Markham earns prestigious 2023 Piper Professor award

(Photo courtesy of UTHealth Houston School of Public Health)
Eric Boerwinkle, PhD, dean, presents Christine Markham with the 2023 Piper Professor award. (Photo courtesy of UTHealth Houston School of Public Health)

A dedicated educator for more than three decades at UTHealth Houston School of Public Health, Christine Markham, PhD, has added the prestigious Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Award to a long list of honors she has received during her tenure.

Markham is professor and chair of the Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences and deputy director of the Texas Prevention Research Center at the School of Public Health. She also holds the Allan King Professorship in Public Health.

“Dr. Markham’s tireless efforts and expertise have made a tremendous impact on our students and fellows, and the community as a whole,” said Kevin Morano, PhD, senior vice president of academic and faculty affairs at UTHealth Houston, and a 2015 recipient of the Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Award. “This honor is richly deserved and serves as an inspiration to others. I am delighted that her dedication has been recognized with this award.”

Ten Piper Professors are selected each year from among educators nominated by colleges and universities throughout Texas. Each receives an honorarium from the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation in recognition of their effectiveness and dedication to teaching. Markham is the 11th UTHealth Houston educator to receive the award since the program was established in 1958 and the fourth from the School of Public Health.

“It is a great honor for UTHealth Houston and our School of Public Health to be recognized with this award,” Markham said. “I am fortunate to work alongside outstanding students and colleagues who are committed to providing the highest-quality, innovative public health education across Texas and beyond.”

Markham has more than 30 years of experience in health promotion and behavioral sciences research, including determinants studies, intervention development, program evaluation, dissemination, and implementation research. She has served as principal investigator and co-investigator on multiple child and adolescent health promotion studies funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, and other federal entities.

“Dr. Markham’s commitment to excellence in her teaching is recognized by both her peers and students alike,” said Eric Boerwinkle, PhD, dean, M. David Low Chair in Public Health, and Kozmetsky Family Chair in Human Genetics at UTHealth Houston School of Public Health. “She has a special ability to weave her deep subject expertise and her own research accomplishments into engaging and informative lectures.”

She has directed rigorous evaluation trials to develop and evaluate adolescent health programs, including “It’s Your Game…Keep It Real,” recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as an effective teen pregnancy prevention program for middle school students.

Markham has also provided capacity-building in health promotion research for pre- and post-doctoral fellows, investigators, and health care providers in east Africa and southeast Asia. At UTHealth Houston, she co-teaches courses in advanced methods for health promotion program planning, adolescent sexual health, and disability and public health. Markham has extensive experience in Intervention Mapping, a systematic framework for developing and implementing theory and evidence-based health promotion programs, and has taught graduate-level courses and workshops on Intervention Mapping nationally and internationally.

Since joining UTHealth Houston School of Public Health, she has mentored over 115 doctoral and master’s degree students. She has also mentored pre- and post-doctoral fellows in UTHealth Houston’s NCI-funded Cancer Education and Career Development Program and the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) Training Program. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in anthropology from Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania, respectively, and her PhD in behavioral sciences from UTHealth Houston School of Public Health.

The Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation, based in San Antonio, was organized in 1950 and is a nonprofit charitable corporation that supports higher education in Texas through scholarships, grants, and other programs. The late Randall Gordon Piper and his wife, Minnie Stevens Piper, were the principal donors.

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