May 13, 2005
Spring is awards season across the University, and we’re excited about the significant work HBHE students have been doing and the rewards they have received for their leadership in both scholarship and outreach. Read about some of our students’work below, and for a more complete listing, click on the following link: Butzen, Michelle Ramos, and Rachel Willard were each recognized this Spring with the Department’s Lucy S. Morgan Fellowship, awarded to outstanding first-year master’s students for scholastic achievement, integrity, leadership and commitment to health education practice.

Annie Butzen came to UNC with a degree in philosophy from Grinnell College and four years’ experience in the area of tobacco prevention and cessation. Prior to beginning the MPH program, she worked with EnTER (Environmental tobacco smoke Training, Education and Research), a UNC School of Medicine program focused on reducing exposure to secondhand smoke. “Annie is doing innovative work in the area of tobacco policy,” says one of her EnTER colleagues, “and brings passion to that work.” In HBHE, Annie has maintained her demanding position with EnTER while also excelling in the master’s program. “She’s a true public health leader,” says one. “She tackles one of the toughest public policy issues in our state with passion, dedication and intelligence.”

With her BA in Psychology and Spanish from Stanford in hand, Michelle Ramos started working on public health research projects that would impact underserved communities, including Latinos and African Americans. Five years later, as a HBHE master’s student, Michelle is admired for her passion and commitment to working with underserved communities. As her nominator put it, “Even in the short time she has been at UNC, Michelle has become a leader among her peers.” Bilingual and bicultural, she helped her fellow students navigate the local Latino community as part of their AOCD projects; was active in planning this year’s highly successful Minority Health Conference; and was recently appointed to the board of the Student Health Action Coalition.

Rachel Willard, a Texas A&M graduate in History and Spanish, came to public health through her experience, first as a volunteer, and then as Executive Director, for a large free clinic in Texas. She worked with the organization’s board, 140 volunteers, and local communities to meet the needs of the homeless, the mentally ill, and recent immigrants. From there, Rachel studied public health for a year in Bolivia. In HBHE, Rachel’s fellow students see her as “the best of the best” when it comes to interpersonal dynamics. “Rachel has impressive skills in developing trust with community members,” says one. “She demonstrates not only discipline and perseverance, but also a special sense of humanity toward working with marginalized communities.”

Second year master’s student Anne Krier received this year’s Ethel Jean Jackson Health Education Practice Award. This award recognizes an outstanding HBHE student with a demonstrated commitment to health education practice among disadvantaged communities and communities of color. Anne earned her BA in Anthropology from Kenyon College, followed by 3 years in Ecuador with the Peace Corps. In HBHE, Anne is recognized for her outstanding work in developing PUEDES, a comprehensive lay health advisory program on sexual health for Hispanic women in Chatham County. “Anne’s development of the PUEDES project is entirely innovative and nontraditional,” says one nominator. “Her project is both far reaching and comprehensive.”

The James R. Briley Scholarship for excellence in health education, presented to a second year MPH student from North Carolina, was conferred on Molly Jarman. A 2004 graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill, Molly’s undergraduate work in medical anthropology prepared her well for HBHE. In addition to her numerous other commitments as an MPH student, she is now working with UNC’s Center for Healthy Behaviors to implement their new health promotion guidelines and programs. She also volunteers in a free clinic in Carrboro as a health education counselor. A total of 7 students have been, or are being, supported through the Briley Endowment, including Anne Downs (MPH ’01), Mary DeCoster (MPH ’02), Jimmy Wallace (MPH ’03), Austin Brown (MPH ’04), Karen Isaacs (MPH ’05), and Carrie Fesperman (MPH ’05).

In other student news, first-year master’s student Jennifer Gard received the Buffett Award, which recognizes students committed to making a difference in the area of violence prevention. Another first-year master’s student, Caroline Whalen, received the 2005 Robert E. Bryan Fellowship from the Carolina Center for Public Service in support of her summer project proposal, Women’s CARE (Culturally Appropriate Reproductive Examination Education). Congratulations are also in order for second year master’s students Marianna Garretson and Melissa Gilkey, the most recent HBHE inductees into Alpha Epsilon Lambda, the graduate and professional school honorary society.

For a more complete listing of HBHE student awards and activities for the 2004-2005 academic year, see

For further information please contact Catherine Vorick either by phone at 919-966-3918 or by email at


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