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University of Washington School of Public Health

2012 SPH Award Recipients

The SPH Awards recognize exemplary staff, faculty, students, and community partners for their dedication, service, and many contributions they make to our School.

2012 SPH Award Recipients

Gilbert S. Omenn Award for Academic Excellence

The Omenn award recognizes outstanding achievement by a graduate student in the School who excels in scholarship and has demonstrated a commitment to the field of public health.

Lorelei WalkerMasters
Lorelei Walker’s goal is to use genomic information to address mental health and health care disparities. From her personal history of growing up in a family challenged by these issues comes the willingness to work tirelessly for what she believes in, the ability to connect with diverse groups of people, and her determination to make a difference in public health policy and practice. She is a visionary thinker and will be pursuing a PhD in public health genetics.

Mateo BanegaDoctorate
Mateo Banegas blends the best of biology and public health, working most recently on risk factors for breast cancer among Hispanic women in the U.S.  His projects, which combine biostatistics and epidemiology, include a Handbook for Cancer Prevention among Hispanics, using data (cancer incidence and mortality rates) from around the U.S. and specifically from the Yakima Valley of Washington state. He will be heading for a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health.

Community Partners Award

Presented by the School and the Student Public Health Association to a community partner who has demonstrated exemplary support of the School’s mission and its educational, research, or service goals.

Kenneth NgureKenneth Ngure has been a dedicated partner to SPH for more than six years, coordinating two large HIV prevention clinical trials in Kenya, collaborating on ancillary studies, and disseminating research findings through journals and presentations. His initiative, commitment, and spirit of partnership are outstanding. His collaborators include folks in Epidemiology, Global Health, Medicine, and Anthropology.

Kenneth J. Anderson Award

Created to honor Ken Anderson and his extraordinary service to the School and to recognize a current staff member who shows the kind of dedication that made Ken such a wonderful role model.

Sarah PaliulisAs Learning Technologies Specialist for the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice, Sarah Paliulis is that rare blend needed by all modern organizations: superb technical expertise married  to the ability to work well with, and communicate to, a wide range of people. Sarah has spearheaded innovative distance learning and used technology to support the many training, research, and evaluation services that the Center provides for the six-state region of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. She puts people at ease with technology so that they can concentrate on content.

Outstanding Student Award

Winners are selected by each department, at both the master’s level and the doctoral level, for exemplary scholarship and dedication to public health. The Departments of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and Health Services also select an undergraduate student for this award.


  • Xiaoqiong “Christy” Huang, BS Environmental Health
  • Lei He, HIHIM
  • Caitlin Ormsby, Public Health Major


  • Danielle Guffey, Biostatistics
  • Scott Pease, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
  • Thomas A. Odeny, Epidemiology
  • Nathan Furukawa, Global Health
  • Valerie Pacino, Health Services
  • Bridget Igoe, Interdisciplinary Programs, Nutritional Sciences


  • Brett Hanscom, Interdisciplinary Programs, Nutritional Sciences
  • Jenna Armstrong, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
  • Jennifer E. Balkus, Epidemiology
  • Melanie Gasper, Global Health
  • Gwen Lapham, Health Services
  • Anna Rubinsky, Health Services
  • Kristin Beima-Sofie, Interdisciplinary Programs, Public Health Genetics

Outstanding Staff Award

Presented to a staff member in each department and in the Dean’s Office who excels in job knowledge and performance.

  • Bryan Comstock, Operations Director of the Center for Biomedical Statistics, Biostatistics
  • Susan Inman, Undergraduate Program Manager, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
  • Beverly Winter-Eben, Manager of Program Operations for Nutritional Sciences, Epidemiology
  • Sally Weatherford, Director of Finance and Administration, Global Health
  • Sarah Paliulis, Learning Technologies Specialist, Health Services
  • JeShawna Schmidt, Executive Assistant to the Dean, Office of the Dean

Outstanding Community Service Award

Presented to a faculty or staff member who has made special efforts to put public health principles into practice in the community, especially if such efforts were above and beyond usual job responsibilities.

   Amy Hagopian, Global Health

Outstanding Student Community Service Award

Given to a student who has shown dedication and commitment to community service and volunteerism by building bridges between the School and the community.

   Jessica Wallach, Undergraduate Public Health and Geography

SPHA Outstanding Teaching Assistant

Presented to a teaching assistant who excels in facilitating student learning, demonstrates excellent teaching abilities, and provides important administrative assistance.

   Valerie Pacino, Health Services, Community-Oriented Public Health Practice

SPHA Outstanding Teacher

Recognizes a teacher who is accessible to students, is interested in students as individuals, and uses innovative teaching methods, and relevant assignments while inspiring independent and original thinking.

   Beth Mueller, Epidemiology

SPHA Outstanding Mentor

Honors a mentor who respects students’ goals and helps students work toward them while providing a good model of professionalism, demonstrating awareness and respect for differences.

   Scott McClelland, Epidemiology and Global Health

2011 & 2010 SPH Award Recipients