystem, it has its own dynamic and survival laws whether individuals are aware of it or not.


Additionally, it provided me with the opportunity to interact with environmental health practitioners from various areas and learn from them.


I cannot emphasize the valuable lessons learned from each and every one of the presenters during our sessions and most of all the coach that I was assigned to that helped me to develop the fourth dimension in a 3D world.