The College of Public Health Excellence in Teaching Award is given for excellence in teaching, including classroom instruction, innovation in teaching methods, advising, and other activities that have promoted and expanded the students’ learning experience. This year’s recipients were Dr. Brandon Grimm and Dr. Sharon Medcalf, both of whom are known not only for the exceptional education they provide to COPH students, but for the high quality, innovative training they deliver to practitioners throughout Nebraska, nationally and globally.
In addition to his numerous contributions to public health practice as the Director of COPH’s Office of Public Health Practice, Dr. Grimm is also recognized as an exceptional educator. He has taught a number of classes at COPH including the Foundations of Public Health, Public Health Leadership and Advocacy, Health Behavior, Interventions in Health Promotion and Health Promotion Program Planning. His nominator said, “Dr. Grimm is a phenomenal professor and mentor to all students. The way he teaches makes everyone excited about the field that we are entering and makes us want to get out there and help solve the problems around us. He is very passionate about what he does and by having that passion and displaying it in the classroom, it helps us learn and see this is what we want to do.”
Dr. Sharon Medcalf is being recognized for her excellence as an educator, her outstanding curriculum development for the emergency preparedness programs, and her dedication to students. One student said, “From the moment I started the program here, Dr. Medcalf has encouraged me to be the best student I can be. She has a high expectation of her students in classes, but is always willing to help students regardless of her busy schedule. Her expectation of excellence is not only for each student, but she has that expectation for herself, and for our programs.”
The Outstanding Service Learning/Capstone Award is given to an MPH student who has demonstrated excellence in the mastery of public health principles, values and practice throughout their Service Learning/Capstone Experience. All Master of Public Health students are required to conduct this service learning/capstone project with a public health organization which includes 150 hours of service learning and 150 hours of capstone research. The student’s project should exemplify the mission of the College of Public Health, contribute to the improvement of the health of a defined population and make a significant contribution to the work of the organization, agency, or community in which it is being conducted. This year’s recipient was Yun Ye, an MPH student with a concentration in epidemiology. Her project focused was on geospatial, clinical, and social determinants of hospital readmissions.