2013 Annual Awards

2013 College of Public Health Excellence in Teaching Award

Kendra Schmid, PhD 



Dr. Kendra Schmid is an Assistant Professor of Biostatistics in the College of Public Health.  She also serves as the Director of the College’s Masters Programs and the Chair of the College’s Curriculum Committee.  Dr. Schmid regularly teaches, “Biostatistics I,” one of the core courses in the Master of Public Health (MPH) program, and has developed and taught several other courses. She guest lectures for many courses and resident programs on campus and serves on numerous MPH capstone and PhD committees.

Dr. Schmid received a Bachelor of Science (2001) in Mathematics from Chadron State College, and both a Master of Science (2004) and a Doctor of Philosophy (2007) in Statistics from the University of Nebraska Lincoln. She joined UNMC College of Public Health, Department of Biostatistics in 2007.  In 2011, Dr. Schmid received the Young Investigator Award from the Teaching Statistics in the Health Sciences Section of the American Statistical Association, and in 2013 she was awarded a UNMC Outstanding Teacher Award.

Dr. Schmid’s research area is statistical shape analysis and she also provides statistical support to many projects on campus. She serves as the primary statistician for the Biostatistics Shared Resource for Communication Disorders at Boystown National Research Hospital, and has been supported on nineteen funded projects including funding for educational activities. Dr. Schmid is the author of over twenty articles and is a member of numerous professional organizations. She also serves as the Nebraska Chapter Representative to the American Statistical Association.

 2013 COPH Faculty Research Award

Gleb Haynatzki, PhD, DSc



Dr. Haynatzki grew up in Bulgaria, Eastern Europe. He received a doctorate in mathematical sciences from St. K. Ohridski University in Sofia, Bulgaria, and another in statistics and applied probability from the University of California, which was followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at McMaster University, Canada. He has worked in the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics at St. K. Ohridski University in Sofia, Bulgaria, and was one of the founding faculty members of the American University in Bulgaria in the early 1990s. He served on the faculty at the Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha collaborating on several research initiatives in osteoporosis, bone biology, violence prevention, hereditary cancer, genetic anticipation in pancreatic cancer, and glaucoma screening.

Dr. Haynatzki joined the UNMC College of Public Health in July 2008. He teaches both beginners and more advanced graduate level biostatistics courses. He works with researchers on campus on the design and analysis of research studies, both designed and observational. These studies range from explaining the causes of health disparities, PAD and pancreatic cancer to Alzheimer’s disease treatment. His statistical methodology work is developing methods for modeling hereditary and sporadic carcinogenesis, and genetic anticipation.

2013 Carruth J. Wagner, MD, Faculty Prize in Public Health

Chandran Achutan, PhD



Dr. Chandran Achutan is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Environmental, Agricultural, and Occupational Health. He obtained his doctorate in Industrial Hygiene from the University of Iowa and has extensive expertise in conducting occupational and environmental exposure assessments. His research interests include reducing occupational health disparities. He is a member of the National Council for the Accreditation of Occupational Hearing Conservationists, and has conducted research in occupational noise exposures and hearing loss. Dr. Achutan was awarded an R01 grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to evaluate an intervention designed to protect agricultural workers’ hearing. Dr. Achutan teaches the Environmental Exposure Assessment course, and co-teaches the Public Health Environment and Society course, online. He is interested in combining didactic instruction with hands-on experience for students.

 2013 Carruth J. Wagner, MD, Scholarship in Public Health

Soumitra Bhuyan, MPH

 

Doctoral student in Health Services Research, Administration, and Policy

Soumitra Bhuyan received his MPH degree from Western Kentucky University with an emphasis in health education.  His primary research interest includes health care workforce, primary care, and patient outcome research. Mr. Bhuyan is currently serving as a student liaison for the Health Administration (HA) Section in American Public Health Association. He is also serving as PhD student representative to the College of Public Health’s Student Admission and Recruitment Committee and as Vice President of the Student Association.

 2013 Carruth J. Wagner, MD, Scholarship in Public Health

Guangming Han, MD, PhD



Doctoral student in Epidemiology

Dr. Han has both an MD and PhD in Clinical Rheumatology and has spent the past several years working in China as a physician in the field of rheumatology. In 2011, he received his Master's degree in Biostatistics. Dr. Han became interested in epidemiology because many chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, are preventable by eating a healthy diet, doing sufficient physical activity and avoiding tobacco.  His solid background and research achievements in the biomedical and medical fields, his academic experiences, and practical skills in biostatistics and epidemiology will help him to achieve his career goal to become an epidemiologist specializing in chronic disease.

2013 Carruth J. Wagner, MD, Scholarship in Public Health 

Janelle Jacobson, MPH, CHES



Doctoral student in Health Services Research, Administration, and Policy

Janelle Jacobson previously worked with both state and local public health departments, which has informed her interest in the implementation of evidence-based public health programming and public health systems and services research. As part of her graduate research assistantship, she is currently working with the Nebraska Public Health Practice Based Research Network. Her research experience has included the areas of public health workforce, public health accreditation, and implementation of quality improvement in local health departments. Her long-term plans are to gain a position in academia and continue working in translational and implementation research.

 2013 Carruth J. Wagner, MD, Scholarship in Public Health

Xiaqing Jiang, MD



Master of Public Health in Biostatistics

Xiaqing Jiang finished medical school in Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine in 2012. She has been actively involved in volunteer services since she started medical school. Highlights include providing social support for children with autoimmune diseases; using surveys and interviews to report on the quality of health service in Shanghai while she was a medical intern. She enrolled in the UNMC College of Public Health in 2012. As an MPH student in Biostatistics, she continued her volunteer practice here in UNMC. Examples include the data analysis project in the 2013 Annual Report on Patient Safety for the Nebraska Coalition for Patient Safety and statistical analysis in the BRFSS Analysis Report for the Mexican Latino Population for the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services. She hopes to combine Biostatistics with her medical background to further her research in experimental studies related to minority populations with rare diseases.

