The Abstract: April 25, 2022

This Week @ Gillings: The Abstract

April 25, 2022

Whether you’re local or global, student or alumni, the Abstract’s weekly news digest will help you stay in the loop with our amazing Gillings School community.

Vizuete named to two councils

Dr. William Vizuete

Dr. William Vizuete

Congratulations to William Vizuete, PhD, professor of environmental sciences and engineering, who has recently been nominated to lend his expertise to two councils.

Governor Roy Cooper has named Vizuete to the North Carolina Oil and Gas Commission for his experience in matters related to public health. He participated in the National Center of Atmospheric Research visiting professor faculty fellowship program in 2016. Additionally, he is a member of the Air and Waste Management Association and the American Geophysical Union.

The Carolina Latinx Center has also named Vizuete to the executive board of its newly formed Carolina Latinx Faculty Council, which strives to meet the following goals:

  • To build fellowship among Latinx faculty from across the university and provide mentorship to foster a sense of community
  • To address issues and concerns that our community faces
  • To strengthen communication and collaboration across the university
  • To collaboratively bring Latinx scholars and researchers to campus to provide information on current Latinx issues in academia from a multitude of disciplines
  • To be a sounding board to the Carolina Latinx Center
  • To recognize Latinx faculty in their achievements and contributions
  • To help recruit and retain new Latinx faculty to campus
  • To provide mentorship on promotion and tenure for Latinx faculty

Learn more about the Latinx Faculty Council.

Stevens named 2022 fellow by American Society of Nutrition

Dr. June Stevens

Dr. June Stevens

Congratulations to June Stevens, PhD, Distinguished Professor of nutrition and epidemiology, who has been named to the 2022 class of fellows by the American Society of Nutrition (ASN). To be inducted as a Fellow of the Society is the highest honor ASN bestows, recognizing individuals for significant discoveries and distinguished careers in the field of nutrition.

“We are honored to announce this year’s extraordinary Class of 2022 Fellows. Each member of this year’s class is a leader in nutrition science whose contributions have had a significant impact on the field and their colleagues,” said ASN President Paul Coates, PhD.

“The ASN Foundation congratulates the ASN Class of 2022 Fellows and is grateful for the indelible mark each has made throughout the years,” stated Catherine E. Woteki, PhD, chair of the ASN Foundation Board of Trustees. “We look forward to honoring their legacies and expressing our thanks for their lasting contributions to ASN and nutrition science.”

Previous fellows from the Gillings School include Linda Adair, Steve Zeisel, Peggy Bentley and Martin Kohlmeier.

Chamberlin receives trustee prize from St. Mark’s School

Matthew Chamberlin receives a trustee award from St. Mark's School.

Matthew Chamberlin receives the Potter-Miller Trustee Prize from St. Mark’s School.

Matthew Chamberlin, director of communications and marketing, has received the Potter-Miller Trustee Prize from St. Mark’s School in recognition of his outstanding service to the school as a trustee.

This prize is awarded on a periodic basis to trustees whose service to the school is considered by their peers to be truly exceptional. The award recipient designates the income from this endowment to a school priority of his or her choice. This prize is consistent with C. Nicholas Potter’s belief that strong trustee involvement and leadership has a positive effect on St. Mark’s.

Lessler publishes new study in Science Advances

Dr. Justin Lessler

Dr. Justin Lessler

Justin Lessler, PhD, professor of epidemiology, is co-author of a new study published in Science Advances on “In-person schooling and associated COVID-19 risk in the United States over spring semester 2021.”

Because of the importance of schools to childhood development, the relationship between in-person schooling and COVID-19 risk has been one of the most important questions of this pandemic. Previous work in the United States during the winter of 2020–21 showed that in-person schooling carried some risk for household members and that mitigation measures reduced this risk. Schooling and the COVID-19 landscape changed radically over the spring semester 2021.

In this study, the team used data from a massive online survey to characterize changes in in-person schooling behavior and associated risks over that period. They found increases in in-person schooling and reductions in mitigations over time. In-person schooling was associated with increased reporting of COVID-19 outcomes, even among vaccinated individuals (although the absolute risk among the vaccinated was greatly reduced). Vaccinated teachers working outside the home were less likely to report COVID-19–related outcomes than unvaccinated teachers working exclusively from home. Adequate mitigation measures appear to eliminate the excess risk associated with in-person schooling.

Read the full study online.