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The Delta Omega Public Health Honorary Society: Gamma Zeta Chapter

The University of Maryland School of Public Health is home to the Delta Omega Gamma Zeta Chapter, that was established in 2011. We have approximately 171 members including; students (undergraduate and graduate), faculty, and alumni. The chapter inducts individuals from all SPH majors, departments, and disciplines, on an annual basis, and selection is highly competitive. The Gamma Zeta chapter currently has three honorary members – Dr. Mark Luckner, Dr. Maura Dwyer and Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk.

The Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health was founded in 1924 at Johns Hopkins University within the School of Hygiene and Public Health to promote the graduate study of public health, and to recognize outstanding achievement in the new field. Currently, Delta Omega has more than 100 chapters at CEPH-accredited schools, with a total of more than 20,000 members nationwide. Joining the organization allows for professional growth through leadership development opportunities, networking, and discounted resources (CPH study guides and APHA membership fees).

See a list of current members »

For more information visit the National Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health website.

Student Inductees:

  1. Graduate (masters-level and doctoral-level) student inductees must: 
    1. Be a current UMD School of Public Health graduate student or be in the last grading period leading to an advanced degree in public health. 
    2. Have completed one full year of academic courses. 
      1. ​ 24 credit hours for Master of Public Health (MPH) students 
      2. 18 credit hours for Master of Health Administration (MHA), M.A., and M.S., student
      3. Completion of 3+ years in a PhD program for Doctoral students 
    3. Be in the top 25% of their graduating class. Those elected shall be from the upper 25% in class standing and have demonstrated real or potential qualities of leadership in public health. 
    4. Demonstrate leadership in public health practice, including research, policy, and advocacy. 
  2. Baccalaureate student inductees must: 
    1. Be candidates for a baccalaureate degree in public health.
    2. Be in the top 25% of their graduating class. Those elected shall be from the 25% in class standing and have demonstrated real or potential qualities of leadership in public health. 
    3. Demonstrate leadership in public health practice, including research, policy, and advocacy. 

*Typically, two or fewer baccalaureate students who are nearing graduation are chosen from each department*

Alumni Inductees: 

Alumni must demonstrate leadership in professional and community activities within the field of public health that would serve as a model for future graduates of the school. Alumni members must have at least three (3) years of full-time professional experience related to public health and may not be eligible for nomination within one year of graduation. The nomination must be made by a current Delta Omega member.

Alumni should submit: 

  1. A letter of recommendation from a current Delta Omega member (please contact sphdeltaomega@umd.edu if you are interested but do not know a current Delta Omega member).
  2. A one-page personal statement related to professional and community activities, and 
  3. A current CV

What are the categories in which Delta Omega inducts members?

  1. Master’s students nearing graduation
  2. Doctoral students nearing graduation
  3. Baccalaureate students pursuing a public health degree
  4. Alumni who received a Masters or Doctoral degree from the University of Maryland School of Public Health
  5. Faculty at the University of Maryland School of Public Health

What are the eligibility criteria for student inductees?

  1. Graduate (masters-level and doctoral-level) student inductees must:
    1. Be a current UMD School of Public Health graduate student or be in the last grading period leading to an advanced degree in public health.
    2. Have completed one full year of academic courses.
      1. 24 credit hours for Master of Public Health (MPH) student
      2. 18 credit hours for Master of Health Administration (MHA), M.A., and M.S., students
      3. Completion of 3+ years in a PhD program for Doctoral students
    3. Be in the top 25% of their graduating class. Those elected shall be from the upper 25% in class standing and have demonstrated real or potential qualities of leadership in public health.
    4. Demonstrate leadership in public health practice, including research, policy, and advocacy.
  2. Baccalaureate student inductees must:
    1. Be candidates for a baccalaureate degree in public health.
    2. Be in the top 25% of their graduating class. Those elected shall be from the 25% in class standing and have demonstrated real or potential qualities of leadership in public health.
    3. Demonstrate leadership in public health practice, including research, policy, and advocacy.

*Typically, two or fewer baccalaureate students who are nearing graduation are chosen from each department*

What are the eligibility requirements for alumni inductees?
Alumni must demonstrate leadership in professional and community activities within the field of public health that would serve as a model for future graduates of the school. Alumni members must have at least three (3) years of full-time professional experience related to public health and may not be eligible for nomination within one year of graduation. Nomination must be made by a current Delta Omega member. Alumni should submit:

  1. A letter of recommendation from a current Delta Omega member (please contact sphdeltaomega@umd.edu if you are interested but do not know a current DO member).
  2. A one-page personal statement related to professional and community activities, and
  3. A current CV

Is selection competitive?
Yes. Selection in Delta Omega is very competitive. A maximum of ten percent (10%) of graduating students are elected to membership in any one year.

