Highlights from the history and origins of the University of Maryland School of Public Health


  • School of Public Health faculty, staff and students document why infant mortality rates in Maryland are highest for African American and rural infants, and prepare a report with recommendations to reduce these disparities for Maryland policymakers. 
  • Mission of Mercy: SPH partners for third time with Catholic Charities and Maryland State Dental Association to provide Free Dental, Wellness Services to More Than 1,000. 
  • The Maryland Center for Health Equity led a workgroup advancing Maryland's "Health in All Policies" approach. Recommendations from the workgroup included creating a Council, developing a toolkit with a reference guide and establishing data-sharing between state agencies, among others.
  • The School of Public Health received the 2019 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.
  • The School of Public Health hosted a teach-in and national research summit focused on strategies to eliminate gun violence as a leading cause of injury and death. 
  • The School of Public Health awarded its highest honor, the Distinguished Terrapin Award, to four outstanding members of the SPH community. Each honoree (Dr. Barbara Alving; Dr. Richard Eberst, PhD ’77; Mr. Jeffrey Rivest ’75; and Col. Jimmie L. Slade) was selected for their outstanding professional achievements and their unique relationship to the School of Public Health.
  • Kinesiology Assistant Professor Jennifer Roberts and Associate Professor Shannon Jette launched NatureRx @ UMD, an initiative that encourages students, faculty and staff to take advantage of the University of Maryland campus' status as an arboretum by getting outside to relieve stress and anxiety and benefit their overall health.
  • More than 600 students, faculty, staff and community partners came together for the seventh annual Public Health Research @ Maryland day, headlined with a keynote by US Surgeon General Jerome Adams.
  • The Support Advocacy, Freedom, and Empowerment (SAFE) Center for Human Trafficking Survivors became a part of the School of Public Health, to provide comprehensive legal, case management, mental health, primary medical and economic empowerment services to U.S. and foreign-born adult and child survivors of sex and labor trafficking. The center also engages in research and advocacy to help prevent trafficking and improve survivor services.
  • An online platform to support LGBTQ youth and a chatbot app addressing vaccine misinformation both won the 2019 (second annual) Gold Public Health Innovation Award competition hosted by the School of Public Health.
  • In the first study of public health-related Facebook advertising, newly published in the journal Vaccine, researchers at the University of Maryland, the George Washington University and Johns Hopkins University show that a small group of anti-vaccine ad buyers has successfully leveraged Facebook to reach targeted audiences and that the social media platform’s efforts to improve transparency have actually led to the removal of ads promoting vaccination and communicating scientific findings. 


  • Environmental Health Professor Don Milton publishes a groundbreaking study showing that the Flu May be Spread Just by Breathing. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study provides new evidence for the potential importance of airborne transmission because of the large quantities of infectious virus researchers found in the exhaled breath from people suffering from flu. 
  • The School of Public Health launches a new Global Health Initiative to engage in research, service and education activities aimed at imporving health across the globe. 
  • The Maryland Center for Health Equity (M-CHE) is recognized by the American Public Health Association with its 2018 Health Equity Award for its work improving the health of Maryland residents. 
  • The University of Maryland receives $3 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Traineeship (NRT) program to establish a new graduate training and research program aimed at creating innovative and sustainable solutions for global food, energy and water systems.
  • New research from Sandra Quinn— and colleagues at other institutions— finds that bots and Russian trolls influenced vaccine discussions on Twitter, spreading false information. The research, published in the American Journal of Public Health, examined thousands of tweets sent between July 2014 and September 2017.
  • The School of Public Health launches the first annual Gold Public Health Innovation Award, intended to spark public health innovation, design thinking and solutions to big public health challenges. 


  • Dr. Boris Lushniak, MD, MPH, is appointed dean of the University of Maryland School of Public Health. Dr. Lushniak is a retired United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps rear admiral who served as the acting Surgeon General of the United States from July 17, 2013 to December 18, 2014 and as the Deputy Surgeon General from 2010 to 2013 and from 2014 to 2015 when Vivek Murthy assumed office as Surgeon General.
  • The UMD School of Public Health Alumni Network is reinvigorated with new leadership. 
  • The Dean's Council is established to provide strategic advice to help the school achieve its mission and goals. 


