Maman, Herndon selected for School’s Greenberg, Barr awards

February 20, 2017

Leaders at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health have announced winners of two of the School’s most prestigious awards.

Dr. Suzanne Maman

Dr. Suzanne Maman

Sally Herndon

Sally Herndon

Suzanne Maman, PhD, professor of health behavior, was selected for the Bernard G. Greenberg Alumni Endowment Award, presented to a full-time faculty member at the School for excellence in teaching, research and service.

Sara (Sally) Pritchard Herndon, MPH, a 1980 Gillings School graduate in health education (now the Department of Health Behavior) and head of the Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch in the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Public Health, was chosen for The Harriet Hylton Barr Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Award. The Barr Award recognizes the achievements and contributions of alumni who work in public health and related fields.

Maman and Herndon will accept the awards at the 49th annual Fred T. Foard Jr. Memorial Lecture, to be held at the Gillings School on April 27 at 6 p.m.

Barry M. Popkin, PhD, the Gillings School’s W.R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of nutrition and renowned expert on global obesity trends and policies, will deliver the Foard Lecture, “Creating a Healthier Global Diet and Preventing Global Obesity.” (Read more here.)

Popkin was the 1992 recipient of the Greenberg Award.

The Greenberg Award

Suzanne Maman, who earned a doctorate in international health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2000, joined the Gillings School faculty in 2005. For more than 20 years, she has developed, implemented and evaluated HIV- and violence-prevention programs in sub-Saharan Africa. Her research on the ways violence increases women’s risk for HIV infection – and how an HIV diagnosis may affect women’s experiences with violence – has informed programs in Tanzania and South Africa.

“I am honored to be the recipient of this year’s Greenberg Award,” Maman said, “and moved by the kind words of those who nominated me. It’s a privilege to be on the Gillings School faculty and to work with our great students. I am a better teacher and researcher because of the many students and faculty with whom I have worked with over the years at UNC.”

In addition to being a respected scientific investigator, Maman is beloved as a teacher and mentor. In 2012, she was honored with the Gillings School’s Edward G. McGavran Award for Excellence in Teaching.

“As her department chair, I can attest to Dr. Maman’s exceptional reputation as a researcher, instructor, mentor and colleague,” said Leslie A. Lytle, PhD,  professor of health behavior and of nutrition at the Gillings School and chair of health behavior. “Her service to the department and the larger global health community is impressive and represents the type of sustained and significant service to the broad public health community [deserving of] the Greenberg Award.”

Jo Anne Earp, ScD, professor and former chair of health behavior and previous recipient of the Greenberg Award, agreed.

“In a department full of deeply committed and talented teachers, mentors and researchers,” Earp said, “Dr. Maman is a standout. She has long been the face of global health in our department and one of our finest teachers and mentors, as well as a highly productive researcher. Such is her reputation that each year, we get many more top-tier global health applicants to our doctoral program than we can accommodate, and many applicants name Dr. Maman as the professor with whom they hope to work.”

The Bernard G. Greenberg Alumni Endowment Award was established in 1986 by the School’s Alumni Association in honor of Bernard Greenberg, PhD, a visionary leader who founded the Department of Biostatistics in 1949. Greenberg led the department for more than 20 years before serving as dean of the UNC School of Public Health from 1972 to 1982.

The award is presented to an outstanding full-time faculty member of the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health for excellence in the areas of teaching, research and service. The major criterion is “continuous demonstrated excellence over a number of years in service to the broad public health community.” The award, intended for a mid-career faculty member as an incentive for continued excellence, includes a cash stipend of $12,000 annually for three years.

The Barr Award

Nominator Leah Devlin, DDS, MPH, Professor of the Practice of health policy and management at the Gillings School and former North Carolina State Health Director, said Sally Herndon personifies the Gillings School’s mission – “which is first and foremost to serve the people of North Carolina.”

“I’ve been privileged to work with Sally for the past 25 years at the N.C. Division of Public Health,” Devlin said. “I have never met a person more passionate about public health than she.”

Devlin said Herndon was a critical leader in passing the state’s laws against smoking in restaurants and bars.

“This was one of the greatest public health achievements in North Carolina’s history, Devlin said, “and helped reduce average weekly emergency room visits for heart attacks by 21 percent in the first year after passage, saving an untold number of lives.”

For more than three decades, Herndon has educated a number of governors and legislatures about the importance of tobacco control. She collaborates with grassroots public health advocacy organizations and with academics around the state, including at UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke, Wake Forest, East Carolina University and many historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), always seeking new avenues and partners for tobacco control advocacy.

“In Sally Herndon,” Devlin said, “the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health has produced precisely the kind of science-based and passion-driven public health leader that North Carolina and the nation need and deserve. We are so fortunate to have her on our team.”

“I am truly humbled by this award — and I appreciate the many mentors who have contributed to our successes,” Herndon said. “I love working in public health and being on the path for lifelong learning that our work provides. I am grateful for the foundation that I received as a student and alumna at our School of Public Health, and for the many ways we continue to collaborate to advance community and population health in North Carolina and the nation.”

Established in 1975, the Harriet Hylton Barr Distinguished Alumni Award honors a deserving graduate of the School working full-time in public health or in a related field. Criteria include demonstrated commitment and service to public health through achievements in leadership, innovation, experimentation and collaboration with in the profession; impact within the nominee’s area of practice; outstanding service, beyond the requirements of the nominee’s employment.

The award carries the name of its 1980 recipient, the late Harriet Hylton Barr, to honor her contributions to public health. Barr, who earned her Master of Public Health degree from UNC in 1948, dedicated 28 years of service to the School. She was a clinical associate professor in the Department of Health Behavior and was the School’s first director of alumni affairs.


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Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications, (919) 962-2600 or dpesci@unc.edu