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SPHIS Faculty Favorites 2021-22

Please join us in congratulating the 35 faculty, staff, and graduate teaching assistants who were nominated as “Faculty Favorites” by their students for making a difference in their learning during the 2021-22 academic year.

Read what our students had to say about their amazing public health instructors:

InstructorDepartmentStudent Nomination
Brian GuinnEpidemiology & Population Health

Congratulations to Dr. Brian Guinn for being named a "Top Three" Faculty Favorite for 2021-2022. Read about Dr. Guinn's approach to teaching and what his students had to say.

Kathy BaumgartnerEpidemiology & Population Health

Dr. Kathy Baumgartner is the epitome of what an advisor and mentor-mentee relationship should look like. She has been extremely instrumental not only to my academic success but also has guided me through adversity and challenges. Providing time, compassion, energy, effort, and guidance in student success is something she takes very dear to her heart.

Richard BaumgartnerEpidemiology & Population Health

Dr. Baumgartner has not only fulfilled his responsibilities as an instructor but vastly exceeded them in his support of his students and their passions. He has shown me the breadth of possible careers and research areas I could pursue with amazing insight and encouragement. Dr. Baumgartner has become a mentor to me.

Lee BewleyHealth Management & Systems Sciences

Dr. Bewley is invested in the success of each student and takes time to ensure that his students are fully comprehending the presented materials.

He is the most supportive professor inside and outside of the classroom.

Aishia BrownHealth Promotion & Behavioral Sciences

Dr. Brown goes above and beyond for her students! She makes sure her students overall health and well-being is priority, in addition to challenging you academically. This is important and we need more professors like Dr. Brown to create real change in public health!

Dr. Brown made a huge difference in my first semester here at U of L with understanding we are all adulting while going through this program and made sure we extended grace to ourselves.

Ryan CombsHealth Promotion & Behavioral Sciences

Did a great job of being transparent with his experiences and providing a safe space for open dialogue and critical thinking with regards to social justice

Liza CreelHealth Management & Systems Sciences

Dr. Creel really demonstrates compassion for students and shows that she cares about our well-being in addition to our academic pursuits!

Hallie DeckerHealth Promotion & Behavioral Sciences

Hallie co-instructed PHPB 301 (Health Equity). She was an amazing instructor who brought the curriculum to life. Even though the material included very heavy topics, Hallie wasn't afraid to get us talking and dive into discussion. Every morning she made class interesting and she made sure to keep everyone engaged from the beginning of class to the end.


BA/BS in Public Health Program

Jenna has assisted me throughout the last four years. Without her guidance I would have struggled to find my place in this university. Through her kindness she was able to help me get to where I am today and I am so grateful for her.

Nicole FordHealth Promotion & Behavioral Sciences

Professor Ford was extremely kind to all of the students, and made sure that everyone understood the class material. She did a great job at providing feedback to students on every assignments. Her passion for the field of public health was quite evident, and I am certain that she made a difference in the lives of many students this semester.

Nicole Ford is an amazing instructor. She makes everyone feel comfortable and confident to voice their thoughts and opinions during class discussions. She gives very detailed feedback and gives ample opportunities to students to make sure students understand her course content.

Jeremy GaskinsBioinformatics & Biostatistics

I am doing an online program, so it's really important that I am able to communicate with my professors and classmates through blackboard. Dr. Gaskins is extremely helpful and I can count on him to be there with homework help any time i'm struggling. He has made my experience at UofL great so far!!

Dr. Gaskins is one of the best quantitative teachers I've ever had. He sets high standards, pushes us to meet them, & provides incredible support along the way. He's extremely generous with his time & cares deeply about the education his students get. He truly wants everyone to succeed and trains us to think critically like experts. He's a thoughtful, kind, caring person!

Michael Goldsby Health Management & Systems Sciences

Very helpful and dedicated to the students.

Frank GrovesEpidemiology & Population Health

Professor Groves has been a teacher that has pushed me into the professional student I am today.

Imisha Gurung Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences

Imisha really enhanced my learning this semester. She taught a class about focus groups that inspired some of us to host our own focus group. She served as our moderator, and now we are possibly going to submit the results for publication. She really made an effort to connect with us and check in throughout the semester, and I appreciated that. Thank you Imisha!

Muriel HarrisHealth Promotion & Behavioral Sciences

Dr. Harris is thorough with her instruction and made the material practical. She truly cares about student success, pushes us to dig a bit deeper to prepare, contribute, challenge, and be challenged. I was ready to quit this program after falling deathly ill Spring 2021, but she encouraged me to [persist and I’m] not sure I would have done so without her encouragement.

J'Aime JenningsHealth Management & Systems Sciences

Dr. Jennings has not only been a great advisor but a mentor. She has encouraged me to step outside of my comfort zone on several occasions. Dr. Jennings was always available to provide feedback and great advice when prepare plans to achieve goals. With her support I was able to accomplish many professional goals and develop life long skills.

Dr. Jennings is committed to student success. She engages with students to identify and pursue research opportunities and mentors them to success.

