Get to know SOPHE staff

SOPHE staff are experts in public health, health education, finance, program development, management, administration, membership, marketing and communications.

Zebley Diaz, MS, Editorial Manager
Zebley Diaz

Zebley is the wizard behind SOPHE’s robust social media efforts, and the editorial process for Health Education & Behavior.

Zebley grew up in Perryville, Maryland, before going nearly 5,000 miles to the University of Hawaii at Manoa for college. She still follows the career advice her journalism professor shared, “The ends don’t justify the means.” She continued her education at the University of Maryland Global Campus, graduating in 2022 with her Master’s in strategic communications.

Zebley is passionate about her work in public health and health promotion where she focuses on misinformation and media literacy.

On her personal Twitter account, she follows Will Buxton, Barrack Obama, Joshua Weismann, Snoop Dogg, and Gene Park on Twitter. She reads “Future Social’s blog post and gets her news from “The New York Times,” “The Washington Post,” “Morning Brew” and “CNN.”

Two of her favorite things are pizza and pasta, don’t make her choose; she loves them both. When she’s not working, she’s walking, salsa dancing, visiting family, and watching the New England Patriots and Formula 1.

Zebley’s advice, “Put yourself out there and meet as many people you can – you never know what kind of connections you can make.”

Clarissa Montes, CHES®, Grants Coordinator
Clarissa Montes

Clarissa is originally from Southern California, but she moved to Northern Virginia to attend George Mason University as an undergraduate. She is currently pursing her MPH degree from the same university.

She’s a foodie – her favorite food is a tie between Mexican and Italian. She enjoys reading romance and suspense books and listening to catchy music tunes. She’s also a dog lover. When she is not working, Clarissa enjoys shopping, visiting local wineries, sampling different restaurants, and spending time with her family. And if she was not working at SOPHE, she would be backpacking across Europe. She also has plans to visit more Caribbean islands after spending her vacation in Puerto Rico.

She gets her news from the Washington Post, NPR and Apple News. Clarissa watches several tv reality shoes including, “The Bachelor,” “90-Day Fiancé,” and “The Real Housewives,” plus “A Million Little Things.”

Clarissa is passionate about nutrition, physical activity and obesity. She incorporates the career advice she received, “Always have a willingness to learn something new.” Clarissa initially joined SOPHE as in intern in spring 2022 before joining the staff fulltime.

Brigitte W. Johnson, APR, MSM, Director of Communications & Publications
Brigitte Johnson
Brigitte Johnson

Brigitte joined SOPHE almost seven years ago. Born and raised in Washington, D.C., she is a BS graduate of Towson University and earned a MS from the University of Maryland. An avid news hound, she began her career working for a local television station and realized that was not her passion. She transitioned to public relations and communications, spending her career as a practitioner or sharing her knowledge and expertise with students as a professor at Marymount University in Virginia and Georgetown University.

A lover of movies – all genres from comedy to science fiction to drama. Brigitte is an avid book collector of first-edition hardcover books specifically detective fiction and African American literature. Her music taste includes jazz, R&B and rock ‘n roll. She’s seen some of the greats in concert including Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, Prince, Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen. She loves college sports – attending college and professional football and basketball games.

SOPHE furthers her commitment to women’s choice and health equity. Her career advice, “Don’t limit the possibilities, you may have to take chances.”