|Bentley and Miller awarded distinguished professorships|
|January 05, 2012|
Two distinguished professors at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health now will be able to use the adjective in their official titles. Margaret (Peggy) Bentley, PhD, and Cass (Casey) Miller, PhD, professors in nutrition and environmental sciences and engineering, respectively, have been approved by the University of North Carolina's Board of Trustees as Distinguished Professors at UNC, effective Jan. 1.
Dr. Bentley, who also is associate dean for global health at the School, has been named the Carla Smith Chamblee Distinguished Professor of Global Nutrition for the duration of her tenure.
"We are delighted to present this professorship to Peggy Bentley," said Barbara K. Rimer, DrPH, dean and Alumni Distinguished Professor at the School. "Dr. Bentley is recognized for the important work she has done over the years to understand the dimensions of infant caregiving, feeding, and nutrition and to develop effective, culturally appropriate interventions to encourage optimal infant feeding practices in the U.S. and around the world. As associate dean for global health, she has helped to guide globalization of the curriculum, development of new courses and framing of our mission as both local and global, with partnerships around the world."
Bentley, who earned master's and doctoral degrees in medical anthropology from University of Connecticut, joined the UNC faculty in 1998, becoming professor and associate dean in 2003. In 2007, she also was appointed associate director of the UNC Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases. Prior to coming to UNC, she served on the faculty of Johns Hopkins University.
"Peggy's efforts have been essential to making our School truly global," said June Stevens, PhD, AICR/ WCRF Distinguished Professor of nutrition and epidemiology and chair of the nutrition department. "She advocates linking global and local public health solutions in a way that is fresh and productive. Her own research reflects this way of thinking. In India, she is moving forward community-based interventions to improve child growth and development while at the same time her work in North Carolina improves our understanding of risk factors for the development of pediatric obesity. Her research and her advocacy of the expansion of opportunities for students to gain exposure to global health issues have been of enormous benefit. She is most deserving of this honor."
Dr. Casey Miller, professor of environmental sciences and engineering (ESE), was named Okun Distinguished Professor of Environmental Engineering through 2021. The professorship memorializes Daniel A. Okun, PhD, a world-renowned water researcher and longtime ESE professor at UNC.
Okun joined the ESE faculty in 1952 and chaired the department from 1955 to 1973. In 1973, he received the University's highest faculty tribute, The Thomas Jefferson Award, and was made a Kenan Distinguished Professor, a post he held until he retired in 1982.
"I am honored to hold the professorship that honors Dr. Okun," Miller said. "Dan was a man of passion for his causes; he had many. One of them was his continuing insistence that engineering be recognized as a strong focus within the department. I feel certain Dan would have thought of the professorship as reminding people that we are one of the top-rated environmental engineering programs in the world and uniquely positioned within a school, not of engineering, but of public health."
Rimer, who called Miller "a major force in critically important areas of environmental engineering," noted that he has been prolific in publication, grant productivity, student mentoring and professional service. "Fate and transport of materials, including contaminants, in groundwater, one of his research interests, is of compelling significance in North Carolina and around the world," Rimer said. "His use of modeling to understand complex systems has been fundamental in understanding multidimensional environmental problems. I am confident that Dan Okun would have been very pleased for Casey Miller to bear his named chair."
Miller received Master of Science and doctoral degrees in environmental engineering from the University of Michigan. He joined the UNC faculty in 1985 after more than a decade of working as an engineer in private industry, and served as ESE department chair from 1999-2005. An editor of the journal Advances in Water Resources since 1997, Miller has served as consultant to industry, professional firms and private groups.
"Casey is a highly regarded researcher who has made contributions in theoretical, computational and experimental approaches to environmental engineering problems," said Michael Aitken, PhD, chair of the UNC environmental sciences and engineering department. "The Okun Distinguished Professorship is a well-deserved recognition of his accomplishments."
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UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: Ramona DuBose, director of communications, (919) 966-7467 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Last updated January 20, 2012|