Dr. E. Lisako Jones McKyer, Associate Dean of Climate and Diversity at the Texas A&M School of Public Health, has been named the inaugural recipient of the David L. Gallahue Distinguished Alumni Award from Indiana University School of Public Health – Bloomington.
[Photo: Dr. E. Lisako Jones McKyer]
The award recognizes contributions of alumni who advance the cause of justice and equality. Named after Dr. David Gallahue, who served as Dean of Indiana University School of Public Health from 2002-2007 and was a champion for diversity and inclusion, recipients are School of Public Health-Bloomington alumni who have made significant and sustained contributions in the advancement of health equities.
“What makes this award especially meaningful to me was when I learned that Dr. Gallahue himself nominated me. His influence and in particular his support was instrumental in my decision to remain in academia after I had given birth to my first child,” Dr. McKyer said. “I thought I had to choose between motherhood and academia. He made it explicitly clear, to not only me but to the entire school, that fostering a family-friendly climate was an expectation.”
Dr. McKyer heads the Texas A&M School of Public Health’s Office of Cultural Competence, Diversity & Inclusion and provides leadership and philosophy that enables plans and policies for inclusion of all members of the School of Public Health community. She also represents the school’s diversity efforts both locally and nationally.
She is a recipient of the 2016 American Academy of Health Behavior (AAHB) Mentor award, and is the first Black woman to earn Fellow status with the organization. She has chaired or co-chaired more than 20 doctoral degree recipients and is currently mentoring four doctoral candidates. Among the degree recipients, 80 percent are first generation college students, 80 percent pursued research and academic positions, 85 percent are women and 85 percent are racial/ethnic minorities.
Dr. McKyer is an associate professor at the Texas A&M School of Public Health with secondary appointments in the College of Education and Human Development and the College of Medicine. She currently serves as research development director for the Center for Community Health Development at the Texas A&M School of Public Health.
She completed her undergraduate degree from California State University—Northridge, and her master’s and doctoral degrees at Indiana University under the mentorship of Dean Mohammad R. Torabi, Indiana University School of Public Health – Bloomington.