  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Institute for Food and Agriculture awards $10M to a multidisciplinary team, led by Dr. Amy R. Sapkota in the University of Maryland School of Public Health, to create the research center CONSERVE. This "Center of Excellence at the Nexus of Sustainable Water Reuse, Food, and Health" is dedicated to developing innovative, safe and sustainable ways to irrigate food crops in variable climates and effectively reduce the nation’s agricultural water challenges that are exacerbated by climate change.


  • The University of Maryland School of Public Health successfully completes the reaccreditation process and is CEPH-accredited through 2022.


  • The University of Maryland School of Public Health in College Park applied for reaccreditation as a school of public health. Read more on accreditation.
  • Researchers from the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health publish the report: Potential Public Health Impacts of Natural Gas Development and Production in the Marcellus Shale in Western Maryland to inform the state of Maryland's decision on whether and how to allow fracking.
  • The Public Health Science undergraduate degree program expands to the College Park campus. The program began in 2009 at the Universities at Shady Grove with about 100 students, and quickly grew to over 1,000 when it opened in College Park.
  • The University of Maryland Center for Health Equity partners with Catholic Chartities of the Archdiocese of Washington to offer the Mid-Maryland Mission of Mercy and Health Equity Festival at the UMD Xfinity Center. This event provided $1.5M worth of free dental care to 1200 patients in need of oral health care.


  • First Annual Public Health Research @ Maryland Day launched to showcase complementary strengths and ongoing public health collaborations between the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) award the University of Maryland nearly $19M to create the University of Maryland Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (UMD TCORS), one of 14 centers nationwide that are part of a federally-funded program to provide the critical science base needed for the FDA to effectively regulate tobacco and protect public health. The School of Public Health's Dr. Pamela I. Clark is the principal investigator.


  • Jane E. Clark, PhD is appointed Dean of the School of Public Health
  • Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signs the Maryland Health Improvement and Disparities Reductions Act, a bill that included recommendations from UMD School of Public Health experts and created Health Enterprise Zones to improve health in Maryland’s underserved areas.
  • UMD School of Public Health publishes the report Transforming Health in Prince George's County: A Public Health Impact Study, commissioned by Prince George's County, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), the University of Maryland Medical System and Dimensions Healthcare System to inform the design of a new health care system in Prince George’s County.


  • Biostatistics and Risk Assessment Center created, led by Dr. Mei-Ling Ting Lee


  • Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH) grants School of Public Health full accreditation for five years
  • SPH recruits cluster of faculty researchers to form the Maryland Center for Health Equity under leadership of Dr. Stephen B. Thomas and Dr. Sandra C. Quinn.



  • The University Senate approves the creation of the School of Public Health and new departments.
  • Additional concentrations in MPH and MHA accredited by CEPH
  • School of Public Health officially launches
  • Center for Health Literacy created and named after Herschel S. Horowitz*
  • Family Service Center changes its name to the Center for Healthy Families*


  • Creation of School of Public Health is approved by the University of Maryland Board of Regents
  • Departments of Health Services Administration, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health are created
  • Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at University of Maryland created
  • Gliner Center for Humor Communication and Health formed


  • Initial consultation with CEPH (accrediting organization)
  • Center for Health Behavior Research formed


  • Planning for the creation of an accredited School of Public Health begins


  • The inaugural College Board of Visitors is formed


  • Dr. Robert S. Gold is appointed Dean


  • The Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accredits the MPH in Community Health Education


  • First Master of Public Health students graduate


  • The initial Master’s of Public Health degree is approved by the university
  • Seat Pleasant–University of Maryland health partnership is formed


  • The College of Physical Education, Recreation and Health becomes the College of Health and Human Performance
  • The three departments that make up the college include: Family Studies (now Family Science), Kinesiology and Public and Community Health (now Behavioral and Community Health).


  • Family Service Center launches*


  • The University of Maryland Center on Aging is founded
  • Department of Physical Education offers the first Kinesiology degree in the United States


The Department of Physical Culture expands to become the College of Physical Education, Recreation and Health


  • University of Maryland Gymkana troupe is established by Dr. David A. Field


  • Adele H. Stamp organizes the first Women’s Physical Education Club


  • First female students enroll in the University of Maryland


  • The Department of Physical Culture (predecessor to our Department of Kinesiology) is created


  • The University of Maryland is founded as the Maryland Agricultural College