SPH News & Events

Clear the Air Tennessee Project - January 31, 2019

The Shelby County Health Department has partnered up with the Truth Initiative to host an educational training on second-hand smoke and smoke-free environments at Benjamin L Hooks Library from 4-5pm. Community services hours are available for participants. Registration is available online.

an educational session for young adukts interested in advocacy for smoke free environments held January 31, 2019 from 4-5pm at Benjamin L Hooks Library.


SPH faculty, students, and alumni gathered at the American Public Health Association's 2018 Annual Meeting in San Diego. See the list of presentations and photos.

APHA logo

Trans Girls Rock! Awards 2018 

Trans Girls Rock! was inspired and created by local transwomen to honor and acknowledge the works of transwomen and gender non-conforming individuals within the city of Memphis and the surrounding areas in many sectors. The event is free and on November 18th, 2018 from 6 PM to 10 PM. 

Sunday November 18 6-10pm

Fall 2018 Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Environmental Health Colloquium

Please join us Wednesday, November 14th, 2018 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM in the UC Senate Chamber (rm 261). Our speakers this month will be our own Dr. Fawaz Mzayek and Dr. Debra Bartelli.

Please let Dr. Meredith Ray know by Friday, November 9th if you plan to attend (maray@memphis.edu).


3rd Annual Spirituality and Public Health Student Essay Contest

More than 3000 empirical studies have been published on spirituality, religion and health, and you are invited to write about what this might mean for Public Health. Prizes are $1000 (1st), $600 (2nd), and $300 (3rd). Submission deadline is Sunday, January 6, 2019. For more information, visit the website.

Student Essay Contest

Summer 2019 Paid Research Opportunity

The Mid-South Coalition for Minority Health International Research Training (MHIRT) program is now accepting applications for 2019! Students in all majors can apply to participate fully-funded research projects focusing on health and health disparities in Brazil, Nicaragua, and Uganda. Both qualitative and quantitative research sites are available.

Applications are available at www.rhodes.edu/mhirt, as well as project descriptions for each site. Application deadlines are December 19th (early-bird) and January 2nd (final).


Congratulations to Cardella Leak on being a featured NEDxStudents speaker!

Cardella LaShea Leak, MPH is a doctoral student in Social and Behavioral Sciences. She is a featured speaker at the Library's second annual NedxStudents. Join us Wednesday, November 7th at 3:15 PM at Ned R. McWherter Library for NEDxStudents. Please find see the flyer for more details.

Cardella Leak, MPH

Spring 2019 Registration begins November 12th

Attention current students, please contact your advisor as soon as possible to plan your course schedule so you can request permits. For course offerings and more detail, please check your UofM email.


Spring Break Study Abroad Opportunity in Costa Rica

Spend your spring break abroad in Costa Rica while earning 3 credits for NURS 4331/6331. Costa Rica provides universal healthcare for its citizens and has one of the best public health systems in Latin America, making it an ideal location to study global health in diverse cultures. Applications are due by November 15, 2018. For more information, please see the flyer.

 pictures of costa rica

Traffic Safety Scholars

Ever thought about a career in traffic safety? The 2019 Traffic Safety Scholars (TSS) Program provides awards of up to $1,000 to undergraduate and graduate students to help defray the cost of attending the Lifesavers Conference on Highway Safety Priorities (March 31-April 2 in Louisville, Kentucky). 

Deadline for applications is November 18, 2018. Applicants will be notified of their status on or before January 7, 2019. Apply on the Lifesavers Conference Website Traffic Safety Scholars page.

 Lifesavers National Conference  on Highway Safety. March 31-April 2, 2019 in Louisville, KY.

Class of 2019 Presidential Management Fellowship

Applications for the Presidential Management Fellowship program are being accepted until October 22, 2018. Any graduate student who will graduate by August 2019, or students who have graduated within the last two years, may apply. Click here to apply.


