|Zelman and Herring honored for teaching, mentoring|
|May 10, 2010|
The UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health presented two prestigious faculty awards during the School's 70th commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 8. William Zelman, PhD, professor of health policy and management, received the John E. Larsh Jr. Award for Mentorship, and Amy Herring, ScD, associate professor of biostatistics, received the McGavran Award for Excellence in Teaching.
The Larsh Award
William Zelman, PhD
Established in 1997, the highly competitive John E. Larsh Award for Mentorship honors Larsh, a faculty member in the School's Department of Health Behavior and Health Education from 1942 to 1981. The award is presented to a current member of the School's faculty who best exemplifies the commitment to students for which Larsh was well known.
After receiving a doctoral degree in sociology from the University of Washington and a Master of Accountancy from the University of Denver, Bill Zelman joined the UNC faculty as an assistant professor of health policy and administration in 1978. Promoted to professor in 1990, he has served for more than 30 years in what is now the Department of Health Policy and Management.
Zelman is author, with Michael McCue and Noah Glick, of Introduction to Healthcare Financial Management (Boston: Blackwell Publishers, 2009), now in its third edition. According to Peggy Leatt, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management, the work is the "definitive text for graduate programs in health administration/management and is the text of choice for the majority of such programs in North America."
In 2009, Zelman was awarded a Gillings Innovation Laboratory grant for the project, "Teaching and Training in Public Health in the 21st Century."
Those nominating Zelman praised not only his scholarly contributions but also, in the words of John Paul, PhD, clinical associate professor of health policy and management, "the true-life impact of his work" as a "master teacher."
"Dr. Zelman wants his students...competent not only in financial skills...but also as well-rounded individuals with a greater appreciation for our local and global community's health," said Lauren Dennis, a 2009 Master of Healthcare Administration graduate.
"Professor Zelman's teachings have stayed with me as I work with my clients through hurdles and tough choices toward sustainable solutions," said Katie Drasser, a 2006 alumna and manager of consulting at Criterion Ventures (Conn.) and Good Capital (Calif.).
Kerry Jeffords, now director of strategy and business management at Sutter Health, headquartered in Sacramento, Calif., said that Zelman's "teaching model was as close to real life as I have ever had, with the bonus of providing a safe environment in which to falter and learn from your mistakes."
"Bill has distinguished himself in his dedication as a teacher and willingness to try new approaches [and in] his willingness and enthusiasm to support interdisciplinary initiatives within the [Gillings] School of [Global ] Public Health," said William Sollecito, DrPH, clinical professor and former director of the School's Public Health Leadership Program and director of the new online global health certificate.
Arnold Kaluzny, PhD, professor emeritus of health policy and management, agrees. "Bill's many contributions over the years and his ability to transcend disciplinary boundaries speaks to the very essence of public health," Kaluzny said.
Winner of the McGavran Award in 2000, Zelman said he was "especially honored to receive an award in John's name, for even as a young faculty member I became aware of the high esteem in which Professor Larsh was held."
The McGavran Award
Amy Herring, ScD
The McGavran Award for Excellence in Teaching honors Edward G. McGavran, MD, MPH, dean of the UNC School of Public Health from 1947 to 1963 and proponent of "hands-on" field training for public health students. It recognizes career-long excellence in teaching by a faculty member in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.
In 1995, Amy Herring graduated summa cum laude from University of Mississippi with baccalaureate degrees in mathematics and English. Five years later, she received her Doctor of Science in biostatistics from Harvard University and joined the UNC faculty as assistant professor. A prolific researcher, she has co-authored more than 80 refereed journal articles.
Equally prodigious is Herring's work in the classroom. Students, former students and faculty members describe her with adjectives including involved, caring, selfless, phenomenal.
"She is an amazing teacher," says doctoral student Bethany Horton. "Part of it is her depth of knowledge in the areas being taught, but it's also the way she communicates and presents new ideas to us and keeps us engaged. The notes she created for classes have become a well-worn resource in my collection of notebooks. ... I can honestly say I cannot imagine what my graduate school experience would be like without her."
Former student Sangwook Kang, PhD, now assistant professor in University of Georgia's Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, regards Herring as a mentor and role model. "She is passionate about teaching and, in turn, the course was very demanding," Kang said. "However she created a supportive classroom community while still providing a rigorous course. More importantly, she gave us motivation and clear and accurate explanation of the materials."
Jianwen Cai, PhD, professor, and Lawrence Kupper, PhD, Alumni Distinguished Professor, both in the biostatistics department, praised Herring's dedication to students, noting her initiative in developing a seminar course in biostatistics research skills.
"Dr. Herring and other faculty members were struck by students' comments that they felt isolated after formal coursework ended and had difficulty with the transition to research," Cai said. "Amy designed the seminar to teach students important skills for research while demystifying the research process and helping students form longer-lasting bonds with members of their cohorts."
"Amy is a dynamic lecturer who engages the students and treats them with respect," Kupper said. "She is also an excellent mentor. She directed two dissertations, both of which led to first-authored publications for the students. She also has directed research for several master's papers and has served on many doctoral committees in several departments at the School."
Perhaps the highest praise came from doctoral student Annie Green Howard. "There are few female doctoral-level biostatisticians in the academic world," Howard said, "and seeing Dr. Herring as successful researcher, wife, mother and - especially - teacher encourages me to pursue a similar path and hopefully influence my own students as she has me."
"My experience with teaching has been that as much as we may give to students, they give back even more," Herring said. "I'm honored to receive the McGavran Award and look forward to continuing to work with the outstanding students at UNC."
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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 May 10, 2010|