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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

UNC: ‘Mentorship Is a Way of Life’ — Ribisl Named Jo Anne Earp Distinguished Professor

Dr. Kurt Ribisl has been named the inaugural Jo Anne Earp Distinguished Professor in Health Behavior. His appointment began June 1. Dr. Ribisl also is the chair of the Department of Health Behavior at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Dr. Ribisl’s primary research interest is improving the reach of population-level efforts to reduce tobacco use, with emphasis on policy and information technology. He specializes in regulation of the sales and marketing of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, and he has researched tobacco pricing, promotions and youth access.

Dr. Jo Anne Earp, for whom the professorship is named, is a nationally recognized health behavior researcher and educator. She also is a former chair of health behavior and a professor emeritus in the department.

“Jo Anne is the archetype of the engaged, deeply knowledgeable, caring scholar/adviser, beloved by generations of students who now have attained their own professional maturity and recognition,” said Dr. Barbara K. Rimer, dean and alumni distinguished professor at the Gillings School. “She was one of Gillings’ strongest faculty members and chairs, and she continues to be deeply involved in the life of the health behavior department and the School.”

Dr. Earp’s professorship has been in the works since 2013, when several hundred of her former students and friends celebrated her retirement and immediately began to send donations to a tribute fund in her honor.

“Jo Anne is quite a dynamo!” Dr. Ribisl said. “She is the person who recruited me here 20 years ago and has nurtured my career every step of the way. I’m thrilled about receiving a professorship named for her and carrying on her legacy.”

For her, and now for Dr. Ribisl, mentorship is a way of life.

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