Honors & Awards
The Eugene Feingold Excellence in Diversity Awards honor various members of the School of Public Health community for their extraordinary dedication to developing diversity at the University of Michigan.
Eugene Feingold Excellence in Diversity Award Winner, 2019
Ebbin Dotson, Assistant Professor of Health Management and Policy, was awarded the Feingold Award for his work on the University of Michigan Summer Enrichment Program (UMSEP), the Health Equity Leadership Pipeline Collaborative (the Collaborative), and his tireless commitment to supporting people of color in health care leadership roles through research and mentoring. The UMSEP is a national model for health professions pipeline programs focused on identifying and supporting talented students to become leaders in health care. The Collaborative employs a network of practitioners, consultants, researchers, and students to study health equity issues, primarily the prevalence of people of color in health care leadership roles. Dotson is known for continuing to mentor and support his students after they graduate and enter the fields of health care and public health. He serves as faculty advisor for student organizations and case competitions and organizes extracurricular consulting projects for students seeking experiential learning opportunities as they prepare for internships and job searches.
By championing diversity efforts throughout the school, the Feingold Award aims to ensure and further develop an environment of inclusion and justice at the University of Michigan.
Eugene Feingold Excellence in Diversity Award Winner, 2019
Cindy Le, a master’s student in Health Behavior and Health Education (HBHE) and a Marvin and Harriet Selin Scholar, was awarded the Feingold Award for her work as a courageous and collegial community organizer, especially her work as a member of the Health Behavior and Health Education DEI Student Action committee. This year, the committee hosted Table Talk, a community-based, idea-generating workshop for students to establish a DEI agenda for HBHE. And to increase transparency and communication across the HBHE department, the committee created DEI DidYaKnow, a weekly newsletter that provides students information about DEI activities and issues inside and outside the classroom that concern them. “I am truly honored to be recognized as the student recipient of the Feingold Award for my work on the committee. Working toward diversity, equity, and inclusion can be a long and tiring battle, but it is worth it. This award is recognition that I and the committee are making an effort and are seen,” said Le.
Eugene Feingold Excellence in Diversity Award Winner, 2018
Jenny Crawford, executive secretary for the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education. Crawford serves as the department’s staff representative to the school-wide Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) committee and is known as an action-oriented colleague who moves initiatives forward with equal commitment to ideas from faculty, staff, and students. She leads a monthly book club that discusses diversity-related books and recently instituted a current-events dialogue series to provide a community forum to discuss important topics.
Crawford brings together a diverse range of people in the department to help build a culture of connection. "Jenny has been a leader in our department to engage in meaningful and substantive discussions that critically examine structural challenges to equity and diversity on campus," said Amy Schulz, professor of Health Behavior and Health Education.
Crawford says our differences make us stronger as a community: "I am incredibly honored to receive the Feingold Award, and I truly believe community building is the key to improving diversity, equity, and inclusion. Coming together and getting to know each other—with our varying opinions, perspectives, and life histories—is priceless."
Eugene Feingold Excellence in Diversity Award Winner, 2018
Katrina Burns, a doctoral student in Environmental Health Sciences, is the very first student recipient of the Feingold Award. Burns serves on the departmental and school-wide DE&I committees and is known for her persevering work coordinating ambitious DE&I-related activities for students, staff, and faculty. She initiated and organized her department’s first DE&I town hall in 2016 and initiated the department’s DE&I committee, personally recruiting and inspiring students to get involved.
Burns is also known for passionate and effective research efforts to protect the safety and health of laboratory workers in all settings, particularly among groups that are vulnerable or disadvantaged. "Katrina’s efforts to do research on laboratory safety—an important issue that affects many but has not historically received sufficient attention—are badly needed in order to protect students, staff, and faculty both at the university and elsewhere," said Dana Dolinoy, NSF International Chair of Environmental Health Sciences and professor of Nutritional Sciences.
Burns says that success in diversity, equity, and inclusion mean an unwavering dedication to excellence, integrity, consistency, patience, fairness, persistence, and courage for all of us. "And that success is not determined by how much we know, but the willingness to learn. This willingness is embodied in my colleagues on the Environmental Health Sciences DE&I departmental committee. I share this recognition with them and with the Environmental Health Sciences department, and am grateful for their support. I am honored to have begun our journey, but together, through our commitment to each other and the work we do in the Environmental Health Sciences department, we are seekers of universal love for all of humanity, creating a path towards the future vision of DE&I for Environmental Health Sciences, Michigan Public Health and the University of Michigan."
Eugene Feingold Excellence in Diversity Award Winner, 2017
Marie O'Neill, associate professor of Environmental Health Sciences and Epidemiology, was awarded the Eugene Feingold Excellence in Diversity Award. Her nomination received overwhelming support from students, faculty, and staff.
