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Arnold School of Public Health


Arnold School celebrates graduates at 28th Hooding Ceremony on May 7

May 12, 2015 | Erin Bluvas, bluvase@sc.edu 

Dean Tom Chandler kicked off the 2015 Hooding Ceremony by welcoming doctoral and masters degree graduates along with their families. He called the Hooding Ceremony the highlight of the year for Arnold School faculty and staff. “It’s a joy for me to be presiding at the Arnold School’s 28th Hooding Ceremony, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year,” he said.

Chandler also commented on the Arnold School’s continued trajectory of remarkable growth. In the last calendar year, the School achieved a new record in extramural grant funding of more than $35 million from agencies and corporate and private foundations. Faculty and staff published 485 peer-reviewed journal articles in 2014. And the School expanded its outreach to public health practitioners and community health partners throughout the region and the nation. The current graduates, he noted, have played a significant role in all of this success.

“Today we get to see 165 capable and diligent students transform into 165 determined public health professionals,” Chandler said. “These students will be employed in what I believe is the most noble profession on the planet.”

President Harris Pastides, who served as the event’s featured speaker, echoed Chandler’s sentiments. He stressed the importance of public health for communities, regions and nations throughout the world, remarking that the recognition of the field’s importance is growing as well.

Pastides began his presidency at USC in 2008 following a decade of service as an Arnold School professor and dean then as USC’s vice president for research. He joined USC in 1998 as Dean of the Arnold School and professor of epidemiology. In 2002, he was instrumental in securing a $10 million gift from Norman J. and Gerry Sue Arnold for the naming rights to the Arnold School.

“In many ways, the best job I ever held was Dean of the Arnold School of Public Health—a college having so much impact and even greater potential still, both within the university and throughout the world,” Pastides said, reflecting on his tenure with the School. “It’s gratifying to see how far this School has come.”

The President also congratulated the graduates on their accomplishments as well as the achievements that lay before them. “You’ll go forth at this moment and do great things,” Pastides concluded. “Do it well, love your work, love your university, come back often, keep us in your heart wherever you may go, and we will keep you in ours.”

Cheryl Addy, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, presented the annual Arnold School student and alumni awards. Then Chandler announced the Arnold School faculty award winners. Delta Omega Honorary Society Mu Chapter inductees were recognized as well.

Heather Brandt (Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior) and Raja Fayad (In Memoriam, Department of Exercise Science) were the recipients of the James A. Keith Excellence in Teaching Award. Named for a former professor and associate dean of the Arnold School, it is designed to recognize teaching excellence. Michael Beets (Department of Exercise Science) received the Faculty Research Award for his outstanding scholarly record. Daniela Friedman (Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior) received the Faculty Service Award, which is designed to recognize a faculty member who has provided exceptional outreach to the community, made significant contributions to public health practice, or provided leadership in professional organizations or university governance.

Heather Shaw Bonilha (Department of Health Science and Research at the Medical University of South Carolina), won the Gerry Sue Arnold Alumni Award for making a difference to the profession of public health and in the health of an identified community/population. The Norman J. Arnold Alumni Medal was awarded to Jay Hamm (Palmetto Health Richland) for demonstrating work that has had both a positive impact on the profession of public health and on the health of an identified community/population and has brought recognition to the Arnold School of Public Health. 

The Jeffrey Keith Mattison Outstanding Student Achievement Award went to Sara Goldsby (Department of Health Services Policy and Management). This award is given to a master’s degree student who exemplifies service, leadership and personal example. Arpit Saxena (Department of Exercise Science) received the Doctoral Achievement Award for demonstrated academic achievement, professional promise in creating meaningful and relevant research and/or practical application in the field of public health, and potential leadership and service to the community or to the field of public health.

The Arnold School’s six departments also presented awards during the Hooding Ceremony.

Communication Sciences and Disorders: Julie Byard (MSP) and Mary Beth Shumpert (MCD)
Environmental Health Sciences: Tara Raftery (doctoral degree) 
Epidemiology & Biostatistics: Chelsea Deroche (Biostatistics) and Samuel Antwi (Epidemiology)
Exercise Science:  Joyce (Addie) Middleton (doctoral degree), Joshua Jeffery (MS), Lindsay Robertson (MPH)
Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior: Gina Besenyi (doctoral degree) and Tiffany Fishburne (MPH)
Health Services Policy and Management: Jenna Rogers (Suzie B. Yates Scholarship Award), Asha Purohit (Michael D. Jarrett Award), Kellie Smith and Krista Ordemann (Foster G. McGaw Award), Christopher R. Cochran (Michael E. and Sandra P. Samuels Distinguished Alumni Award)

Faculty member inductees into the Arnold School’s Mu Chapter of Delta Omega Honorary Society included James Carson andMelinda Forthofer. Graduating student inductees were Samuel Antwi, Caroline Bergeron, Gina Besenyi, Charity Breneman,Todd Everson, Chelsea Lynes, Joyce (Addie) Middleton, Mital Patel, Azza Shoaibi and Kara Whitaker. Alumni inducted into the Society included Aba Essuon, Sarah Kershner, Marya Shegog, Marylou Stinson, Fred Tabung, Samuel Towne, Jr.and Lisa Wigfall.