MICAH: Moving Memphis Forward October 21, 2018

MICAH, Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope, a group of nearly 50 area churches, temples, mosques, organizations, and labor groups working together to seek a more just Memphis for all citizens will hold a public meeting on October 21st to highlight their key issues of economic equity, education, and immigration intercultural equity. Click here to register for this event.

Moving Memphis Forward, Where do we go from here? Join us

PHSA Volunteer Event with Volunteer Odyssey: October 20, 2018

Volunteer Odyssey is hosting a "Service Challenge" from 9:00-11:30am with an after party following from 12:00-2:30pm. Participants can choose from a variety of locations to volunteer that morning. The after party will be at Memphis Botanic Gardens. To participate you must register on there website. The Service Challenge is now FREE for all participants! Register here.

Volunteer Odyssey Service Challenge Events from 9 to 11:30 am

Out Memphis presents Latinx Awareness Week: October 8th-12th

Latinx Awareness Week highlights our LGBTQ+ Latinx community during Hispanic Heritage Month, from October 8th-12th. Events during this week will give a sense of nostalgia and familiarity to our LGBTQ+ Latinx community, while exposing non-Latinx individuals to the beauty and diversity that exist with the Latinx culture/community. Click here for more information.

Latinx Awareness Week highlights our LGBTQ+ Latinx community during Hispanic Heritage Month, from October 8th-12th.

Sept 25th is Sickle Cell Awareness Day on campus.

Memphis has one of the highest concentrations of sickle cell disease in the nation, and SPH faculty member Dr. Matt Smeltzer is helping organize this event to raise awareness.

Sickle Cell Awareness

New MS in Biostatistics: Apply now!

The School of Public Health is pleased to announce a new MS in Biostatistics. Applications are being accepted for Spring 2019 admission.

MS in Biostatistics

25th Anniversary MHA Gala

Master of Health Administration
25th Anniversary Gala
Saturday, October 20, 2018

Save the Date - 2018 MHA Gala

Dr. Yang Named a NIA Scholar

Dr. Yong Yang was selected to participate in the National Institutes of Health (NIA) Butler-Williams Scholars Program, to be held on July 30-August 3 on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. The B-W Scholars Program is a highly competitive program that provides opportunities to support research on aging.

Dr. Yang

Public Health Summer Institute 2018- Register Now!

The School of Public Health is now accepting registrations for our annual Public Health Summer Institute in Data Analytics. Workshops in "SAS" and "R" will be available to the general public during the week of August 13th-17th, 2018. Click here for more information.

Dr. Pichon Recognized in Award for Scholarly Contribution

Latrice C. Pichon, PhD, MPH, CHES, Associate Professor in the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences, was awarded the 2018 Distinguished Research Award for Excellence in Engaged Scholarship. This award is based on quality of scholarly contribution to the discipline, originality of contribution, and recognition of work by peers. She was presented with the award at the Faculty Awards Luncheon on Thursday, April 26, 2018.

pichon distinguished research award

TPHA Award Winners

On April 20, 2018, Dr. Latrice Pichon and colleagues of Connect to Protect received the "Visionary Award" from the Tennessee Public Health Association for their extraordinary service in reducing HIV Risk in our community.

pichon awardDr. Pichon (second from right)

Doctoral Student Wins 1st Place in Poster Contest

Michael Schmidt, doctoral student in Social and Behavioral Sciences, won 1st place in the student poster contest at the Tennessee Public Health Association, West Tennessee Regional Meeting held on April 20, 2018.

schmidt_awardMichael Schmidt (left)

SPH Doctoral Student Receives the Morton Dissertation Award from the University of Memphis

Adam C. Alexander, a doctoral candidate in Social and Behavioral Sciences, was awarded the Morton Dissertation Award for his dissertation, "Identifying pathways to smoking and alcohol consumption after a natural disaster: Findings from Hurricane Katrina." This prestigious award is given to one University of Memphis doctoral student each year and recognizes the student's commitment to research excellence. Upon receiving this award, Mr. Alexander stated, "I am deeply honored to be given this award by the University of Memphis, and I appreciate the kindness of Morgan Morton for creating this award for doctoral students." Mr. Alexander defended his dissertation on April 23, 2018.

