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  SEPTEMBER 10, 2010
Recipients of 2010 ASPH/Pfizer Awards Announced!

ASPH/Pfizer awardsThe winners of the 2010 ASPH/Pfizer Awards have been chosen! These annual honors recognize graduate public health faculty members from full ASPH-member, CEPH-accredited schools of public health. These members have been notable for their teaching, practice and research excellence. This year’s winners are: Dr. Marie Diener-West (Johns Hopkins), Award for Teaching Excellence; Dr. John McGready (Johns Hopkins), Early Career in Public Health Teaching Award; Dr. Rebecca Parkin, (GW), Faculty Award for Excellence in Academic Public Health Practice; and Dr. Jane Kim (Harvard), Young Investigator’s Research Award.

An awards ceremony will take place at the ASPH Annual Meeting Reception on Saturday, November 6 at the Grand Hyatt in Denver, CO.

  • diener-westAward for Teaching Excellence
    Dr. Marie Diener-West is the Helen Abbey and Margaret Merrell Professor of Biostatistics Education at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Diener-West graduated with a BS, magna cum laude, in biology and mathematics (1977) from Loyola University Chicago in Illinois, and a PhD in biostatistics (1984) from Johns Hopkins.

    In the nomination of Dr. Diener-West, Dr. Karen Bandeen-Roche, a Hurley-Dorrier professor and chair of biostatistics at Johns Hopkins, wrote she “has taught more than 8,000 public health students worldwide. She has shown international leadership in advancing biostatistical education through the mentorship of teaching faculty; pioneering of new initiatives in distance education, short courses, teaching training for faculty and graduate assistants, and international education; and service on national panels on public health education.” Dr. Diener-West has received six Golden Apple teaching awards, the Ernest Lyman Stebbins Medal for Teaching Excellence from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Statistics Section Award for Academic Statistics from the American Public Health Association. She is also a Fellow in the American Statistical Association.

    Dr. Diener-West has served on over 300 PhD committees, mentored/co-directed the Johns Hopkins Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program for 13 years, and is a two-time recipient of the Advising, Mentoring, Teaching Recognition Award from students of Johns Hopkins. She organizes teaching workshops for her colleagues, worked with a school task force assessing academic advancement of clinician educators, and has mentored other biostatistics educators, including Dr. John McGready, winner of this year’s ASPH/Pfizer Early Career in Public Health Teaching Award.

    Dr. Diener-West co-created the first distance education course at the school. It was highly innovative for its use of interactive problem-solving tools, group work, faculty-led online meetings and dynamic graphics to illustrate ideas. She co-founded the MPH concentration in epidemiology/biostatistics and led in developing a unique MPH capstone experience with a yearlong seminar culminating in data analysis of publishable quality.

    Previous winners of the Award for Teaching Excellence include: Dr. Mark Robson, dean of agricultural and urban programs and professor of entomology at Rutgers University-School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and professor of environmental and occupational health at UMDNJ (2009); Dr. Lisa Sullivan, associate dean for education, professor and chair of the department of biostatistics at BU (2008); Dr. Richard Riegelman, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics and founding dean of GW’s School of Public Health and Health Services (2007); Dr. Lu Ann Aday, Lorne D. Bain distinguished professor in public health and medicine at UTexas (2006); and Dr. David Kleinbaum, professor of epidemiology at Emory (2005).
  • Early Career in Public Health Teaching Award
    mcgreadyDr. John McGready is an assistant scientist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. McGready received a BS in mathematical sciences (1991) from The Johns Hopkins University, a MS in biostatistics (1996) from the Harvard School of Public Health and a PhD in biostatistics (2007) from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

    Dr. Karen Bandeen-Roche, who nominated Dr. McGready, stated he “has advanced more than 1,800 public health careers. John's students are professionals seeking further education to better succeed in organizations dedicated to advancing global health. His educational leadership has resulted in innovations to teaching programs and methods, and research leading to rigorous evaluation of the same.”

