SPH presents 2022 End of Year awards

HSC School of Public Health students, faculty and staff celebrate during End of Year awards ceremony

The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth’s School of Public Health (SPH) recently recognized student, faculty, staff and alumni accomplishments at its annual End of Year Celebration.

This year’s Leon Brachman Award was presented to two SPH students, Laura Kade and Joseph Odeyemi. The Brachman award is given annually to a public health student in the MPH or MHA program demonstrating exemplary academic achievement, as demonstrated by overall grade-point average, quality of projects and presentations and written and oral communication skills. This award is named in honor of the community leader and philanthropist Leon Brachman, who helped establish the HSC School of Public Health in 1999.

The 2022 Kenneth Cooper Award was presented to SPH student Armando Mendez. This award was established to honor the student who most accurately reflects the leadership and community service qualities demonstrated by best-selling author and internationally known health and wellness guru Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper. The award’s namesake created the Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas in 1970 and pioneered the concept of preventive medicine and healthy lifestyle. In 1992, Dr. Cooper and a steering committee of community leaders and professionals first proposed establishing a public health school in North Texas.

SPH student Grace Maynard was presented with this year’s Bob Crow Award, named for the former executive director of the Texas charitable Amon G. Carter Foundation, who also served on the steering committee that established the SPH in the ’90s. This award honors an outstanding MPH or MHA student each year who demonstrates exemplary leadership and service to the school and community.

The following students were named to the SPH 2022 Dean’s List: Ana Arizpe, Jessie Ausman, McKenzie Bartlett, Priyanka Basu, Jeffrey Billarreal, Rachel Blaydes, Allyson Cornett, Smriti Dhakal, Alexandra Farris, Kayla Jones, Laura Kade, Joseph Odeyemi, Mary Parrish, Mana Patel, Niyati Patel, Noah Peeri, Gayatri Kunchay, Sarah Lathrop, Jessica Guerra Martinez, Grace Maynard, Armando Mendez, Faith Meza, Daniel Millar, Rachael Mouat, Kwansah Ndemo, Meredith Newton, Jeffery O’Connell, Kimberlee Parker, Hemali Patel, Ashnita Raut, Samantha Rocha, Jil Shah, Jolie Starling, Abigail Till and Samantha Wallace.

The following SPH students were admitted into HSC’s Alpha Sigma Chapter of Delta Omega national public health honor society, which recognizes academic excellence, leadership, activity, commitment and exemplary work in the field of public health: Alexandra Farris, Ana Arizpe, Grace Maynard, Joseph Odeyemi, Laura Kade, Jessica Guerra Martinez, Armando Mendez and Hemali Patel.

SPH faculty members Dr. Katherine Pelch, assistant professor, Biostatistics and Epidemiology, and Dr. Nolan Kline, assistant professor, Health Behavior and Health Systems, were named to Delta Omega in recognition of their overall dedication to teaching, research and service. One honorary community member, Carol Klosek, CEO of the Center for Transforming Lives, Tarrant County, was honored into membership, in recognition of her commitment to improving life and health in the community.

At the event, 10 SPH students were named into Upsilon Phi Delta Honor Society, which recognizes, rewards and encourages academic excellence in the study of health care management and policy through HSC’s Master of Health Administration (MHA) program: Jairin Fudge, Kendall Kasper, Raymond Payette, Samantha Wallace, Grant O’Connell, Sarah Lathrop, Mary Parrish, Mana Patel, Niyati Patel and Stacee Rowland.

The School of Public Health presented Community Partner Awards for the first time in 2022, recognizing the exceptional contributions made by SPH community partners hosting HSC Master of Public Health (MPH) students for a yearlong internship. Three individuals were honored for going above and beyond in their efforts to provide mentoring and high-quality internship experiences over the last year: Chara Stewart Abrams, director of community health development for Christus Health; Dr. Didi Ebert, representing the TCOM Family Medicine Department; and Dr. Christina Robinson from the HSC Pediatric Mobile Clinic. 

This year’s Dean’s Award for Scholarly Excellence in Research was presented to SPH student Noah Peeri.

Newly elected officers of the Public Health Student Government Association (PHSGA) were also announced, including incoming RISE (Redefining Inclusive Solutions for Equity) representative Chimezirim Ezeano, MPH representative Mauli Shah, MS representative Keanna Johnson, MHA representative Michelle Nzoiwu and Ph.D. representative Kaeli Johnson.

New PHSGA executive board members were introduced, including incoming President Dylan Bodie, Vice President Richa Patel, Treasurer Beau Blanton and Secretary Tatiana Gonzalez.

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