The SPHHS Insider - April 2016

SPHHS announces Outstanding Teacher Award winners

Gwyneth Rost (at left) and Melissa Brown (at right)

The School of Public Health and Health Sciences has announced that Gwyneth Rost, Assistant Professor of Communication Disorders, has won the 2015-2016 College Outstanding Teacher Award. The award is sponsored by the UMass Amherst Provost’s Office and the Center for Teaching & Faculty Development, and given annually to honor individual faculty members for their teaching accomplishments. The School also announced that Melissa Brown, Research Assistant Professor of Nutrition, has been named the recipient of the SPHHS Outstanding Online Teacher Award. The award, which is given annually by the School, recognizes excellence in online teaching.

Read more about Gwyneth Rost here and Melissa Brown here


Nutrition department holds 28th Annual Virginia A. Beal Lecture

Department Head Richard Wood (left) with keynote speaker Valentina Ivezaj

The Department of Nutrition held the 28th Annual Virginia A. Beal Lecture on April 20, 2016 at the Campus Center Auditorium. The evening began with a poster session showcasing research by students and alums ranging from food literacy programs for adolescents to studies of links between maternal nutrition and autism. The Department also recognized scholarship awardees, and welcomed keynote speaker Dr. Valentina Ivezaj of Yale University for a talk titled "What is 'Food Addiction'? Empirical Evidence and Treatment Implications."

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Public Health Sciences major Haydee Jacobs named a UMass Amherst Rising Researcher

Haydee Jacobs, a senior majoring in Public Health Sciences, was among eight students recently named Rising Researchers for spring 2016. The university selects these students each semester through a competitive nomination process to receive the UMass Amherst Rising Researcher award in recognition of their scholarly achievements and their related impact on their chosen fields. Her independent research has examined how embryonic exposure to chemicals found in plastics called phthalates impacts endocrine pancreas development. Jacobs has presented her work at national conferences, winning awards and top honors in her division.

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Student Profile: Michael Starr, Communication Disorders MA '16

Visit UMass Amherst’s Department of Communication Disorders and one might be surprised to find Michael Starr, Nashville native and former professional actor, dancer, singer turned UMass Amherst graduate student, busy working on federally funded research exploring motor speech disorders in children with Autism. With a stint on Broadway and a recurring role on All My Children – not to mention a guest spot on The Sopranos under his belt – we were curious as to how Starr landed his current role as a student in the School of Public Health & Health Sciences.

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Peer-to-Peer Profiles: Lia Delaney '15 and Bright Osajie '16

Lia Delaney (left) and Bright Osajie (right)

Public Health peer advisors Meredith Willis and Aniko Haber, both '16, interviewed recent Public Health Sciences alumna Lia Delaney ’15 about her experiences working as a research assistant in an epidemiology lab at the University of Michigan. They also interviewed senior Public Health Sciences major Bright Osajie '16 about his study abroad experience in Thailand.

Read more about Lia Delaney here and Bright Osajie here

April 2016

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May 7, 2016 - SPHHS Senior Recognition Ceremony

The School of Public Health and Health Sciences Senior Recognition Ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 7, 2016, in the Fine Arts Center beginning at 1:00 pm for Communication Disorders and Kinesiology majors and at 3:30 pm for Nutrition and Public Health Sciences majors. This event allows the School to recognize graduating seniors in a special way and individually congratulate them for their accomplishments.

Visit our Senior Recognition Ceremony webpage for more information.


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