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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

South Florida: Dr. Karen Liller Receives Prestigious ASPPH Award

The Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) has recognized University of South Florida College of Public Health (COPH) professor Dr. Karen Liller with its 2020 Academic Public Health Practice Excellence Award. The annual award celebrates graduate public health faculty who advance and integrate the scholarship of practice-based service, teaching and research for public health.

“I am greatly honored and humbled to receive this award,” said Dr. Liller. “I truly believe that research needs to be put into practice and students need to get that experience in their classes and through serving as research assistants. They need to do projects in the community and always involve their stakeholders.”

Dr. Liller was nominated for the award by Dr. Donna Petersen, dean of the COPH.

“For over 30 years, Dr. Liller has incorporated practice into all facets of her work and has enabled thousands of students to do the same,” Dr. Petersen wrote in her nomination letter.  “In terms of her achievements, she continually espouses — ‘To learn you MUST DO!’ She practices what she preaches and every day lives our college motto ‘Our practice is our passion.’ She is fully deserving of this award for her extraordinary work.”

While Dr. Liller is a longtime researcher and specialist in injury prevention who played a key role in getting the Florida Legislature to pass a bike helmet law, she believes it is her work with the college’s Activist Lab — a student organization offering undergrads and advanced-degree students advocacy opportunities — that helped earn her the award.

“Through this Lab students are learning exemplary advocacy and leadership skills and are making a difference. I am very proud of the Lab and look forward to our future!”

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