Steckler selected to present the 20th annual Hochbaum lecture

October 18, 2012
Dr. Allan Steckler

Dr. Allan Steckler

Allan Steckler, DrPH, professor emeritus in the Department of Health Behavior, will present the 20th annual Godfrey M. Hochbaum Distinguished Lecture on Friday, Oct. 19. A reception will follow.

The lecture was established in 1988 to honor Godfrey M. Hochbaum, PhD (1916-2000), who taught in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education from 1972 until his retirement in 1988. The lecture pays tribute to Hochbaum’s innovation and creativity and recognizes his enduring contributions to health behavior, health education and UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. Each year, the department invites a prominent scholar, someone whose work has stimulated thoughtful, innovative and creative examination of public health issues or the development of new perspectives in the field of public health education, to deliver the lecture.

Steckler, who joined the faculty of what was then known as the heath behavior and health education department in the mid-1970s, remained a full-time faculty member until his quasi-retirement in 2005. He has continued to teach, write and contribute on a part-time basis over the last dozen years. The subject of his lecture relates to Steckler’s recent endeavor to compile the department’s history. It is titled, “What’s in a name: Would a department by any other name be as sweet? The story of the evolution of the department of health behavior from 1942 to 2000.”

Leslie Lytle, PhD, new chair of the Department of Health Behavior, cited Steckler’s substantial work.

“I’ve known Allan for many years. His sense of calmness and positive energy was always appreciated,” she said. “His semi-retirement in the past years included teaching in HB and, more recently, gathering information on the history of the department. He will be sorely missed, but ever remembered for his service, excellent scholarship, sense of humor, and kind and gentle spirit.”

Lytle reiterated that the event celebrates not only Dr. Hochbaum and Dr. Steckler, but also helps celebrate the department’s new name.

“This is the first delivery of the lecture under the department’s new name,” she said.’ With the name change, the faculty refined the current focus of the department’s work, with an interest in how myriad social, cultural, economic and psychological factors may influence health behaviors, and ultimately health outcomes, of communities and populations. It’s also my first Hochbaum Lecture, and I am excited to join this outstanding department and to be part of its future.”



UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: Linda Kastleman, communications editor, (919) 966-8317 or