Which disciplines are eligible?
Individuals from all disciplines within the UMD School of Public Health are eligible.

What materials are required for the student nomination process?

All baccalaureate, masters-level, and doctoral-level students must submit the following:

  1. A letter of recommendation from a faculty member or mentor in the field of public health explaining your contributions to the field. Recommendations will not be accepted from fellow students.
  2. One-page personal statement demonstrating your leadership potential in the field. The letter should reflect your academic accomplishments, professional leadership, and community leadership.
  3. Current curriculum vitae (CV)
  4. Your transcript will be pulled from Student Records to verify GPA eligibility

When are nominations due?
Nominations are solicited and accepted annually during the spring semester. Typically, nominations open in February and close in March. The nomination period is typically open for 3-4 weeks.

Can I self-nominate?
Yes, students who have exemplified strong leadership qualities are allowed to self-nominate to their department chair by submitting a formal email containing a recommendation letter from a faculty member.

Where do I submit the nomination package?
Nomination packages should be submitted electronically to SPH Delta Omega
(sphdeltaomega@umd.edu ). Please include your UMD UID on all nomination documents. Recommenders may submit their letters separately.

Can students with less than the credit requirement apply if they are graduating in the summer semester and plan to complete the remaining credits over the spring?
No. A student must have completed the required credits by the end of the preceding fall semester.

How long after the deadline date will applicants know their acceptance status?
Applicants will be notified of induction status approximately 3 to 4 weeks after the application deadline.

How strict is the GPA cut-off? If someone is slightly below the GPA, should they still apply?
The GPA minimum requirement is a strict cut-off and must be attained at the time of application. Student applicants below this GPA will not be considered for nomination.

Where can I find out more information about Delta Omega?
You can email us at sphdeltaomega@umd.edu. Information on the national Delta Omega Honorary Society can be found at: http://www.deltaomega.org.

Delta Omega Poster Competition at the Annual Public Health Research at Maryland Event

After Public Health Research at Maryland, the Gamma Zeta leadership team sends department chairs the poster scores of their students. After chairs review this information, they then send the leadership team up to 6 students (3 undergraduate nominees and 3 graduate nominees) who submitted exceptional posters at the event. These students are all honored at the Spring Induction Ceremony & Awards Reception. 

After the leadership team receives the list of students from the chairs, they then select up to 3 students (usually 1 undergraduate, and 2 graduate) to send forward to American Public Health Association (APHA) for an opportunity to present at the national competition. Decisions are based on the list sent by department chairs as well as a cross-comparison with winners from Public Health Research at Maryland, as well as other awards (scholarships, etc.) the student may already have. 

2017 APHA Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health Poster Session Presenters

Kecia and Joanne

Kecia Ellick
PhD Candidate, Department of Family Science 
Poster Title: African American Teen Mothers' Parenting Stress, Self-Efficacy, and Child Behavior

Joanne D’Silva
PhD Candidate, Department of Behavioral and Community Health 
Poster Title: Marijuana Risk Perceptions are Associated with Past Month Marijuana Use among First-Year College Students

Kecia Ellick and Joanne D’Silva, were two of 28 students selected nationwide to present research at the 2017 APHA Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health poster session in Atlanta. 

2018 Student Research Poster Competition Awardees 

BEHAVIORAL AND COMMUNITY HEALTH

Sharifah Holder (PhD, First Place)
Can Anxiety be a Good Thing? The Protective Effect of Anxiety on Incarceration and Educational Attainment Among Urban African-Americans

Olivia Kachingwe (PhD, Second Place)
She Was There Through the Whole Process: Exploring How Homeless Youth and Youth at Risk for Homelessness Access and Select Birth Control

Shaunna Newton (MPH, Third Place)
Sex and Substance Abuse-Linked Behaviors among a Pilot-testing Group of Substance Abuse Recovery Clients

EPIDEMIOLOGY AND BIOSTATISTICS

Alicia Ward (MPH, First Place)
Is Social Capital Associated with Physical Activity in African American Women?

