UGA public health professor receives national award for teaching excellence

April 15, 2015

Joel Lee, has been named the 2015 recipient of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health/Pfizer Award for Teaching Excellence. The award recognizes a graduate public health faculty member who is outstanding in teaching and mentoring students toward distinction in public health research, teaching and practice. Lee is the John A. Drew Professor of Health Administration at the University of Georgia College of Public Health, an award which is endowed in the University of Georgia Foundation.
 
A national panel of public health scholars selected Lee for the honor, which was presented during the ASPPH’s annual meeting in Arlington, Virginia. The ASPPH represents public health schools and programs accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. 
 
“As a teacher and mentor, Joel has made a significant impact in advancing public health education. This well-deserved award recognizes his passion and commitment to training our next generation of public health practitioners,” said Phillip Williams, dean of the College of Public Health.
 
Lee, who currently directs the college’s Doctor of Public Health program, has been a faculty member in the department of health policy and management since 2008. He previously served as associate dean for academic affairs for both the UGA and University of Kentucky Colleges of Public Health. He has been credited with advancing the careers of nearly 2,000 students as director of undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs at both colleges.
 
“It was indeed an honor for me to nominate Dr. Lee for this award,” said Robert Galen, professor emeritus of epidemiology and former senior associate dean in the UGA College of Public Health. “His greatest reward is working with students, and he is highly regarded for advising and mentorship. Numerous graduates continue to stay in touch and seek his advice. I am delighted that he was selected and recognized nationally for his longstanding excellence in teaching." 
 
Lee completed his Master of Public Health and Doctor of Public Health degrees in health services administration and organization at the University of Texas School of Public Health.
 
His scholarship in public health education includes 31 papers, 121 speaking engagements and five textbook chapters addressing educational topics in the discipline. He has served on the editorial boards of several journals, including the Journal of Health Administration Education, as well as held co-editorial appointments on four special journal issues focusing on health administration and public health education.
 
Throughout his career, Lee has been engaged in a variety of workforce continuing education programs—both academic and certificate programs—for health care practitioners in the U.S. He has also participated in international public health and health administration activities in England, Russia, Romania, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, developing new academic degree programs and offering continuing education for practitioners. 
 
“The ASPPH/Pfizer Award for Teaching Excellence is recognition of academic achievement in public health,” Lee said. “As I look at the accomplishments of the past awardees, I am extraordinarily honored to join them as the 11th recipient.”
 
At ASPPH, Lee has served as chair and past chair for the Associate Deans for Academic Affairs, chair of the Doctor of Public Health Program Directors and chair of the Health Services Administration Council. He currently serves as program chair of the American Public Health Association Academic Public Health Caucus, as a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives Georgia Regent’s Advisory Council and the National Board of Public Health Examiners.
 
Founded in 2005 as a response to the state’s need to address important health concerns in Georgia, the UGA College of Public Health offers degree programs in biostatistics, disaster management, environmental health, epidemiology, gerontology, global health, health promotion and behavior, public health, health policy and management and toxicology. For more information, see www.publichealth.uga.edu. 
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