As we enter the last stretch of the fall semester, we have a lot to celebrate and be thankful for in the School of Public Health. 

Reflecting on this mid-term election season, I am proud of the efforts of our students, faculty and staff who worked to get out the vote through our PHACE organization (Public Health Action for Civic Engagement) and through the TerpsVote Coalition. We will continue our work to increase civic engagement among our SPH community, because the work doesn’t stop now that this election is over! 

We have several recent awards and recognitions to celebrate. Kinesiology Asst. Professor Jennifer Roberts and Affiliate Asst. Professor Marccus Hendricks (Urban Studies and Planning) were selected for the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s JPB Environmental Health Fellowship program. They join a select, multidisciplinary group of young and talented researchers who are working to address environmental health disparities that disproportionately impact vulnerable communities. 

I will join many of our faculty and students who are heading to San Diego, CA for the annual conference of the American Public Health Association from November 10-14. Dozens will present research on topics ranging from mental health to Medicaid to mitigating environmental toxins

With the APHA conference theme of “Health Equity Now,” it is timely and exciting that our Maryland Center for Health Equity will be recognized as a national leader for their work building bridges, building trust and building healthy communities through programs, policies and partnerships that reduce health disparities.

Maternal and Child Health PhD candidate Laura Drew is one of 29 students selected nationwide to present her research at the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health poster session. MPH student Yooni Choi will be recognized by the Medical Care section of APHA with the 2018-19 Barbara Starfield Medical Care Scholarship. We can be proud of these recognitions on the national stage for our faculty and student research and service!

I hope to see many of our SPH community and the extended UMD alumni community who are all invited to our UMD alumni reception in conjunction with the APHA meeting on Monday November 12, 2018 at Mission Brewery. 

Another thing that I am thankful for is the response of our campus community to the decisions made last week by the Board of Regents concerning President Loh and football coach D.J. Durkin. I am heartened by the students who organized and spoke out to honor and demand justice for Jordan McNair.  I am also in awe of our football player student athletes who have weathered a tremendously challenging time and continue to represent the university with great spirit. 

I hope that everyone enjoys a wonderful Thanksgiving break with family or friends.