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Dedicated Alumni Honored by Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health

PITTSBURGH, May 16, 2014 – Five University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health alumni will be recognized for their outstanding service in the field of public health during a special ceremony at the school’s Alumni Reunion Gala on Saturday evening. 
“It is an honor to recognize these distinguished alumni for their commitment to advancing public health through research, teaching and community service,” said Donald S. Burke, M.D., Pitt Public Health dean and UPMC-Jonas Salk Chair of Global Health.
  • Susan Ott, J.D., M.P.H., Class of 1976, will receive the Dean’s Special Achievement Award for Service to the Profession. Now a practicing attorney associated with Rhoades & Owen LLC and acting executive director of the Foundation to Advance Public Health through Certification, Ms. Ott has a strong background as a former hospital administrator and nonprofit executive in western Pennsylvania. She is a board member of the Pittsburgh Planned Giving Council and vice president of the Allegheny County Bar Association Health Law Section. She does significant pro bono legal work for the association, as well as for Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.
  • Mary Herbert, M.P.H., Class of 2005, will receive The Margaret F. Gloninger Service Award for her significant contributions to the community. Ms. Herbert is clinical director and administrative coordinator for the Pitt Division of General Internal Medicine’s Program for Health Care to Underserved Populations. In this role, she oversees case management efforts, development of policies, procedures and expansion of services, service learning initiatives, specialty services and outcomes. She also is involved in program fundraising and strategic planning, and regularly gives talks and presentations related to patient care, safety-net clinical services and health policy. 
  • Chung-Chou “Joyce” H. Chang, Ph.D., Class of 1998, will receive a Distinguished Alumni Award for Teaching and Dissemination in recognition of her leadership in the development and teaching of biostatistics courses and her support of her advisees’ research efforts. A professor of medicine and core faculty of Biostatistics and Clinical and Translational Sciences at Pitt, Dr. Chang consistently receives outstanding evaluations from students and trainees. She actively promotes the use of innovative statistical methods, applying them to a wide range of studies from HIV/AIDS research to women’s health care.
  • Karen Cruickshanks, Ph.D., Class of 1987, will receive a Distinguished Alumni Award for Research in recognition of her work on the link between subclinical vascular and inflammatory markers and the sensory and neurological disorders of aging, and generational differences in aging. Dr. Cruickshanks is a professor in the University of Wisconsin’s departments of Population Health Sciences and Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. She serves as chair of the Data Monitoring and Oversight Committee for the Conservation of Hearing Study and the Data and Safety Monitoring Board for the Therapeutic Effects of Cataract Removal in Alzheimer’s disease clinical trial.
  • James Clise, M.P.H., Class of 1963, will receive a Distinguished Alumni Award for Practice in recognition of his 64 years of work in the sanitation field with various public health agencies. Currently president of Sanitary/Environmental Engineering Inc., he has worked in the public health sector in states across the country and is responsible for the designs of 20 wastewater treatment plants, sanitation systems and sewage facilities.
Also, three alumni – Aaron Mendelsohn, M.P.H., Class of 1996; Sean Rinella, M.P.H., Class of 2010; and Adam Straub, Ph.D., Class of 2008 – will be inducted into Delta Omega, an honorary society for graduate studies in public health that recognizes merit and encourages further excellence in, and devotion to, public health work.

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