John P. McGovern Award for Outstanding Teaching: Abigail Sedory, PhD
Sedory earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a minor in Mathematics from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. After finishing her undergraduate degree program, Abigail became a certified high school mathematics teacher and taught for a year before pursuing a Master of Science degree in Biostatistics. She received her M.S degree in Biostatistics from the University of Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health where she focused on intervention research analysis within the Health Promotions/Behavioral Science department. She is also interested in Genetics research.
The John P. McGovern Award for Outstanding Teaching recognizes excellence in teaching based on knowledge of the subject; interest and enthusiasm for teaching; understanding of students; responsiveness to student questions and encouragement of independent thinking; and accessibility to students.
James Emerson Award for Outstanding Teaching Assistant: Boomadevi Narendran, MD, MSPH
Boomadevi Narendran, MD, MSPH is an international medical graduate who completed a Master of Science degree in epidemiology. After a year of working in childhood obesity prevention research, she decided to further her education. She started her doctoral degree, also in Epidemiology, where her focus was on cancer outcomes research especially using administrative claims data
The James Emerson Award for Outstanding Teaching Assistant is given by the UTHealth School of Public Health Student Association and recognizes a teaching assistant who demonstrates knowledge of the subject and competency in the area of expertise; interest/enthusiasm for teaching; interest in an understanding of the students; responsiveness to student questions and encouragement of independent thinking; and accessibility to students.
Award for Excellence in Academic Advising Winner: Shreela Sharma, PhD
Shreela Sharma is professor of epidemiology at UTHealth School of Public Health in Houston, TX. Sharma is a behavioral epidemiologist with specific interest in food insecurity, nutritional epidemiology and diet-related chronic diseases in children, vulnerable, underserved populations and has a robust, federally-funded research program in this area. More recently, Dr. Sharma is leading several COVID-19 related projects including a Texas state-wide COVID-19 Symptom Tracking initiative, analysis of COVID-19 data for the Texas Medical Center, Harris County, and Texas Department of State Health Services; providing recommendations for public health decision-making, and assessing the impact of COVID-19 on employment, food security, financial stability and other social needs among vulnerable populations in Texas. Dr. Sharma is committed to serving the community; on behalf of UTHealth, Dr. Sharma co-leading the Greater Houston Coalition on Social Determinants of Health, a Harris-county wide effort focused on mitigating food insecurity and other social determinants of health among its residents. Dr. Sharma is also co-founder of Brighter Bites, a nationwide non-profit dedicated to providing fresh produce and nutrition education to low-income children and their families.
The Excellence in Academic Advising award is given by UTHealth School of Public Health and the recipient is selected by students. This award recognizes an academic advisor who assists students with their educational goals and professional development; is readily available to advisees with a helpful attitude; provides career advice and assists with job placement; guides on practicum experience or research for students’ thesis/dissertation; demonstrates extensive knowledge of the academic program; and refers students to relevant resources and internal and external opportunities relative to the School.