adam alexander award

Speech Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Presented at School of Public Health Awards Luncheon

Dwayne C. Proctor, Ph.D, Senior Adviser to the President, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, was the Keynote Speaker for the University of Memphis School of Public Health Awards Luncheon honoring the public health legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The event was held on April 4, 2018, the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's death. Dr. Proctor's speech is available at this link: https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=LgEJQLaYGAE

dr. dwayne proctor

School of Public Health Potluck Family Picnic

The School of Public Health Potluck Family Picnic was held on Saturday, April 21st at Audubon Park (corner of Park and Goodlett) from 11 am-2 pm. Please RSVP to Tisha Moss (tmoss3@memphis.edu) by April 13th.

sph picnic

Death By Zip Code in Shelby County

A recent article form The Commercial Appeal explores the life expectancy differences in varying zip codes within the Shelby County area. To learn more, access the article by visiting Death by ZIP code: In Shelby County, life expectancy varies up to 13 years depending on where you live.

University of Memphis MPH Online Degree Ranked 9th in the Nation

University of Memphis has been identified as having one of the best online MPH degrees in a recent ranking. The ranking considered tuition, student to faculty ratio, and national recognition. View Top 50 Best MPH Degrees Online 2018 for more information about our ranking

Dr. Hongmei Zhang and Dr. Chunrong Jia Honored for their Research

Two faculty from the School of Public Health were recognized in the 2018 class of faculty "millionaires"—faculty who have served as Principal Investigator on more than $1 million in externally supported research during their tenure at the University of Memphis. Dr. Hongmei Zhang and Dr. Chunrong Jia comprised two of eight University of Memphis faculty honored with this distinction this year.

faculty millionaires (L) Dr. Jia, (R) Dr. Zhang

Five Public Health Community Scholars Named

The School of Public Health at the University of Memphis is pleased to announce the fourth of five cohorts of Public Health Community Scholars. The following five first-year MPH students were named 2018 Public Health Community Scholars: LeRae Clemons, Louisa Ekem, Megann Fickle, Rebecca Johnson, and Ankita Purohit. These scholarships were made possible by a $500,000 gift from a generous, anonymous donor.

Awardees will receive a monthly stipend during their 3-month summer MPH Practicum and the following academic year that completes their graduate study. Additionally, a tuition waiver will be provided for the second year of MPH coursework. In return, students will work 20 hours per week during their 3-month summer practicum at a community location and will continue working 20 hours/week at that location during the following academic year.

Awards were made on the basis of history of contribution to health improvement in the Memphis metropolitan area, academic qualifications, advisor recommendation, and demonstrated need. The awards committee consisted of SPH faculty and community public health practitioners. The School of Public Health is proud to recognize these scholars whose efforts will contribute greatly to the health of our community.

public health community scholars

2018 Public Health Community Scholars, pictured L to R: Rebecca Johnson, Louisa Ekem, Megann Fickle, Ankita Purohit, LaRae Clemons.

Memphis Faculty Receives 2017 Charles E. Gibbs Leadership Prize for research related to cost-related non-adherence of medication among women

A study by University of Memphis School of Public Health Assistant Professor Dr. Soumitra Bhuyan and colleagues received the 2017 Charles E. Gibbs Leadership Prize, chosen by the editorial board of Women's Health Issues. View Memphis Faculty Receives 2017 Charles E. Gibbs Leadership Prize for research related to cost-related non-adherence of medication among women to learn more about the study.


MPH Student member of AJPH Think Tank

Dr. Cem Akkus, MPH candidate (pictured third from left) was selected to serve on the American Journal of Public Health Association's Think Tank. Alfredo Morabia, MD, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal is pictured at the far left.


MHA Program Receives National Award for Healthcare Leadership Development

The University of Memphis Master of Health Administration program has received the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME)-Ascension Award for Excellence in Healthcare Leadership Development. To learn more about the award see MHA Program Receives National Award for Healthcare Leadership Development. To see the 2018 CAHME awards for excellence, click here.


