|Maman, Sen honored at commencement with McGavran, Larsh awards|
|May 18, 2012|
UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health presented two of its most prestigious faculty awards during the School's commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 12.
Suzanne Maman, PhD, associate professor of health behavior and health education, received the McGavran Award for Excellence in Teaching, and Pranab K. Sen, PhD, Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished professor of biostatistics, received the John E. Larsh Jr. Award for Mentorship.
The McGavran Award
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. First given in 1975, the award recognizes career-long excellence in teaching by a faculty member at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.
Maman, who received her doctorate in international health from Johns Hopkins University in 2000, joined UNC's public health faculty in 2005.
"In a department full of deeply committed and talented teachers and mentors, Dr. Maman is a stand-out," said Jo Anne Earp, ScD, chair of the health behavior and health education department. "She is both the face of global health in the department and one of our finest teachers and mentors. Such is her reputation that we get many more top-tier global health applicants to our doctoral program each year than we can accommodate. Many of those applicants name Dr. Maman as the person with whom they hope to work."
In their nomination letters, a number of students described their experiences of being taught and mentored by Maman, consistently noting her enthusiasm, flexibility and interest in each individual in her classroom.
"Suzanne stands out for many reasons," said master's candidate Amanda Houpt. "Chief among them are her patience, organization and unwavering commitment to teaching her students. These qualities are apparent in everything she does."
"Her classroom is a place of incredible learning, collaboration and inspiration, and the door to her office is always open, welcoming students for questions, advice or just to chat," said Alicia Sparks, who received her Master of Public Health degree this spring.
The Larsh Award
Established in 1997, the highly competitive John E. Larsh Award for Mentorship honors Dr. 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 mentorship and commitment to students for which Larsh was well known.
Larsh awardee P.K. Sen joined the UNC biostatistics and statistics faculties in 1970, acquiring his distinguished professorship in 1982. He is a lifetime adjunct professor at the Indian Statistical Institute, and in March he received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Calcutta, where he had earlier in his career received bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees with high distinction.
During his tenure at UNC, Sen has made pioneering contributions to nearly every area of statistics. He has authored or co-authored 14 books and monographs, edited or co-edited 12 more volumes, and authored more than 600 research publications.
Sen also embodies the definition of a mentor as envisioned by Dr. John E. Larsh Jr., said Shrikant Bangdiwala, PhD, Sen's fellow professor in the biostatistics department and his former student.
"As a colleague on the faculty, I have never seen his door closed when he is in his office," Bangdiwala wrote in his nomination letter. "I have also observed that he always invites students and other faculty to come and ask their questions, no matter what else may be going on. What is more impressive is that no matter what the question, he listens carefully and has an appropriate answer."
Bangdiwala said Sen strongly encourages students to tackle important public health problems and to see the need for proper statistical methodology to address the real problem - whether it is progressively censored information in a longitudinal study or the uncertainties in climate change.
"When I was his doctoral student and was confronting a difficult theoretical development in the dissertation," Bangdiwala said, "a conversation with him would leave me 'walking on clouds,' not only because [he offered] a hint that would solve the theoretical impasse, but [because he helped me realize] the importance of moving forward and the potential contribution of my work."
Sen was out of the country during the commencement ceremony. Lloyd Edwards, PhD, associate professor of biostatistics, accepted the Larsh Award on his colleague's behalf.
More than 250 undergraduate and graduate students and more than 40 members of the faculty and staff participated in the School's commencement event.
View our commencement photos.
|Last updated May 24, 2012|