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2012 COPH Faculty Award Winners

From left to right: Associate Dean for Research James Anderson; Associate Professor. Shawn Gibbs; Dean Ayman El-Mohandes; Associate Professor Shinobu Watanabe-Galloway; and Professor Mohammad Siahpush.

Faculty Highlight – On April 20, the College of Public Health (COPH) celebrated students, faculty, and community partners at its annual awards dinner. This year, the COPH honored four outstanding faculty members with awards recognizing their dedication to the College’s mission of education, research, and service.

Shawn Gibbs, PhD, is the 2012 recipient of the COPH Excellence in Teaching Award, an award honoring a governing faculty member whose outstanding teaching contributions facilitate the highest levels of student learning. Dr. Shawn Gibbs is an associate professor in the Department of Environmental, Agricultural, and Occupational Health. He serves as the director of master’s programs and chair of the Curriculum Committee. He teaches Foundations of Public Health, a core course required of all Master of Public Health and doctoral students. Dr. Gibbs received a BS in biology from The Ohio State University, and both an MS in environmental engineering and a PhD in environmental science from the University of Cincinnati. He was a United States Fulbright Scholar to Egypt in 2006. He became a certified industrial hygienist in 2009. Dr. Gibbs’ research area is industrial hygiene and environmental exposure assessment, focusing on environmental microbiology. He is the author of over 40 peer-reviewed articles, a member of numerous professional organizations, and a reviewer for multiple journals.

This is the inaugural year for the COPH Faculty Research Award, honoring a member of the governing faculty whose research has contributed to the advancement of public health science and practice. Mohammad Siahpush, PhD, is the 2012 recipient of the award. Dr. Siahpush is a professor in the Department of Health Promotion, Social and Behavioral Health and has been with the COPH since 2007. Previously, he served as a senior research fellow at the Cancer Council in Victoria, Australia. Dr. Siahpush’s research has focused on social determinants of health and tobacco control. He has an impressive record of research funding and publications and presently serves as statistical editor for the journal Tobacco Control.

Shinobu Watanabe-Galloway, PhD, is the 2012 recipient of the Wagner Faculty Prize for Research and Service, which honors a COPH faculty member at the rank of assistant or associate professor who has shown promise in research and service, giving preference to faculty engaged in activities impacting US tribal communities. Dr. Watanabe-Galloway is an associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and has been with UNMC since 2004. Since 2006, Dr. Watanabe-Galloway has served as program director of the Northern Plains Comprehensive Cancer Control Program of the Aberdeen Area Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board and has collaborated on many projects strengthening the public health infrastructure within the Northern Plains tribal communities. Presently, she is involved in a public health workforce development project aimed at increasing epidemiology and geographical information system competencies among tribal public health professionals.

The College of Public Health Alumni Association Spirit of Service Award was given to James R. Anderson, PhD, for his generous gift of providing new graduates with their first year’s membership dues for joining the COPH Alumni Association. Dr. Anderson is a professor in the Department of Biostatistics and associate dean for research in the COPH. He is a biostatistician with specific research interests in the design and analysis of cancer clinical trials. He received his PhD from the University of Washington in 1979. He joined the UNMC faculty in 1989 as professor and chairman of the Department of Preventive and Societal Medicine in the College of Medicine and served as its chair until the department was subsumed into the COPH in 2007. Dr. Anderson presently serves as group statistician of the Children’s Oncology Group, an NCI-funded cancer cooperative group focused on the biology and treatment of childhood malignancies.

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