Dr. Xinhua Yu appeared on Fox 13 news

Dr. Xinhua Yu appeared on Fox 13 news recently to encourage the public to take the flu vaccine.

yu vaccine

Dr. Chunrong Jia to Present at EPA Community Meeting

Representatives from the EPA came to Memphis to learn what's happening locally with the Clean Air Act. Meetings will be held Wednesday, Dec. 13, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Renaissance Center, 555 Beale St., and 6 to 7:30 p.m. at First Congregational Church, 1000 S. Cooper.

Researchers from the UofM School of Public Health and Shelby County Health Department are collaborating on air quality studies, including the project "Characterizing Community Exposure to Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in a Tri-State Area." Dr. Chunrong Jia, associate professor of Environmental Health, is principal investigator for the study and presented the findings at these community meetings.

jia epa

MPH Online Program Ranked 15th in the Nation

The University of Memphis online MPH Program has been ranked #15 nationally in the Master's Programs Guide's published ranking of the top 50 institutions for online Master of Public Health degree programs of 2018. Schools and programs were evaluated based on publicly available information about affordability, reputation, flexibility, and accreditation. A complete listing of the 50 best online MPH programs for 2018 can be found 50 Best Online Master of Public Health Degree Programs 2018!

mph online

MPH Students Join Nursing Students in Poverty Simulation

MPH students participated in a poverty simulation exercise hosted by the Loewenberg College of Nursing. The poverty simulation was a one-hour exercise simulating one month in the life of a family living near or below the poverty line. Teams of public health and nursing graduate students addressed public health problems related to several social determinants: poverty, transportation issues, secure and adequate housing, access to healthy food, and education.

poverty simulation

To view more photos of this simulation, visit Poverty Simulation | Flickr

Public Health Practitioners Meet with MPH Students

A panel of Public Health Practitioners provided insight on career options to MPH students in the Foundations of Public Health class. Sharing their expertise with students were: Matthew McDaniel, MPH Tri-county Health Director in West Tennessee; Renea Satterwhite, MPH, Health Educator in West Tennessee; David Sweat, MPH, Chief of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases Shelby County Health Department; and Tyler Zerwekh, DrPH, REHS, Administrator, Environmental Health Services Bureau, Shelby County Health Department.



SPH Faculty and Graduate Students Presented Research at the APHA 2017 Annual Meeting and Expo

SPH Faculty and graduate students presented their research at the 145th annual meeting of the American Public Health Association. The APHA 2017 Annual Meeting & Expo was be held in Atlanta, GA on November 4-8, 2017 at the Georgia World Congress Center. This year's meeting theme was "Creating the Healthiest Nation: Climate Changes Health." More than 12,000 public health professionals attended. Visit SPH Presentations at the 2017 American Public Health Association Annual Conference and Expo - November 4-8, Atlanta, GA for a list of faculty and student presentations.

SPH Doctoral Students Publish a Series of Papers on Drug Use

Adam Alexander and Chris Obong'o, two doctoral students in Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Prachi Chavan, an Epidemiology doctoral student, collaborated on several recent publications related to illicit drug use. The papers may be accessed through the following links: Publication 1, Publication 2, Publication 3.

Dr. Marian Levy Receives Award from the Tennessee Public Health Association

Marian Levy, DrPH, Interim Associate Dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Memphis, was awarded the Doris Spain Award for Distinguished Service at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Tennessee Public Health Association (TPHA).

Formerly known as the Distinguished Service Award, the award was renamed in honor of Doris Spain upon her retirement as executive director of the association for many years.

The Doris Spain Award for Distinguished Service is selected by the TPHA Board of Directors and is presented to a member of the Tennessee Public Health Association member who has made outstanding contributions to the Association over a period of several years. On receiving this award, Dr. Levy noted, "I am honored and humbled at this recognition, especially in light of the contributions Doris Spain has made to improve public health throughout her career."