Ami Fukunaga (MPH, Second Place)
Impacts of Collectivist Culture on Occupational Stigma and HIV Protective Measure Among Female Sex Workers in China: A Cross-sectional Study

Yixi Xu (PhD, Third Place)
Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Completion and Associated Factors Among 13-17 Year-old Hispanic and Non-Hispanic White Females

FAMILY SCIENCE

Laura Drew (PhD, First Place)
Association Between Macrosomia and Neonatal Morbidities in the United States 

Ashley Pantaleao (PhD, Second Place)
It’s Just in the Cards that You’re Dealt: Lessons on Living with LFS from Young Adult Children and their Parents 

Laura Golojuch (PhD, Third Place)
Exposure to ACEs and Coping Mechanisms for Young Men of Color During the Transition to Adulthood 

Madeleine Pekosz (Undergraduate, First Place)
Public Health Without Borders: Providing Health Education in Calaba Town, Sierra Leone

HEALTH SERVICES ADMINISTRATION

Deanna Barath (PhD, First Place)
Health Matters: Where do Mid-Shore Residents Go For Care?

Daniel Marthey (MPH, Second Place)
Barriers and Utilization of Routine Dental Services Among Children in Qualified Health Plans Compared to Medicaid

Priscilla Novak (PhD, Third Place)
Hospital Care Coordination to Connect to Behavioral Health Services

KINESIOLOGY

Lauren Weiss (PhD, First Place)
Effects of Exercise Cessation on Functional Connectivity of the Hippocampus in Master Athletes

Andrew Ginsberg (PhD, Second Place)
The Effect of Mental Preparation on Voluntary Torque Production and Cortico-cortical Communication

Mia Caminita (PhD, Third Place)
Evaluation of Sensory Manipulation via Cooling on Movement Performance

Daniel Callow (Undergraduate, First Place)
Acute Exercise Improves Neural Efficiency Independent of Exercise Intensity in Younger Adults

Allison Williams (Undergraduate, Second Place)
Exercise Training- related Changes in Verbal Fluency in Healthy Older Adults and Mild Cognitive Impairment

McKayla Kelly (Undergraduate, Third Place)
Evaluation of Attentional Reserve During Adaptation of Reaching Movements Under Two Levels of Cognitive-motor Challenge

MARYLAND INSTITUTE FOR APPLIED ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH

Jacob Bueno de Mesquita (PhD, First Place)
Estimating Exposure to Infectious Influenza Aerosols in Roommates of Influenza Cases During the 2012-2013 Season on the University of Maryland Campus

Rianna Murray (PhD, Second Place)
Association between Private Domestic Drinking Water Wells and the Incidence of Campylobacteriosis in Maryland: An Ecological Analysis Using a Decade of Data from the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet)

Jessica Chopyk (PhD Third Place)
Agricultural Freshwater Pond Supports Diverse and Dynamic Bacterial and Viral Populations

Aubree Driver (Undergraduate, First Place)
Maryland Environmental Justice Screening Tool

Andrew Li (Undergraduate, Second Place)
Three-dimensional Spatial Analysis of Immune Cells in Lymph Nodes Vivek Ravichandran (Undergraduate, Third Place) Assessment of Traffic-related Air Pollution (TRAP) in Langley Park, Maryland

PUBLIC HEALTH SCIENCE

Vivek Ravichandran (Undergraduate, First Place)
Assessment of Traffic-related Air Pollution (TRAP) in Langley Park, Maryland

Usha Singh (Undergraduate, Second Place)
Holistic Multisector Approaches to Improving Population Health: Lessons Learned from a Health Equity Roundtable

Mina Griffioen (Undergraduate, Third Place)
Measuring Cell-to-Cell variability for Programmed Ribosomal Frameshifting Events and Cross-validation of New Dual Luciferase and Fluorescence Approaches

Leadership structure and role descriptions for the Delta Omega Gamma Zeta chapter:

Dr. Katherine Sharp, Director of Graduate Studies
Dr. Sharp manages the inductee process for the Gamma Zeta chapter.
Ksharp1@umd.edu 
(301) 405-2464

Dr. Brit Saksvig, Associate Research Professor, Epidemiology and Biostatistics 
Dr. Saksvig manages communications and marketing around the Gamma Zeta chapter.
bsaksvig@umd.edu
(301) 405-2491

Dr. Marian Moser Jones, Associate Professor, Family Science
Dr. Jones manages the research poster logistics (Public Health Research at Maryland and APHA). 
moserj@umd.edu 
(301) 405-8940 

Dr. Dushanka V. Kleinman, Principal Associate Dean for Research
Dr. Kleinman provides administrative oversight to the chapter. 
dushanka@umd.edu
(301) 405-7201
 

For more information on the chapter, please email: sphdeltaomega@umd.edu