    Since 2001, Dr. McGready has led in the teaching of biostatistics to students seeking to read scientific literature knowledgeably and received the highest rating as instructor from 90 percent of his students – the best among over 600 courses at the school. As a result, he is named an Outstanding Teacher virtually every term he instructs. Dr. McGready co-developed and teaches a widely subscribed online introductory sequence in biostatistics. Its curriculum was adapted for offerings in Finland, Armenia, Iraq and Taiwan and is being piloted in India. Additionally, Dr. McGready received the inaugural American Statistical Association Section on Teaching Statistics in the Health Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award.

    Previous winners of the Early Career in Public Health Teaching Award include: Dr. Karen McDonnell, associate professor in GW’s department of prevention and community health (2009); Dr. Peter Muennig, assistant professor of health policy and management at Columbia (2008); and Dr. Rob Stephenson, assistant professor of global health at Emory (2007).
  • Faculty Award for Excellence in Academic Public Health Practice
    parkinDr. Rebecca Parkin is the associate dean for research and public health practice and professor of environmental and occupational health at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. Dr. Parkin received a BA in sociology (1970) from Cornell University and both an MPH (1977) in environmental health and a PhD (1982) in epidemiology from Yale University School of Public Health.

    Dr. Katherine Hunting, associate dean for academic affairs and professor of environmental and occupational health, who nominated Dr. Parkin, stated she “built a strong competency-based practicum program and numerous collaborative relationships with regional health departments. She is recognized widely for practice-oriented scholarship and service in environmental epidemiology and risk science. She has participated on a host of consultancies and advisory committees and contributed to numerous high profile reports issued by the National Research Council or the Institute of Medicine. She is particularly adept at elaborating risk science frameworks that advance science-based policy and practice.”

    Case studies from Dr. Parkin’s own leadership experiences often comprise the backbone of her courses, thereby giving students invaluable insights into multidisciplinary, thinking-on-their-feet, no black-and-white/only shades-of-gray real-world problem solving. Dr. Parkin has provided rigorous academic guidance since 1999 for the Environmental and Occupational Health culminating project course, matching numerous students with local public health organizations and fostering their professional and research skills.

    Previous winners of the Faculty Award for Excellence in Academic Public Health Practice include: Dr. Kathleen R. Miner, associate dean for applied public health at Emory (2009); Dr. Bernard Turnock, clinical professor and director of community health sciences at UIC (2008); and Dr. Thomas A. Burke, professor of health policy and management at the Johns Hopkins (2007).
  • Young Investigator’s Research Award
    kimDr. Jane Kim is the assistant professor of health decision science at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Kim received both an MSc (2001) and a PhD (2005) from the Harvard School of Public Health.

    Dr. Karen Emmons, associate dean for research at the Harvard School of Public Health, nominated Dr. Kim for her article entitled, “Cost effectiveness analysis of including boys in a human papillomavirus vaccination programme in the United States.” The article was published in 2009 in the British Medical Journal, issue 339, and was co-authored by Dr. Sue J. Goldie.

    Dr. Arnold M. Epstein, John H. Foster professor and chair of the department of health policy and management at the Harvard School of Public Health, wrote a letter in support of the nomination. Dr. Epstein wrote, “this work is among a series of analyses conducted by Dr. Kim that have been instrumental in informing guidelines in the U.S. regarding the appropriate target population for HPV vaccination, including pre-adolescent and teenage girls, older women, and marginalized populations.”

    Dr. Epstein went on to write that Dr. Kim, “synthesized the biological, clinical and epidemiological data on type-specific HPV infection and related diseases in both genders, characterized the uncertainty in these data, and developed rigorous models to evaluate alternative vaccine policies. Her analysis published in the British Medical Journal provided timely, unbiased, and direct input to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other national guideline committees on the contentious question of whether to include boys in the U.S. HPV vaccination program.”

    Last year’s inaugural winner of the Young Investigator’s Research Award was Dr. Lia Fernald, associate professor in community health and human development at Berkeley.

In addition to the four award recipients, 34 honorees were nominated for the awards by schools of public health nationwide based on their outstanding teaching, connections with public health practice, mentorship, leadership and research.

For more information on the ASPH/Pfizer Awards, visit