Dear friends of the SPH,

As our days get noticeably shorter and the campus trees turn brilliant colors, I look forward to welcoming SPH alumni for our UMD Homecoming event this Saturday, October 28. We have many reasons to celebrate as a School of Public Health community, including how far we’ve advanced over our first ten years. A month ago, we gathered to recognize the tenth anniversary of our launch. For those friends and supporters who were unable to attend, we have prepared a SPH tenth anniversary celebration video with some highlights. Our anniversary celebration continues throughout the year, culminating in our sixth annual Public Health Research @Maryland event on April 3, 2018. Save the date, more details coming soon!

Two other developments that I am excited to share are the establishment of the Gold Award, a student competition created by founding dean Bob Gold and his wife Barbara to spark public health innovation, and the establishment of the SPH Dean’s Council.

The Gold Award for Public Health Innovation will provide $5,000 to a student or student team with the winning idea to support its development.  This award will be announced in April 2018.

The SPH Dean’s Council comprises 10 visionary leaders from diverse backgrounds, all with a strong commitment to supporting public health initiatives and education. I am delighted that they have committed to play a role in helping our School of Public Health gain recognition and support for its research and academic programs. Learn more about them.

The month of October is Health Literacy Month and our Horowitz Center for Health Literacy, which also celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, hosted several events to engage students and faculty in learning about health literacy principles and how to apply them in effective health education materials. Dr. Cynthia Baur, director of the Horowitz Center, also hosted two health literacy leaders, the CDC’s Dr. Christine Prue and Harvard’s Rima Rudd for a conversation about public health communication.

We also welcomed Dr. Karen DeSalvo, former acting Assistant Secretary of Health of the United States, and a former colleague of mine, who gave an inspiring UMD ADVANCE lecture about her career path and the evolution of her commitment to improving public health.

As we head into November, we look forward to the annual American Public Health Association meeting in Atlanta. Many students and faculty members are presenting their latest research and one of our family science doctoral students, Kecia Ellick, was invited to present her research at the Annual Meeting of the Delta Omega National Council taking place during APHA.  Her research focuses on teen mothers’ parenting stress and self-efficacy on behavioral outcomes in their children. We will also host a UMD School of Public Health tenth anniversary reception on Monday, November 6. If you are in Atlanta, I hope you will stop by! Details and RSVP at:

Wishing you a healthy and active fall season, 




Boris Lushniak, MD, MPH
Dean and Professor