Dr. Levy served as president of the Tennessee Public Health Association in 2012. During her presidency, TPHA received the Outstanding Affiliate Award from the American Public Health Association. She has served on the Governing Council of the American Public Health Association (APHA) since 2011 and was elected to the APHA Executive Board Nominations Committee in 2016.

As an affiliate member of the American Public Health Association, the Tennessee Public Health Association is the official professional organization for those engaged or interested in public health services and is endorsed by the administration of the Tennessee Department of Health.

levy award

Doctoral Students' Studies Published

Dr. Jayaprakash Kumar, a current doctoral student in Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Dr. Andy Collins, an alumna of that program, both led studies that were published last week. Dr. Kumar published a systematic review of oral health status among Indian prisoners in Saudi Journal of Oral and Dental Health, and Dr. Collins published her dissertation on bone accrual in youth swimmers and controls in Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. Dr. Kumar's study can be accessed Oral Health Status of Prisoners in India: A Systematic Review, and Dr. Collins study can be accessed Bone Accrual in Children and Adolescent Nonelite - Swimmers: A 2-Year Longitudinal Study

MHA Student Wins National Award

Morgan McClendon, a student in the MHA program, has been awarded the 2017 Bugbee-Falk Book Award by the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA). See Bugbee-Falk Book Award

morgan mcclendon

Professor Relyea Receives University's Career Milestone Award

George Relyea , Associate Professor, Division of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Environmental Health, was presented with a Career Milestone Award on behalf of Dr. Rudd and the University of Memphis for 35 years of service. A valued faculty member of the School of Public Health, students appreciate his teaching and mentorship.

George Relyea

SPH Faculty Collaborate on Cancer Research

SPH faculty visited the American Cancer Society (ACS) in collaboration with Ahmedin Jemal and his team on several lung cancer projects. Pictured from left to right: Anna Lin (ACS), Meredith Ray (UM), Nick Faris (Baptist Cancer Center), Raymond Osarogiagbon (Baptist Cancer Center, UM adjunct), Matthew Smeltzer (UM), Fedoria Rugless (Baptist Cancer Center), Helmneh Sineshaw (ACS), and Ahmedin Jemal (ACS).

University of Memphis Designated a White House Healthy Campus

The School of Public Health collaborated with Church Health, and other on-campus groups, in a White House challenge to become a designated "White House Healthy Campus." The challenge offered weekly in-person information and enrollment counseling for the Affordable Care Act Marketplace. For more information about this achievement, please visit UofM Designated a White House Healthy Campus

Dr. Kenneth Ward Named the 2017 American Academy of Health Behavior Research Laureate

Congratulations to Dr. Kenneth D. Ward as he is named the 2017 American Academy of Health Behavior Research Laureate. Dr. Ward will be honored on Sunday, March 19, 2017 during the Welcome Address at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Arizona. For more information about the Research Laureate, visit 2017 Research Laureate - Kenneth D. Ward, PhD.

SPH Named Among the Best Online Master's Degrees

The University of Memphis School of Public Health was named among the Best Online Master's Degrees in Public Health for 2016. Our National Rank in Affordable Colleges online was 21st. For more information about this achievement, please visit Best Online Master’s Degrees in Public Health.

Dr. Erik Carlton Featured in Public Health Minute

Dr. Erik Carlton, Assistant Professor of Health Systems Management and Policy, and Director of the MHA program, was featured in a Public Health Minute that will be aired nationally on NPR in December and January. The mp3 of the program can be found here.

Dr. Marian Levy Elected to American Public Health Association Executive Board

Marian Levy, DrPH, RD, FAND, Interim Associate Dean, was recently elected to the American Public Health Association's executive board as a member of the Nominations Committee at this year's 144th Annual Meeting in Denver, CO. She will serve a four-year term of office (2016-2020).

Dr. Wilfried Karmaus Receives NIH R01 Grant to Study Early Prevention of Lung Disease

Wilfried Karmaus, MD, Dr.med., MPH, has been awarded $3.2 million by the National Institutes of Health to study the improvement of early prevention of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; please visit UofM Researcher Receives $3.2 Million Grant To Study Early Prevention of Lung Disease for details about this important research.

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