I feel a renewed sense of
awe and wonder with every new class of graduates, each one unique yet
sharing a readiness to take on a world full of daunting public health
problems. A total of 299 students received degrees on May 13, including
264 MPH degrees, 19 MSPH degrees, three Master's of Science degrees,
11 dual degrees, and four PhDs. Dr. Audrey Manley,
the President of Spelman College and a former acting Surgeon General
of the United States and Deputy Surgeon General, gave a rousing commencement
address, calling graduates to embrace a life of service. Graduate speaker
Kari Greene urged her classmates to combat fatalism
and maintain their passion for service when they feel overwhelmed by
the public health problems of the day. As always, the ceremony was replete
with well-deserved honors and awards. Carlos Franco Paredes
(International Health and chief resident at Grady Memorial Hospital)
received the James W. Alley Award, for extraordinary efforts to serve
those in need. Stanley Foster (International Health)
received the Thomas F. Sellers, MD Award for support of faculty colleagues
in public health. Thomas Mampilly (Environmental and
Occupational Health) received the Eugene J. Gangarosa, MD Student Award,
which honors creative approaches to solving public health problems.
Azhar Nizam (Biostatistics) received the Crystal Apple
Award for Excellence in Professional School Teaching for the university
at large. Roger Rochat (Epidemiology and International
Health), Kimberly Sessions (Behavioral Sciences and
Health Education), and Jim Setzer (International Health)
received Professor of the Year Awards, given by students to honor outstanding
faculty members who demonstrate leadership, a genuine concern for students,
and a sense of academic excellence.
I am extremely excited and pleased to announce that the Bill & Melinda
Gates Foundation has established the William H. Foege Fellowships in
Global Health at RSPH to honor the career and achievements of Dr. Foege,
Presidential Distinguished Professor of International Health at RSPH
and a senior adviser to the foundation. Beginning in the fall of 2003,
the fellowship program will bring four Foege Fellows from developing
countries each year to study at RSPH and will be supported by a $5 million
endowment gift from the Gates Foundation. The fellows will be mid-career
professionals who will develop lasting partnerships with mentors at
the many public health agencies in Atlanta, including Emory, the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The Carter Center, and Care
USA. In addition, the O.C. Hubert Charitable Trust has granted RSPH
$1.4 million to establish the William H. Foege Chair in Global Health.
An Emory commitment brings the total endowment for that chair to $2
million. The recipient of the chair will direct the fellowship program
as well as the O.C. Hubert Fellowships in International Health, which
help support international field research experiences for students.
Jeffrey Koplan, MD, MPH, adjunct professor
of Epidemiology and Health Policy and Management and former Director
of the CDC, is now Vice President for Academic Health Affairs for Emory's
Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC). In this role, Koplan will plan,
direct, and advance research and academic strategies for the WHSC, which
includes RSPH, the schools of medicine and nursing, the Yerkes National
Primate Research Center, and Emory Healthcare.
Please welcome the following new
members to our faculty:
- Jack S. Mandel, PhD, MPH, has been named the Rollins
Professor of Epidemiology and the new chair of the Department of Epidemiology.
During his career, he has published more than 100 articles on epidemiologic
studies, many involving environmental exposures and cancer. While
a faculty member at the University of Minnesota from 1975 to 1999,
he headed the Division of Environmental and Occupational Health for
four years, held an endowed chair, and was an award-winning teacher.
Most recently, he served as Group Vice President of Health/Epidemiology
and Environmental Science for a national consulting firm. He holds
a BSc in mathematics from the University of Manitoba and an MPH and
PhD from the University of Minnesota.
- James W. Buehler, MD, PhD, Professor of Epidemiology,
joins the Rollins Center for Public Health Preparedness and Research
in an innovative position that will foster links between RSPH and
the Georgia Division of Public Health (GDPH). He was previously Associate
Director for Science at the National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention
at CDC. Buehler will help the state division with matters of public
health surveillance, training, and prevention, and the Epidemiology
Branch of the GDPH will help fund his position.
- Bradley J. Herring, PhD, Assistant Professor of
Health Policy and Management, recently completed postdoctoral studies
at Yale University as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow.
