It’s the year of the woman …
At least it is for this year’s University of South Florida College of Public of Health award winners at the 2017 Florida Public Health Association (FPHA) annual conference. The event was held in July 26 – 27 in Orlando.
The honorees include two students and one faculty member from the college.
Ms. Lea Heberlein-Larson is pursuing a DrPH degree. When not immersed in academics, she works as a virology administrator/biological administrator III with the Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Public Health Laboratories in Tampa.
Senée Mera Mobley earned a BSPH from USF in May. By the end of July, she was living in Botswana as a Peace Corps volunteer. For the next 27 months, Ms. Mobley will assist the people of Gaborone as a health and HIV capacity building specialist.
As student scholarship recipients, Ms. Heberlein-Larson and Ms. Mobley each received $350 toward tuition, a free FPHA student membership, and their conference fees were waived. Since Ms. Mobley is out of country, her tuition assistance and conference fees will be deferred until her Peace Corps service is complete.
“OMG!,” was Ms. Natalie Preston’s immediate response to learning of her award status. She directs the COPH’s Office of Engagement and Constituent Relations.
In an email to Ms. Preston, FPHA president and COPH alumnus Dr. Richard France wrote, “I just wanted to let you know that I selected you to receive the FPHA Presidential Award. You have been so fantastic this year (actually, always) in helping with all of the things I’ve done as president, including the brown bag lunches and the Tampa Regional Conference we had in March.”
Instead of being in Orlando with other attendees, Ms. Preston was home sick with laryngitis.
“It truly warms my heart to know that you think enough of me to nominate me for this award! Honestly, I don’t see my efforts as anything special,” Ms. Preston said in her email to France. “FPHA is a great organization. After watching from the sidelines for a bit, I thought it was time to get involved. The Tampa events presented the right opportunities and I look forward to doing more in the future! This is the first FPHA I’ve missed in probably seven or more years. Boy, did I pick the wrong one to miss!”
In addition to the three award winners, the college had a strong showing in other areas at the conference. Recruiters were on hand to speak with interested students about the college’s nationally recognized academic programs. Mr. Randall H. Russell, president and CEO of Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg gave the keynote address at the college’s sponsored luncheon, and a plethora of USF Bulls shared their practice and their passion.