Message from the Dean

June 2016

Hello to the SPHIS family.

We have completed another academic year, and had a wonderful time celebrating our graduates during a luncheon at the University Club.  It is always nice to meet family members.  Some really exciting news for the youngest college on campus—our largest ever number of doctoral graduates were hooded in May. That group represented almost 15 percent of the university’s total number of doctoral graduates.  And, we graduated our first cluster of undergraduate students two years after starting our new BA and BS programs. The growth we are experiencing in these program areas is exciting.

On the faculty front, we added one new colleague this spring.  The school is fortunate to have established a shared appointment with the city, as we welcomed Dr. Joann Schulte – the new director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness – to the faculty in epidemiology. Read the complete story.

Several exciting things are evolving globally. First, two faculty are working in The Gambia – Anne Wallis and Scott LaJoie. They have taken a few of our students and are teaching a courses in the MPH program at The Gambia University. The faculty team building our new MPH Global Health concentration will soon submit the curricular plan through the university pipeline. We also are working on some very interesting relationships with colleagues in Manipal, India, Dubai, South Africa and Nigeria. Stay tuned for new developments!

We continue to be aggressive about our efforts to impact the health of our friends in West Louisville.  During the annual university wide assessment of community engagement, we identified 81 active partnerships. I will mention one: our Youth Violence Prevention Research Center (YVPRC) established with a $5.7 million CDC grant is operational with faculty from multiple disciplines engaged.  We have also hired six young people from West Louisville as Louisville Youth Voices against Violence (LYVV) Fellows.

And, I would be remiss in not mentioning the Commonwealth Institute of Kentucky. The Institute’s first Spring Research Meeting was a huge success, as faculty and leaders across the campus visited and learned about the projects already underway.  The institute also formally established its inaugural group of Commonwealth Scholars.  This team has already produced some very well regarded papers linked primarily to Affordable Care Act impacts.

Finally, the third Thursday in May, the Gray Street Farmer’s Market opened for the eighth year. Opening day was beautify and nearly 800 visited.  If you have not joined us on Thursdays between May and October, come on out next week for lunch. There are several new vendors and lots of locally grown produce. Read more about the market offerings.

Have a great summer.





Craig H. Blakely, PhD, MPH
Dean, School of Public Health and Information Sciences

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