Nicole Williams, MPH
Nicole Williams, MPHInterim Executive Director

Nicole has spent her career managing and developing programs and educational outreach across the globe in Cambodia, Rwanda, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. But global health starts at home, and she is excited to take this next step in her international public health career to lead efforts to boost vaccination rates across her home state of Missouri.  

As the Coalition’s Interim Executive Director, Nicole is focused on targeted, community-driven solutions to promote immunizations and protect Missourians against all vaccine-preventable diseases. She brings a decade of expertise in understanding the social determinants of health and building collaborative relationships across cultures and geographies with stakeholders at every level to ensure buy-in, sustainability, and success of her programs.  

Nicole holds a B.Sc. in Biological Sciences with a minor in Anthropology and a certificate in Multicultural Studies from the University of Missouri. She earned her Master of Public Health degree in Global Health from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University with a concentration in Reproductive Health and Population Studies and a certificate in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies. Nicole started at the Missouri Immunization Coalition in January 2022.  

John Shelby, MA
John Shelby, MA Director of Communications

John Shelby serves the Missouri Immunization Coalition as Director of Communications. As an accomplished communicator, John works closely with the MIC’s Executive Director and Assistant Executive Director to coordinate communications efforts central to MIC’s mission of promoting immunizations, preventing disease, and protecting all Missourians.  

Before joining the Missouri Immunization Coalition, John worked as a journalist for 23 years. He managed and led newsrooms from Washington State to New York State. John has successfully completed the Poynter Institutes Leadership for TV and Radio News Directors program. A program designed to challenge, mentor and develop newsroom leaders. The Poynter Institute is recognized as a “global leader in journalism.”

Subsequently, John worked as a communications director and legislative aide in the Missouri Senate. Most recently, he served as an adjunct professor at State Fair Community College, where he taught public speaking.

John graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications. He also holds a Master of Arts in Communications Management from Webster University.

Kelechi Onyeaka, MPH
Kelechi Onyeaka, MPHPublic Health Educator

Kelechi Onyeaka has been supporting disease-prevention strategies and policies for many years in different countries. Serving as a Public Health Educator for Missouri Immunization Coalition (MIC), he aids the organization’s efforts to reduce the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases by providing statewide training and programs that promote vaccine uptake. His efforts also include creating and distributing promotional and educational resources to support Local Public Health Agencies, Federally Qualified Health Agencies, small rural and critical access hospitals to encourage vaccination among diverse audiences.

Before joining MIC, Kelechi was a Fellow at the Community Health Center in Connecticut, where he worked on improving healthcare services to underserved populations. In addition, he has international experiences that enhance access to Human Immunodeficiency Virus services among the general and most-at-risk population in the Nigerian Public Health sector. One of his most rewarding career accomplishments is his contribution to improving access to routine immunization for children. This effort led Nigeria to be declared polio-free by the World Health Organization.

In addition to his work experiences, Kelechi has co-authored academic papers in peer-reviewed journals on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among African Americans and the role of health promotion programs in improving the wellbeing of African Americans in Mid-Missouri.

Kelechi holds a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Missouri, Columbia where he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Health and Rehabilitation Science with emphasis on public health.

Tessa Feeney, CHES
Tessa Feeney, CHESPublic Health Educator

Tessa Feeney is a 2023 graduate of the University of Missouri having obtained a Bachelor of Health Science in Public Health degree with minors in Art and Psychology, and a certificate in Multicultural Studies. Tessa joined the Missouri Immunization Coalition in August 2023. 

In her previous role as a Certified Peer Educator at the University of Missouri’s Wellness Resource Center, Tessa built skills in health education and promotion, educating her peers about important health topics like alcohol safety, stress management, safer sex practices, nutrition, and holistic well-being. Tessa is excited to continue her career in public health as a Public Health Educator at the Missouri Immunization Coalition educating Missourians about the importance of vaccinations and promoting the essential role vaccinations play in reducing the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases and protecting population health.

Tessa’s passion is collaborating on creative solutions to address needs, connect people to resources, reduce health disparities, and, overall, improve community wellness. She looks forward to combining her passion for art and public health in her new role as a Public Health Educator at the Missouri Immunization Coalition by developing creative education and trainings to address social disparities and promote immunization equity. 

Tessa has been recognized by the Delta Omega Honor Society in Public Health for her contributions to campus health and safety. And in April 2023, Tessa achieved recognition as a nationally Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES®), defining her commitment to the field of Health Education and Promotion and positioning herself to continue her professional development while upholding the national and international accreditation standards that these credentials attest to.