Every year in the spring, the College awards one of its faculty or academic professionals (AP) for their outstanding contributions in the area of community engaged scholarship and practice. Nominations are submitted by faculty, appointed professionals, staff or students of the College of Public Health. Community engaged scholarship and practice is defined as an activity or project that involves the faculty/AP "in a mutually beneficial partnership with the community." It includes service-based projects or service as a component of research, teaching and dissemination and translational activities such as Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) or Service Learning. Given the often long-term nature of community engaged scholarship and practice, accomplishments that occurred up to and during the three years preceding each award are considered. The awardee is announced each year at the Spring convocation in May.
The recipient of the 2016 Community Engaged Scholarship and Practice Award is Kacey Ernst, of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. In 2016, Dr. Ernst became the first speaker from MEZCOPH to speak at the College of Science lecture series. This is a free public lecture series covering topics that impact our community. The talk was entitled "Climate Change and Human Health: Impacts and Pathways to Resilience." Her most exceptional service activity in 2016 was to testify to a US Congressional panel about her work on Zika virus transmission risk in the United States (published in the Open Access journal PLoS Currents Outbreaks), at a time of heightened concern and awareness about Zika. In her testimony, Dr. Ernst discussed the interacting roles of climate, travel and poverty in determining community risk for Zika, and the importance of public education and funding for prevention efforts. A related contribution made by Dr. Ernst was the development and launch of a mobile community-based surveillance and educational app, Kidenga. With this app, community members can report symptoms of mosquito-borne viral diseases and mosquito activity in their area to help identify areas that require monitoring. In developing this app, she worked with partners at state and local health departments, CDC, and Skoll Global Health Threats Fund. Community engagement and education are major components of the Kidenga project.
Past Community Engaged Scholarship and Practice Awardees
Nathan Lothrop, Project Manager, Department of Community, Environment and Policy
Joyce Hospodar, MPA, MBA, Senior Program Coordinator, Division of Community, Environment and Policy
Samantha Sabo, DrPH, MPH, Program Director of Transborder Initiative, Division of Health Promotion Sciences
Rebecca Drummond, MA, Program Director, Family Wellness, Division of Health Promotion Sciences
Nicky Teufel-Shone, PhD, Professor and Section Chair, Family and Child Health Section, Division of Health Promotion Sciences
Maia Ingram, MPH, Program Director, Community Based Evaluation Projects, Division of Health Promotion Sciences
Agnes Attakai, MPA, Director, Health Disparities Outreach and Prevention Education, Division of Community, Environment and Policy
Cecilia Rosales, MD, Director of Phoenix Programs, Associate Professor, Divisoin of Community, Environment and Policy
Robin Harris, PhD, MPH, Professor, Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Sylvia Brown, PHD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Other awardees have included Joel S. Meister, Jennie Mullins, Lisa Staten and Alison Hughes.