January — May 2012 awards and recognitions
May 16, 2012
Devlin to lead nonprofit board
Dr. Leah Devlin, Gillings Visiting Professor of health policy and management, was elected to serve a two-year term on the Action for Children North Carolina board of directors. The organization, a nonprofit policy research and advocacy group, aims to ensure that children in the state are healthy, safe and well educated.
Bentley, Miller awarded distinguished professorships
Dr. Margaret (Peggy) Bentley and Dr. Cass (Casey) Miller, professors in nutrition and environmental sciences and engineering (ESE), respectively, were designated distinguished professors by UNC’s Board of Trustees on Jan. 1. Bentley, associate dean for global health at the School, was named Carla Smith Chamblee Distinguished Professor of Global Nutrition for the duration of her tenure. Miller was named Okun Distinguished Professor of Environmental Engineering through 2021. His professorship memorializes Daniel A. Okun, PhD, a world-renowned water researcher and longtime ESE professor at UNC.
Rusyn appointed to NRC committee
Dr. Ivan Rusyn, professor of environmental sciences and engineering, was appointed to the National Research Council’s (NRC) Committee on Toxicology. The group oversees toxicology and risk assessment projects sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense.
BIOS article wins ‘Best Paper in Biometrics’
Yingqi Zhao, biostatistics doctoral student, won the “Best Paper in Biometrics” award, presented by the International Biometric Society, publisher of the journal Biometrics. “Detecting Disease Outbreaks Using Local Spatiotemporal Methods,” published in the journal in December 2011, was co-authored by biostatistics faculty members Drs. Donglin Zeng, Amy Herring and Michael Kosorok (chair) and Dr. David Richardson (epidemiology).
Four receive Presidential Management Fellowship
Recent alumni Sara Crocoll (PHLP) and Paul Ebohon (ESE) and current students Laura Tison (PHLP) and Kea Turner (HBHE) were selected as 2012 Presidential Management Fellows by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. (See www.pmf.gov.) More than 9,100 graduate students applied to the program, which offers leadership and training opportunities through the federal government.
Students select innovative teachers
As part of February’s “Celebrate Teaching!” events, eight faculty members were selected by students as innovators in the classroom. Awardees were Dr. Linda Adair (NUTR), Dr. Rebecca Fry (ESE), Dr. Sherri Green (MCH), Dr. Amy Herring (BIOS), Dr. Diane Kelly (PHLP), Dr. John Paul (HPM), Dr. Charles Poole (EPID) and Dr. Kurt Ribisl.
Guidry selected as Science Communication Fellow
Dr. Virginia (Ginger) Thompson Guidry, postdoctoral fellow in epidemiology, was named a 2012 Science Communication Fellow by Environmental Health Sciences (EHS). EHS is a not-for-profit organization that aims to increase public understanding of scientific links between environmental factors and human health. Fellows will spend the year learning effective ways to inform media and the public about new research findings.
Dilworth-Anderson honored for mentoring
Dr. Peggye Dilworth-Anderson, professor of health policy and management, received the Carolina Women’s Leadership Council faculty-to-faculty mentoring award on March 1. She has mentored more than 20 doctoral students and many junior and midcareer faculty members since she joined the School’s faculty in 2002.
Stevens chosen for ASN’s Centrum Center Award
Dr. June Stevens, nutrition department chair and American Institute for Cancer Research/World Cancer Research Fund Distinguished Professor of nutrition, received the American Society for Nutrition’s 2012 Centrum Center Award, for investigative contributions to the understanding of human nutrition.
CGBI receives Bryan Award for service
Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (cgbi.sph.unc.edu), based in the maternal and child health department and led by Dr. Miriam Labbok, has won the Carolina Center for Public Service’s 2012 Robert E. Bryan Public Service Award. The Institute was honored for its Breastfeeding- Friendly Health Care Project and its student group, Carolina BEBES (studentorgs.unc.edu/bebes).
Barr and Greenberg awards presented
William A. Rutala, PhD, MPH, and Gary G. Koch, PhD, were honored with the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health’s most prestigious awards for alumni and faculty members at a ceremony preceding the Fred T. Foard Jr. Memorial Lecture on April 17.
Rutala, who earned a master’s degree at the School in 1977 and doctorate in 1979, received the Harriet Hylton Barr Distinguished Alumni Award. Koch, a biostatistics faculty member at the School for more than 40 years, was selected for the Bernard G. Greenberg Alumni Endowment Award.
The 2012 Foard Lecture was presented by Joseph Coughlin, PhD, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab. Learn about Coughlin’s work at tinyurl.com/agelab-at-mit.
NAP SACC receives BCBSNC award to expand program
The nutritional and physical activity self-assessment for child care (NAP SACC) program recently received a $600,000 grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation. NAP SACC will use the grant to develop an engaging and interactive online tool that can be used directly by child-care providers.
NAP SACC, begun in 2001, aims to promote healthy eating and physical activity in young children in child-care and preschool settings. Dianne Ward, EdD, professor of nutrition and research fellow at the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, serves as project director.
Six win Impact Awards
Public health students and recent alumni won six of 22 Impact Awards presented by The UNC Graduate School at an April awards ceremony. The awards recognize students whose research may improve the lives of people in North Carolina and beyond. Awardees were Peter Balvanz, alumnus, health behavior and health education, for Effects of Land Loss on African-American Farmers and Their Hope for the Next Generation; Brooke Hoots, alumna, epidemiology, for Developing Practical Tools to Inform Allocation of North Carolina’s Limited HIV Resources; Mehul Patel, doctoral student, epidemiology, for Prehospital Notification by Emergency Medical Services is Crucial to Timely Evaluation of Stroke; Meagan Vaughn, doctoral student, epidemiology, for Preventing Tick Bites Among North Carolina’s Outdoor Workers; Catherine Vladutiu, doctoral student, epidemiology, for Motor Vehicle Crashes and Expectant Moms; and Stephanie Watkins, doctoral student, epidemiology, for Early Breastfeeding Experiences and Postpartum Depression.
Ten more students from the School were recognized at the event for other research awards or honorary society inductions, and more than 50 were recognized for receiving prestigious external fellowships.
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.