O'Neill's research often focuses on vulnerable populations. She works on vegetation and heat vulnerabilities in Detroit and air quality and birth outcomes in Mexico City. International funding organizations such as the Health Effects Institute cite O'Neill's scholarship as a model for furthering objectives of health equity.
O'Neill's research consistently brings together scholars, practitioners, and community partners to explore common issues. She employs community-based participatory research (CBPR) methods and is committed not only to publishing results but to translating and promoting findings into action. In 2009 she and her team published a prototype heat vulnerability map, a public health and urban planning tool that has spawned further research on the topic. She received NIH and more recently NSF funding to study heat, comfort, and health equity issues.
"Public health success depends on creating spaces for ideas to be freely shared among students, faculty, and members of communities that are most adversely affected by health challenges," said Sharon Kardia, senior associate dean for administration and professor of epidemiology," and Professor O'Neill has worked tirelessly toward this goal."
Arline T. Geronimus
Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award Winner, 2016
Arline T. Geronimus, research professor in the Population Studies Center, Institute for Social Research, and professor of health behavior and health education in the School of Public Health, is known for having proposed and tested the "weathering hypothesis." It posits that the impact of repeated exposure to and high-effort coping with stressors by U.S. racial and ethnic minorities leads to early onset of chronic disease and early biological aging, compared to U.S. whites of the same chronological age.
Her work advances a perspective that population health disparities arise from the qualitatively different life experiences, exposure to stressors, and access to coping resources associated with specific social identity groups in an unequal society.
She is credited for increasing the number of minority doctoral students in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at SPH. She also supervised a disproportionate share of their doctoral dissertations. Geronimus also supported their efforts to win postdoctoral fellowships and faculty positions, while maintaining high academic standards.
"Geronimus has repeatedly demonstrated intellectual excellence and commitment to cultural diversity in all aspects of her work — service, teaching, mentoring and scholarship — has helped increase diversity within her academic units and the university, has solidified a commitment to diversity as part of the university's educational mission, and has relentlessly strived to bring about equity in society,'" wrote Jeffrey Morenoff, director of the Population Studies Center
Eugene Feingold Excellence in Diversity Award, 2016 Staff Winner
2016 staff awardee Laura Jadwin-Cakmak is a research area specialist in the department of Health Behavior and Health Education and the Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities. Laura's work is currently focused on the Adolescent Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions. Laura's work is firmly rooted in Community-Based Participatory Research principles--many of which have been developed and promoted right here at the school.
Laura is a calm and thoughtful activist for social justice, who not only influences students and staff through her direct work in the SexLab, but through participating in community-based social action groups, advocating for ethnic, racial, and sexual equality. She is recognized as a positive role model for both students and her peers.
Her nominators said: "Laura's words and actions demonstrate a strong commitment to creating a climate that celebrates all forms of human diversity. Our department and Lab are a better and more accepting place for all people because of her dedication and hard work."
Eugene Feingold Excellence in Diversity Award, 2015 Faculty Winner
Professor Emeritus Eugene Feingold spent much of his life working to end poverty and racial discrimination. The Diversity Award honors Dr. Feingold's memory and celebrates his achievements, as well as the achievements of the awardees. 2015 awardee Siobán Harlow, professor of Epidemiology and Director of the Center for Midlife Science, has made contributions to diversity that extend across the life of the school, from research to curriculum to funding to social justice. She is renowned for her determination to move forward despite any obstacles.
Siobán's research has focused for many years on diverse populations, and particularly on women's health. She is the principal investigator for the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation, a 20-year, multi-ethnic cohort study of more than 3,000 women's physical, biological, psychological, and social health as they age.
Throughout her career, Siobán has consciously and constantly worked on behalf of those who needed a voice and a champion. She has done this through her robust research portfolio, her teaching, her mentoring, and her personal advocacy. Not only is she committed to doing her best work, but she challenges and inspires her students and collaborators to do their best work in advancing public health globally and locally. Many of her students have gone on to prominent positions in this same field around the world.
Siobán's nominators said, "Her spirit influences the academic environment by welcoming and promoting diversity among the students, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, or class. The values of diversity are spread daily through her former students, who return to the school to encourage current students."
Past Eugene Feingold Excellence in Diversity Award Winners
- 2014: Lynda Fuerstnau, Health Behavior & Health Education
- 2013: Amy Schulz, Health Behavior & Health Education
- 2012: Dana Thomas, Office of Public Health Practice
- 2011: Toby Citrin, adjunct professor of health management and policy and director of the Center for Public Health and Community Genomics
- 2010: Barbara Israel, Health Behavior and Health Education, who works in community-based participatory research, empowerment, and social determinants of health.
- 2007: Richard Lichtenstein, Health Management & Policy; co-PI of the Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center
- 2007: Harold "Woody" Neighbors, Health Behavior and Health Education; director of Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture and Health and director of the Program for Research on Black Americans