Oregon State College of Public Health and Human Sciences alumna Dr. Margaret Jo (Meg) Henning, recently became the first OSU graduate to receive the American Public Health Association (APHA) International Health Section – International Health Mid-Career Award.
[Photo (left to right): Oregon State University College of Public Health and Human Sciences associate dean for research and graduate programs Dr. Marie Harvey, CPHHS alumna Dr. Meg Henning and APHA International Health Section Chair Omar Khan. Photo courtesy Angeli Rawat]
She received the award at the APHA conference in Chicago.
“Meg is diligent, persistent and fearless in pursuing academic excellence. She never ceased to surprise me in her academic performance,” says CPHHS Professor Dr. Chunhuei Chi, who served as Meg’s mentor. “Meg receiving this award is a great statement of the quality of our graduate program in public health at OSU.”
Passionate about access to health care and education for girls, Meg recently completed field research in Zambia, Africa, exploring psychological support and education for orphans and vulnerable children. She recently completed a project working with the Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative for children affected by poverty, conflict and HIV and AIDS in East and Southern Africa.
“Gender inequity in educational enrollment is evidenced by the relative under-enrollment of girls in primary and secondary education,” says Meg, who serves as associate professor of Health Sciences at Keene State College in Keene, N.H. “Educational inequalities for women are driving factors in early marriage, pregnancy and relative poverty for women and increasing underdevelopment for entire communities. Access to quality education goes hand-in-hand with the skills and information necessary to translate education into positive life opportunities.”
In collaboration with the University of Zambia, Meg’s next project will focus on community health assistants in Zambia, specifically in relation to their role in providing maternal and child health care services.
Meg began her PhD program in the CPHHS in Fall 2004 and served as a GTA, GRA and president of the International Health Club, and conducted field research in Zambia, collecting data on a teacher’s role in HIV/AIDS prevention.
“I came to the PhD program at OSU with a lot of questions,” she says. “I wanted to know more about justice, health systems and equity in resource-poor settings – how to better reach and work with communities. My training at OSU provided a foundation for global health as an interdisciplinary field. My mentors taught me to ask harder questions, to be comfortable with uncertainty and to think outside the box in addressing health challenges.”
“Meg is ambitious and adventurous in terms of exploring new intellectual territory,” Dr. Chunhuei says. “Not many doctoral students would take a newborn to Zambia and travel around Lusaka to 123 schools sampling 720 teachers for original research. Besides her excellent academic quality, Meg is one of the most reliable, caring and passionate students and colleagues I have ever met. This award recognizes her achievements and fine quality.”