From the dean's desk

Dear friends of the Gillings School:

Thank you for taking time to read Carolina Public Health.

It is a joy to tell you about some of the many wonderful programs and people who make the Gillings School such a special place. As the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings confirmed, we still are the top public school of public health and are ranked second overall. We take pride in this place among the publics, in an ever-expanding number of schools and programs of public health.

While we have grown in square feet and numbers of people over the last decades, we haven’t lost the heart, soul and brilliance or the collective commitment to social justice that have characterized this School throughout its 75 years. These characteristics are manifested in many ways — outrage at unfairness, dogged determination in the face of disparities, willingness to speak out, urgency for action, unwavering commitment to excellence and the joy of solving big, real-world problems.

Dean Barbara K. Rimer

Dean Barbara K. Rimer (Photo by Brian Strickland)

This issue contains some superb examples of those different expressions — the dedicated health policy and management students who repeatedly win case competitions and our capstone students who take on the problems communities experience and bring forth solutions. Dilshad Jaff, a remarkable physician from Iraq, is a Master of Public Health student in maternal and child health. He is encouraging us to explore new directions, including refugee health.

The greatness of this School is due, in part, to the partnerships we develop with our students. People routinely talk about how students are changed by their educational experiences, but we, who remain here after them, are changed as well.

You’ll read about how our feet-on-the-ground entrepreneurial visionary and executive in residence, Don Holzworth, MS, is preparing to become one of the first civilians in space, while our commencement speaker, John Herrington, PhD, was the first Native American astronaut. His brother, Jim Herrington, PhD, Professor of the Practice of health behavior and director of the Gillings Global Gateway,TM who also flies, brings that aerial sense of the world to his understanding of global health.

Those images — soaring flight and on-the-ground reality — are two sides of the Gillings School coin. They’re both us!

Please feel free to get in touch with me anytime.

Warm regards,

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Barbara K. Rimer, DrPH


Carolina Public Health is a publication of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health. To view previous issues, please visit sph.unc.edu/cph.