School of Public Health faculty tenure announcements

June 2, 2022 • News

By Sally Crocker

The School of Public Health is pleased to announce that the UNT System Board of Regents granted tenure at their May 19, 2022, meeting to Dr. Erika Thompson and Dr. Rajesh Nandy, effective September 1.

Dr. Erika Thompson

Dr. Thompson joined HSC in 2018. Her research interests address sexual and reproductive health, and maternal and child health issues, primarily centered on human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and prevention. Using mixed-methods approaches, she has examined HPV vaccine decision-making among adults, reasons for non-vaccination among parents, school-entry policies, and alternative health care providers and settings for HPV prevention.

Her work also studies reproductive health issues, such as contraceptive needs and access among women experiencing homelessness, with focus on the social determinants for maternal and child health issues in our community, including housing insecurity, early childhood education and violence.

Dr. Thompson was named as a Fellow in the American Academy of Health Behavior (AAHB) in 2022 and was presented with AAHB’s prestigious Judy K. Black Early Career Research Award in 2020.

She was honored with the first Hope Award from the Tarrant County-area Center for Transforming Lives (CTL) in 2021 for her efforts in finding public health solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing children and their families.

Rajesh Nandy
Dr. Rajesh Nandy

Dr. Nandy’s primary research involves development of novel, intuitive and practical statistical methods to solve real-life problems.

“The motivation for most of my statistical methodological research comes from real data where conventional statistical approaches are either inadequate or fail completely. To accomplish my research objectives, I actively seek opportunities to collaborate with statisticians and investigators in diverse research fields,” he said.

Dr. Nandy has applied his methods to a broad range of applications including clinical trials, neuroimaging, dose response, psychiatry and signal processing using a wide array of statistical methods like Multivariate Statistical Analysis, Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) methods, Multiple Comparison, Resampling Methods, Machine Learning, Bayesian variable selection, Optimal Designs and Spatial Statistics.

He has been honored with the prestigious P.C. Mahalanobis International Symposium on Statistics Gold Medal from the Indian Statistical Institute. This rare award is named for P.C. Mahalanobis, Institute founder. Dr. Nandy has received other awards including the Human Brain Travel Mapping Award and the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine Travel Award. He joined the HSC School of Public Health faculty in 2013.

During the pandemic, Dr. Nandy worked with Tarrant and Dallas County Public Health as part of the modeling team for COVID-19 projections. He published multiple HSC reports on the state of COVID-19 to help with local community preparedness. He made media appearances locally, nationally and internationally as part of a pandemic public awareness campaign. The Texas Governor cited Dr. Nandy’s work in promoting the state’s mask mandate when those precautions were most critical.

“Both Dr. Thompson and Dr. Nandy are well deserving. We look forward to their continued leadership in advancing the mission and development of the School of Public Health,” said Dr. Dennis Thombs, Dean.