His work focuses on health economics, insurance theory, public finance,
and social insurance. He earned his PhD from the Wharton School of
Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
- Gary W. Miller, PhD, Associate Professor of Environmental
and Occupational Health, comes to the RSPH from the University of
Texas. He also holds appointments in the departments of Neurology
and Pharmacology in the Emory School of Medicine. His research examines
the environmental and genetic causes of Parkinson's disease. He received
his PhD in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Georgia
and completed postdoctoral fellowships at Emory and Duke in molecular
- Nelson "Kyle" Steenland, PhD, Professor of Environmental
and Occupational Health and Epidemiology, was previously an epidemiologist
for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. His
research examines exposures such as silica, dioxin, pesticides, tobacco
smoke, and shift work, and he is the school's first Georgia Cancer
Coalition Scholar. He holds doctorates in history and epidemiology
from the University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree in mathematics
from the University of Cincinnati.
Please welcome Margaret Jenkins,
Assistant Director of Development, and Beverly Fowler,
Program Development Coordinator, who join the staff of Kathryn
Graves, Assistant Dean for Development and External Relations.
Jenkins is a graduate of Sweetbriar College and received her MEd from
the University of Virginia this past May. She will focus on annual giving
and alumni relations.
RSPH students gathered many well-deserved honors this past academic year:
- At the annual Charles C. Shepard Symposium, the Shepard Award for
scientific excellence was presented to Dr. Josef Amann
(International Health) for his thesis on "Trachoma in the Upper Nile
Region of Southern Sudan." Many thanks to Victoria Phillips, who organized
the symposium, and to long-time organizer John Boring for serving
as master of ceremonies.
- Eight of 37 Association of Schools of Public Health/CDC internships
offered this year went to RSPH students.
- Twenty-eight recent graduates and students were inducted into the
honorary society, Delta Omega.
The newly formed Association of Black
Public Health Students issued its first annual "Building Bridges Awards"
to Torrance Stephens, professor of BSHE, and Tyrone
Harris, staff. Congratulations to the award winners and the
dedicated students behind this new group.
Debra Couch, PhD, was a dedicated
teacher and research coordinator who cared deeply about the welfare
of students and research subjects at RSPH and Clark Atlanta University,
where she taught psychology. She helped supervise research projects
at RSPH and worked with Ken Resnicow on Project Excellence, an after-school
program aimed at reducing substance abuse among African-American teens.
She died this past spring of a massive brain hemorrhage while grading
papers in bed. She will be deeply missed.
Congratulations to faculty
members distinguishing themselves on campus, nationally, and around
- Professors Ruth Berkelman (Epidemiology) and Keith
Klugman (International Health) now serve on the Institute
of Medicine Committee on Microbial Threats to Health in the 21st Century,
which is chaired by Nobel laureate Joshua Lederburg. In addition,
Klugman was also invited to join the Wellcome Trust
Tropical Medicine Interest Group in London and made an honorary member
of the Chilean Society of Infectious Diseases.
- F. DuBois Bowman (Biostatistics) received a five-year
NIH Mentored Quantitative Research Career Development Award for developing
research in statistical methodology for neuroimaging studies. He will
receive 75% salary support for the next five years.
- Susan Butler (BSHE) was recently elected to a
five-year term on the Division Board for Professional Development
of the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing.
- Howard Frumkin, chair of Environmental and Occupational
Health, was appointed to the Board of Scientific Counselors of the
National Toxicology Program and reappointed to the Institute of Medicine
(IOM) Roundtable on Environmental Health.
- David Holtgrave (BSHE) is serving on the IOM Committee
on Public Financing and Delivery of HIV Care.
- Jane Nelson, Associate Director of the Center
for Public Health Practice, is the first author of the recently published
Public Health Competency Handbook. Joyce Essien
is a co-author. The book has been distributed to state and local health
departments nationwide, and the National Association of County and
City Health Officials is marketing it as well. Jane is retiring this
summer but will stay close by as an emeritus professor. She has served
on the RSPH faculty for more than 10 years, gaining national recognition
through her research on strategic planning and organizational change
and her work to help public health practitioners negotiate our volatile
health care environment. She has been instrumental to the National
Public Health Performance Standards Program, which aims to establish
consistent public health performance standards nationwide.
- Frits Van der Haar (International Health) has
been named Secretary of a public-private partnership hosted by the
RSPH called the Network for Sustained Elimination of Iodine Deficiency,
a partnership of 10 international organizations. This alliance includes
salt producer associations from the Americas, Europe, and China, as
well as WHO, UNICEF, CDC, and RSPH. The network helps countries progress
toward and sustain universal salt iodization.
- I was recently invited by Senators Bill Frist and John Kerry to
serve on the Eminent Persons Panel for Global HIV/AIDS of the Center
for Strategic and International Studies.
James W. Curran, MD, MPH