SOPHE awards outstanding public health and health education practitioners

More than 15 distinguished professionals and students will be recognized at SOPHE’s 2023 Annual Conference in Atlanta

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 20, 2023 – The Society for Public Health Education, Inc. (SOPHE) will present awards and scholarships to public health professionals, health education researchers, faculty, programs, practitioners and students during its 2023 annual conference in Atlanta, March 21-24, 2023.

The awards and scholarships recognize significant achievements in public health, health education and health promotion, and the outstanding contributions of veterans and rising stars.
Join SOPHE in congratulating the following individuals on their award and recognition.

Marlene Tappe, PhD, MS, will receive SOPHE’s highest honor to a member, the Distinguished Fellow Award. Tappe, “Dr. T.,” is a professor and chairperson of the department of health science, at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Dr. T. loves teaching because of the interactions with students and helping them discover and move toward their health careers. Her areas of expertise include health education, School Health/Whole School Whole Community Whole Child, and physical activity.

Catherine Coleman Flowers, MA, is the recipient of SOPHE’s highest award – the 2023 Honorary Fellow. This award is presented to non-members who have made significant and lasting contributions to health education and the public’s health. Flowers is an American environmental health researcher, writer and the founder of the Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice. She was selected as a MacArthur Fellow in 2020. Her first book, “Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret,” explores the environmental justice movement in rural America. She is broadening the scope of environmental justice to include issues specific to disenfranchised rural communities and galvanizing policy and research to redress failing infrastructure that perpetuates socioeconomic disparities in rural areas across the United States.
The 2023 Karen Denard Goldman Health Education Mentor Award recipient is Alvin Tran, ScD, MPH, assistant professor of public health and assistant provost for diversity, equity, and inclusion at the University of New Haven in Connecticut. Whether it is through fellowships, research, or the implementation of programs, Dr. Tran is committed to seeing his students succeed. His zeal to support and mentor his students from various walks of life makes him a standout health educator and mentor.

The M. Elaine Auld Horizon Award recognizes early-career health educators who have distinguished themselves through leadership, creativity, involvement in the profession, and health education practice. Kavita Batra, PhD, MPH, BDS, FRSPH is our 2023 awardee. Dr. Batra is an assistant professor, senior medical research biostatistician, and a director for the internal medicine residents’ research within the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.UNLV

Dorothy Nyswander Health Equity Award recognizes an individual or group who embodies and promotes health equity through research, practice, and/or teaching. Our 2023 awardee is Sarah E. Toth, PhD, MEd, MCHES,® an associate professor of health science at Alabama A&M University and vice president of Delta SOPHE Chapter.

All 2023 SOPHE Award Recipients – The following awards will be presented during SOPHE’s Annual Conference in Atlanta. A special recognition ceremony and reception for the awardees is Thursday, March 23 at 6:00 p.m. All conference attendees are invited to attend and celebrate with their friends and colleagues.

Distinguished Fellow
Marlene Tappe, PhD, MS

Honorary Fellow
Catherine Coleman Flowers, MA

Karen Denard Goldman Mentor Award
Alvin Tran, ScD, MPH

M. Elaine Auld Horizon Award
Kavita Batra, PhD, MPH, BDS, FRSPH

Dorothy Nyswander Health Equity Award
Sarah E. Toth, PhD, MEd, MCHES®

Vivian Drenckhahn Student Scholarships
Elizabeth Onyenefu Obekpa, MPH
Muskan Kohli, MBBS
Isaiah Niles Zoschke, MPH

Health Education Technology Innovation Award
“Strategic Training Initiative for the Prevention of Eating Disorders” (STRIPED)
Boston Children’s Hospital & Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health

21st Century Health Education Practice Scholarships
Patrick R. Stieg, MA, CHES®
Rebecca Rich, PhD, MA, CHES®

21st Century Student Scholarships
Kaitlyn Held
Kruti S. Chaliawala, MS, MA, CHES®
Opemipo V. Olaseni

Most Valuable Partner Award
Association of State Public Health Nutritionists
During the annual conference, SOPHE also presents awards for paper of the year from their three peer-reviewed journals.

Health Education & Behavior’s Lawrence W. Green Paper of the Year: “Post-Roe” Abortion Policy Context Heightens the Imperative for Multilevel, Comprehensive, Integrated Health Education.” HE&B. 2022, Vol. 49(6) 913–918. Authored by Whitney S. Rice, DrPH, MPH1; Subasri Narasimhan, PhD, MPH; Anna Newton-Levinson, PhD, MPH, Johanna Pringle, MPH; Sara K. Redd, PhD, MSPH; and Dabney P. Evans, PhD, MPH.

This year, SOPHE’s journal Health Promotion Practice, presented two Sarah Mazelis Papers of the Year Awards to “The Tai Qi of Photovoice.” HPP 2022. Vol. 23(2) 205-210. Authored by Caroline C. Wang DrPH, MPH.

And the second Sarah Mazelis Paper of the Year, “Through Our Eyes, Hear Our Stories: A Virtual Photovoice Project to Document and Archive Asian American and Pacific Islander Community Experiences During COVID-19.” HPP 2022. Vol. 23(2) 289-295. Authored by Phuc Duy Nhu To, MA; Julia Huynh, MA; Judy Tzu-Chun Wu, PhD; Thuy Vo Dang PhD, MA; Cevadne Lee, MPH; and Sora Park Tanjasiri DrPh, MPH.

Pedagogy in Health Promotion Paper of the Year Award was presented to “An Anti-Racism Public Health Graduate Program: Mentoring of Students and Igniting Community.” PHP 2022. 8(4) 261-270. Authored by Goleen Samari, PhD, MPH, MA; Monét Bryant, MPH; and Stephanie Grilo, PhD.

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