Master of Public Health (MPH) students Elizabeth Bartelt and Alex Purcell are this year’s recipients of the prestigious Stephen Jay Award for Leadership in Public Health. The award is presented annually to current MPH students across the state who exhibit exemplary public health leadership, scholarship, and practice, resulting in the improvement of public health in Indiana.
In addition to their notable academic pursuits, both Bartelt and Purcell have made significant contributions in the field of public health and are employed by the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington. Bartelt, a doctorate student, works as a project coordinator for the Center for Sexual Health Promotion. Purcell, who is pursuing his master’s degree, is a workforce development specialist with the Office of Global and Community Health Partnerships.
The idea for the Stephen Jay Award was initiated over 10 years ago by Dr. Lloyd Kolbe, emeriti faculty at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, to honor the inspirational work and leadership of Dr. Stephen Jay during his tenure as the inaugural chair of the IU Department of Public Health, which is now the Fairbanks School of Public Health in Indianapolis. “I’m delighted the Stephen Jay Award for Leadership in Public Health remains an ongoing means to recognize exemplary graduate students in Indiana and to help bring together the graduate public health programs within the state,” Dr. Kolbe said.
To be eligible for the award, the recipient must be currently enrolled in a graduate public health program in an Indiana institute of higher education. Nominations are made by faculty. This year’s recipients will be recognized at the 34th Indiana Public Health Celebration and Hulman Health Achievement Awards banquet on Thursday, October 25, at the Biltwell Event Center in downtown Indianapolis.
The Stephen Jay Award is an important acknowledgement of Bartelt’s and Purcell’s contributions and leadership in public health, and helps shine a spotlight on the great work being done by MPH students across Indiana.