School of Public Health Receives Harrison C. Spencer Award

National honor bestowed for outstanding service to Memphis community

School of Public Health class

March 1, 2024 — The School of Public Health at the University of Memphis is the 2024 co-recipient of the Harrison C. Spencer Award for Outstanding Community Service. The Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) gives out the prestigious national honor annually to deserving institutions that make a significant difference in their communities.

The UofM received the distinction, as the ASPPH described in the award letter, for its “unwavering dedication to addressing the pressing public health needs of our communities and serves as a testament to their relentless commitment to serving the most vulnerable and marginalized populations in the Mid-South region.”

… Their innovative approaches have not only strengthened the public health workforce pipeline but have also spearheaded the development and implementation of community-based solutions aimed at promoting health equity and social justice,” the award letter went on to say.

Under Dean Ashish Joshi, the School of Public Health has made significant strides in outreach and promotion of its programs including introducing a dual-degree opportunity for high school seniors while creating a resource and knowledge hub in our communities, providing them with data driven, evidence-based interventions and innovations.

“By demonstrating our deep commitment to addressing the needs of the Memphis community, the School of Public Health hopes to be a beacon of hope to other communities across the Mid-South,” said Joshi. “The adage ‘it takes a village’ could not be more accurate because I am inspired daily by the dedication of our school to engage with the community to improve public health. The award motivates us to do more and continuously build multiple cross-sector partnerships that help advance our school to become an engine of social and economic growth for the city of Memphis and beyond.”

SPH Dean Ashish JoshiThe association also recognized College of Public Health at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City for its “exceptional dedication to enhancing the health and well-being of the communities it serves … [underscoring] ETSU’s diverse history of commitment to improving the lives of individuals residing in Central Appalachia and similar rural and underserved regions.”

Past winners of the award include the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Drexel University School of Public Health, School of Public Health and Health Sciences UMass Amherst, University of Nebraska College of Public Health in Omaha, CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy in New York and the University of Texas Health Science Center at the Houston School of Public Health.

The Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) is the voice of accredited academic public health, representing schools and programs accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). The University of Memphis has been an association member since 2012.

The initiatives of the ASPPH include diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice; framing the future; global action; climate change and health; and gun violence prevention.


Jennifer Godwin
Director of Media and Public Relations
(O) 901.678.4822 (M) 501.529.7482 

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