SOPHE recognizes professionals, practitioners, researchers, faculty, and students with awards at SOPHE 2021dX

Digital awards ceremony livestreaming on Thursday, April 8, 2021

Washington, DC – February 24 – 2021 – The Society for Public Health Education, Inc. (SOPHE) will present more than 30 awards and scholarships to health education researchers, faculty, practitioners, and students during its evening awards ceremony on Thursday, April 8 at 5:30 p.m. ET as a part of SOPHE’s 2021 Annual Conference.

SOPHE awards and scholarships recognize significant achievements in the health education and health promotion profession and outstanding contributions of veterans and rising stars to improving the health of society.

Join SOPHE in congratulating the following individuals on their awards and recognition.

Kenneth R. McLeroy, DrPH, MPH, will receive SOPHE’s highest honor to a member, the Distinguished Fellow Award, posthumously. Dr. McLeroy’s career in public health spanned over 40 years, including service in the Peace Corps, US Army, and as a professor of health education/health promotion and associate dean for academic affairs. With a gifted ability to synthesize complex ideas and apply them to social problems, he was a prodigious researcher of federally and state-funded research in the areas of community capacity, program evaluation, social ecology, community-based approaches to health promotion and disease prevention, and the relationship between theory and practice. Most notably, Dr. McLeroy’s development of the social ecological model catalyzed a global paradigm shift within health education from a focus primarily on individual-level behavior change to intervention in organizations, communities, systems, and environments. In addition to serving on SOPHE’s Health Education & Behavior editorial board for many years, he co-chaired SOPHE/CDC’s efforts to establish the first research agenda for health education. Dr. McLeroy remained active in SOPHE, APHA, and many other local, state and national organizations until his death in May 2020.

Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will receive SOPHE’s Honorary Fellow Award, SOPHE’s highest award to a non-member who has made significant advances in health education and the public’s health. Throughout his career, Dr. Fauci has served as one of the most trusted and respected health communicators on viral epidemics including HIV/AIDS, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Ebola, Zika, and most recently COVID-19 ISARS-CoV2). During the AIDS epidemic, he made major contributions to understanding how HIV affects the immune system and developing drugs to help prolong the lives of people with HIV. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he has been outspoken in the need for sound scientific data to undergird public health response and the need to adhere to basic public health guidelines. Dr. Fauci will present his acceptance remarks during the opening plenary at the SOPHE 2021dX conference.

The Karen Denard Goldman Health Education Mentor Award recipient is Gary Harper, PhD, MPH, a professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. His decades of energy and dedication to health education mentorship and teaching exemplify the true spirit of this award. As a mentor and teacher, Dr. Harper has informed generations of students in public health and social justice and empowered them to bring new insights, experiences, and skills to the field.

Following is a list of other awardees to be honored during the SOPHE’s 72nd Annual Conference.

Graduate Student Research Paper
Janae Tenesha Alexander, MPH, CHES®, Texas A&M University

Horizon Award
Nicole Batista, Southern Connecticut State University

Digital Health Technology & Communication Award
Kasondra McCracken, MS, MCHES© for the initiative: Health Education and Health Promotion Student Organization (HEHPSO), Arizona State University

Vivian Drenckhahn Student Scholarship
Taran Haut, Arizona State University
Natalie Astor, Columbia University
Amy Blom, Colorado State University

SOPHE Chapter Award for Excellence

SOPHE/CDC Injury Prevention Student Fellowship
Melanie (Grace) Albright, MA, The University of Alabama – Birmingham
Sarah Spafford, Suicidology, University of Oregon

SOPHE Patient Engagement Student Fellowship
Ha Ngan (Milkie) Vu, MA, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health

Brick Lancaster Community Health Internship
Breanna De Leon, Southern Connecticut State University

SOPHE’s 21st Century Student Scholarships
Shanae Burch, EdD, Teachers College, Columbia University
Arden Castle, MPH, San Jose State University
Kat Demarco, MPH, Montclair State University
Shelby Duessel, BS, Truman State University
Carol Jacob, MPH, University of Texas Health Sciences Centre
Samantha Mundt, University of Indianapolis
Subhash Ramakrishnan, MPH, Saint Louis University
Shannon Shimada, MPH, San Jose State University
Vanessa Silverstein, MPH, San Jose State University
Doris Swarn, MPH, West Chester University
Megan Williams, PhD, The University of Alabama
Ashlyn Vargas, MPH, San Jose State University

SOPHE’s 21st Century Practitioner Scholarships
Kirsten Rodgers, EdD, MSPH, MCHES®, Proximate Learning
Matthew Weinburke, DrPH, MSPH, REHS, UC Merced/Marymount University/
Independent Contractor
Jess Wiedenhoff, Jones County Public Health

Helen P. Cleary Scholarship – sponsored by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHC)
Katherine Chan
Shannon Fyalkowski
Destiny Hayes
Dayana Leyva
Robin McClain
Andrea Vilorio

SOPHE Papers of the YearLawrence W. Green Paper of the Year
“LATENT//Missing: On Missing Values, Narrative Power, and Data Politics in Discourse of COVID-19” Vol 47, Issue 5, 2020, Ryan J. Petteway, DrPH, MPH.Health Education & Behavior

Pedagogy in Health Promotion Paper of the Year Award
 “How Do We Explain the Social, Political, and Economic Determinants of Health? A Call for the Inclusion of Social Theories of Health Inequality Within U.S.-Based Public Health Pedagogy” Vol 6, Issue 4, 2020, Michael Harvey, DrPHPedagogy in Health Promotion

Sarah Mazelis Paper of the Year   
“Native American Youth Citizen Scientists Uncovering Community Health and Food Security Priorities” Vol 21, Issue 1, 2020, Katherine Kim, PhD, MPH, MBA et al.Health Promotion Practice.

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