Harrison C. Spencer Award

The ASPPH Harrison C. Spencer Award for Outstanding Community Service was created to honor Dr. Spencer, who had a long-standing commitment to principles of social justice with a focus on community engagement to address the social determinants of health. This annual award is given to an ASPPH-member, CEPH- accredited school or program of public health demonstrating a major institutional commitment to addressing community needs through education, practice, and/or research.

2021 Winner

Congratulations to Dean El-Mohandes and the faculty and staff CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy

The CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy is a commuter campus located in Harlem New York serving a racially and ethnically diverse student population and operates in a diverse area impacted by demographic shifts and income inequality, but rich in history, culture, and community activism. Approximately 60 percent of the student population are from traditionally underrepresented groups, and a majority of students are from families living below the poverty level. The student population and the geographic location of the school are integral to the school’s identity as a “public school of public health.” The school embraces a multifaceted concept of “community” that includes engagement with more than one million CUNY students, faculty, staff, their families, and close contacts; the school’s immediate geographic community in Harlem; the University’s metropolitan community; and the broader public health community of government agencies, health care institutions, community-based and private sector organizations, and academia. The school has demonstrated a sustained and dedicated commitment to community engagement across a range of areas of focus. CUNY engages with over 200 organizations and seeks to chart a new, 21st Century model for schools and programs of public health, in which students, faculty and staff are engaged with communities as trusted, reciprocal, and humble partners, in addressing pressing public health issues. Community members are engaged in meaningful activities with the school – as adjunct faculty, advisors, stakeholders, and partners.

The personal and professional relationships with community leaders and city and state public health officials are based on a solid foundation of mutual trust and respect. The commitment by CUNY, the dean, and its faculty, staff and students to the community is evident and their activities are making a significant difference to communities in Harlem, New York City, and globally.