Awards and Recognitions (Fall, 2009)
September 14, 2009
Halpern receives Faculty Award for Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring
Carolyn Halpern, PhD, associate professor of maternal and child health at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, received the UNC Graduate School’s Faculty Award for Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring at the 2009 doctoral hooding ceremony on May 9.
Cai awarded Fellow status by Institute of Mathematical Statistics
Jianwen Cai, PhD, professor of biostatistics in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, was selected as one of this year’s 17 Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS) Fellows. She and other honorees were recognized at the IMS Presidential Address and Awards session at the Joint Statistical Meetings on Aug. 3 in Washington, D.C.
UNC Nutrition students dominate awards at major national conference
Six students in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health’s Department of Nutrition were awarded prestigious fellowships and prizes at the 2009 Experimental Biology Conference in New Orleans April 18-22. Jessica Ellis, Scott Ickes, Nicole Schwerbrock (May 2009 graduate), Megan Slining, Ya Wen Teng and Natalie The won half of the doctoral student awards and were finalists for other prizes presented by the American Society of Nutrition (ASN).
Rositch selected as Fogarty Scholar
Anne E. Rositch, epidemiology doctoral student, was selected as a Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholar in spring 2009. Rositch left this summer to live in Nairobi, Kenya, for a year. She is contributing to a study focusing on human papillomavirus, cervical precancerous lesions and HIV transmission. Under the auspices of The University of Washington at Seattle and The University of Nairobi, Rositch conducts research ancillary to a study led by Jennifer Smith, PhD, UNC research associate professor of epidemiology and Rositch’s mentor.
Sonia selected by Delta Omega to present at APHA in November
Michelle Sonia, 2009 graduate of the Master of Science in Public Health program in health policy and management, will present her research on early detection of breast cancer at the 137th annual American Public Health Association (APHA) meeting, Nov. 7-11, 2009, in Philadelphia, Pa. She is one of 19 students from across the U.S. selected for the honor by The Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health. The APHA poster session, scheduled for Nov. 9, will showcase student scholarship and research in accredited schools and programs of public health.
Robeson receives School’s Staff Excellence Award
Sue Robeson, student services specialist for the Public Health Leadership Program (PHLP), received the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health’s 2009 Staff Excellence Award. Her friends and co-workers at the School attended a reception in her honor on July 31 in the Michael Hooker Research Center atrium.
Peters receives Presidential award for early-career scientists
Ulrike (Riki) Peters, PhD, associate member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Wash., was named by President Obama in July as one of 100 recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers. This is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on young professionals in early stages of their independent research careers. Peters is a 1999 alumna of the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health’s Master of Public Health program in epidemiology. Winning scientists and engineers receive up to a fiveyear research grant to further their study in support of critical government missions. Peters’ grant is from the National Institutes of Health. She will join other recipients at a White House ceremony in fall 2009. The awards, established by President Clinton in February 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Awardees are selected on the basis of two criteria: pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and a commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.
Mande named USDA’s Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety
Jerold R. Mande was named Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in July 2009. In this position, he is responsible for the Food Safety and Inspection Service, the USDA agency that ensures the nation’s supply of meat, poultry and processed egg products are safe and wholesome. Mande received a Master of Public Health degree in nutrition in 1983 from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Most recently, Mande served as associate director for policy at the Yale Cancer Center at the Yale University School of Medicine. He also served as Senior Advisor and Executive Assistant to the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, where he led design of the Nutrition Facts food label, for which he received the Presidential Award for Design Excellence.
Damon joins UNC alumnus White to form Water.org
Actor Matt Damon has joined forces with UNC alumnus Gary White and WaterPartners International to create a new organization, Water.org.
White founded WaterPartners with Marla Smith-Nilson in 1990 while both were earning master’s degrees in the School’s Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering. The non-profit agency helps communities in South Asia, Central America and Africa gain access to safe water and sanitation through grants and micro-credit financing. Damon is cofounder of the H2O Africa Foundation, a nonprofit that sought to help African communities gain access to safe water.
Having Damon — whose films include “Good Will Hunting,” the Bourne trilogy and “The Talented Mr. Ripley” — as an ambassador and advocate for the cause is a boost for the organization and will bring international visibility to the issue, White says.
WaterPartners International and H2O Africa merged, resulting in the new organization, Water.org, which will keep its headquarters in Kansas City.
ESE tied for 9th place in U.S. News and World Report rankings
The UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health’s Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering is one of the nation’s best environment/ environmental health programs, according to U.S. News and World Report. The magazine ranks the best graduate programs each year. The School’s environmental sciences and engineering department ranks among the top engineering schools in the nation perennially, even though UNC Chapel Hill does not have an engineering school. Michael D. Aitken, PhD, chairs the department.
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 www.sph.unc.edu/cph.