 2013 Carruth J. Wagner, MD, Scholarship in Public Health

Veenu Minhas, PhD



Master of Public Health student in Epidemiology

Dr. Minhas has a PhD in Virology and has been working in the field of viral epidemiology for the past eight years. She has been involved in an epidemiological study to investigate the incidence and transmission of Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpes virus in Zambia, Africa. This virus causes Kaposi’s sarcoma and lymphomas in immunosuppressed people, especially in HIV+ patients. Her two trips to Zambia sparked her interest in public health, and upon graduation Dr. Minhas wants to remain engaged in infectious disease epidemiology research.

 2013 Carruth J. Wagner, MD, Scholarship in Public Health

Muna Sapkota



Doctoral student in Environmental Health, Occupational Health, and Toxicology

Muna Sapkota is from Nepal and she received her elementary and high school education from St Mary’s High School. She attended the School of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences at Pokhara University from 2002 to 2006, majoring in Pharmacy. She attended the School of Pharmacy at Catholic University of Daegu, South Korea, from 2008-2010, where she obtained a Master of Pharmacy degree. In April 2010 she came to the United States as a research scholar at Creighton University. In fall 2012 she enrolled as a PhD student in the Environmental Health, Occupational Health, and Toxicology program. Presently her research is focused on the identification and quantification of malondialdehyde, a component of the oxidative stress caused by cigarette smoke inhalation and ethanol consumption. After completion of her PhD degree, she plans to work as a postdoctoral fellow.

 2013 Carruth J. Wagner, MD, Scholarship in Public Health

Raees Shaikh, MPH

 

Doctoral student in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research

Raees Shaikh is a third year PhD student in the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Program in the UNMC College of Public Health. He is native of Aurangabad city, about 200 miles east of Mumbai, in the Maharashtra State of India. He is a registered medical practitioner in India and worked as a physician before coming to the US for his graduate education. He earned a MPH degree from the Missouri State University. He has been living in Omaha for three years with his wife Sumaira and two daughters, Zoya (3), and Zara (1). He is fluent in three additional languages besides English, and next to spending time with his family, his favorite thing to do in leisure time is watching sitcoms.

 2013 Chancellor Robert D. Sparks, MD,
Pre-professional/Undergraduate Student Scholarship in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

Dylan Zaner



University of Nebraska Omaha College of Education

Dylan Zaner is a native of Omaha, Nebraska, and a graduate of Burke High School.  Currently he attends the University of Nebraska at Omaha where he is working towards a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health.  He is the Director of the Gender and Sexual Orientation Agency on campus and serves as an undergraduate research assistant for the Midlands Sexual Health Research Collaborative.  In his free time he likes to write, play sports, and volunteer in the community.  After graduation, Dylan plans to pursue a Master of Public Health degree with a focus on Social Marketing.

2013 Chancellor Robert D. Sparks, MD, Public Health Student Research Award

Soumitra Bhuyan, MPH



Doctoral student in Health Services Research, Administration, and Policy

Soumitra Bhuyan received his MPH degree from Western Kentucky University with an emphasis in health education.  His primary research interest includes health care workforce, primary care, and patient outcome research. Mr. Bhuyan is currently serving as a student liaison for the Health Administration (HA) Section in American Public Health Association. He is also serving as PhD student representative to the College of Public Health’s Student Admission and Recruitment Committee and as Vice President of the Student Association.   

2013 College of Public Health Alumni Association Spirit of Service Award

Alice Schumaker, PhD



Dr. Alice Schumaker is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Public Health (COPH) and an Associate Professor in Health Services Research and Administration. She serves on the UNMC Graduate Council, Education Council, and Interprofessional Education Curriculum Committee.  Additionally, she is active on COPH committees of Curriculum, Doctoral Programs, Student Recruitment and Admissions, Evaluation, and the Leadership Council. Statewide, she is involved in the Public Health Association of Nebraska as a board member and the co-chair of the Education Committee, Nebraska Public Health Practice-Based Research Network, NDHHS Statewide Health Improvement Plan, and the COPH Public Health Practice Council. Dr. Schumaker received the COPH Excellence in Teaching Award in 2010.  She is passionate about quality in education and was one of the original founders of the joint UNMC-UNO Master of Public Health Program, and later, the UNMC College of Public Health. For recreation, she enjoys hiking, bicycling, and spending time with her children/grandchildren. 

 2013 Chancellor Robert D. Sparks, MD, Award in Public Health and Preventive Medicine

 The Honorable John Cavanaugh



John Cavanaugh is the Executive Director of Building Bright Futures and a fourth generation Nebraskan. A lawyer by profession and a graduate of the Creighton University School of Law (1972), John was elected to the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature in 1972 and was elected to the United States House of Representatives from the Second District in Nebraska in 1976 where he served until 1980.

Among his civic activities, Mr. Cavanaugh served for 20 years as a trustee of the Platte River Whooping Crane Habitat Trust and received a Presidential appointment as chairman of the Czech and Slovak American Enterprise Fund.  John Cavanaugh currently serves on the Board of Directors of Citizens Network for Foreign Affairs.  Cavanaugh and his wife Kathleen have eight children.

 2013 College of Public Health
Student Association

 

President - Claudine Martin
Vice President - Soumitra Bhuyan
Secretary - Binu Singh
Treasurer - Whitney Clausen
UNMC Graduate Student Senate Representatives - Jessica Chavez Thompson & Austin Person

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