Chris JohnsonHealth Management & Systems Sciences

Dr. Johnson has been very supportive, inspirational, patient, and has been a great source of support all year long.

Gabe JonesHealth Promotion & Behavioral Sciences

Super fun! I enjoyed attending his class.

Seyed KarimiHealth Management & Systems Sciences

Dr. Karimi is very detailed, hard-working, patient, and very supportive in my academic journey.

Students who receive Dr. Karimi's mentorship are truly lucky. He treats students as equals, always bringing them into the conversation & inviting their input. He fosters curiosity & creates a positive work environment where mistakes are part of the learning process. He is skilled at cultivating expertise in students & building a collaborative team where all have a voice.

Always helpful and cooperative. I have learned a lot from him.

Kendria Kelly-Taylor 

Epidemiology & Population Health

Kendria is currently a PhD candidate and GTA for the SPHIS in the Department of Epidemiology. Kendria has served as a TA for PHPH 301: Global Health. Due to the quantity of students, accompanied with emergency faculty absence, Kendria has had to take on the role of primary instructor, including but not limited to lectures, quiz/examination creation, and grading.

Kendria is there for students even when she doesn't have to be. Her encouragement and kind words have really made a hard semester a little easier. I appreciate her kindness and wish her well as she finishes her PhD. UofL is lucky to have her.

Maiying KongBioinformatics & Biostatistics

She is very much dedicated to the students. Tries her level best to make difficult things easy. Also very helpful and cooperative.

Dr. Maiying Kong is a very nice advisor. She is a diligent professor, and always considers and cares for her students. It has been a great privilege and joy to study under her supervision. Furthermore, it is my honor to benefit from her personality and diligence, which I will treasure my whole life.

She is very knowledgable and helpful.

Scott LaJoieHealth Promotion & Behavioral Sciences

Dr. LaJoie has helped improve the knowledge, college experience, and overall wellbeing of his students. While in his class, Dr. Lajoie was always present and ready to help. The content was always engaging and interactive. Dr. Lajoie was there when his students needed just about anything. You could always count on Dr. Lajoie. Any person is lucky to have been taught by him!

Dr. LaJoie was such a godsend when I fell ill Spring 2021. He checked in to see how I was doing and kept me on track with a couple of projects I couldn't complete for his class. He truly brings caring into the equation and it helped me persevere. Thank you, Dr. LaJoie!!!

Dr. LaJoie is an effective instructor and uses his prior experiences to scaffold student learning. He provides a safe environment for students to discuss difficult topics. He supports students in gaining learning experiences outside of the classroom. He has had a profound impact on my graduate experience and I have deep gratitude for his sincere dedication to his students.

Andrew McCartHealth Management & Systems Sciences

Dr. McCart has been selfless with his time and talents throughout the entirety of my time in the MSHA program. My classmates and I often reflect on the positive impact Dr. McCart has made on our experience in the MSHA program, and are excited for the further minds he will benefit.

Dr. McCart goes above and beyond each and every single day for his students.

Dr. McCart always goes above and beyond to help us. He is not only willing to provide additional help, he is always eager to. Dr. McCart has supported me throughout this program and I owe a lot of my success to him.

Dr. McCart always goes above and beyond to ensure his students are understanding the course material as well as getting everything they can out of the program. He is the first to offer any help whether that's for class or professionally. Dr. McCart deserves this award

Paul McKinneyHealth Promotion & Behavioral Sciences; Clinical Investigation Sciences Program

Great faculty advisor and resource for information.

Dr. McKinney was an amazing teacher and made a great effort to not only ensure we succeeded, but really put the effort in to share with us interesting information about the diseases we were studying.

Subhadip PalBioinformatics & Biostatistics

Dr. Pal is helpful, student-friendly, and cooperative. He can easily understand at which point students could not understand and tries his level best to explain the difficult topics to make it easy.

Michael SekulaBioinformatics & Biostatistics

He's a great professor! He teaches my PHST 301 class this semester and it was amazing! I have always struggled with math, and with his help for the first time in my life math has become clear and easy!

Professor Sekula is absolutely the best. If you have a problem he will work with you step by step.
Shaminul ShakibHealth Management & Systems Sciences

Shakib is a dedicated GA who really cares about students and invests heavily in our progress. He thinks deeply about the assignments and content, encourages us along the way, and provides extensive feedback to help us learn from our mistakes. He's extremely prompt and always willing to engage further.

Tammi ThomasBA/BS in Public Health Program

This professor has not been recognized enough for the example she sets in and out of the Public Health Department. She has been my professor, my advocate, and my resource to success. The SPHIS and the University, as a whole are blessed with this educator. She has made me in to a woman that is doing the job of my dreams and still going for my Masters! Thank you!

Judah ThornewillHealth Management & Systems Sciences

Great teaching skills. Provides a unique experience that sets it apart from other classes.

Creative, out-of-the-box style of teaching that engages the class beyond anything I have experienced across TWO Masters programs! Dr. Thornewill creates space for people to talk about TODAY'S issues… [sic] yes, even the uncomfortable ones! This is how we learn!!! Truly grateful that I took a step outside of my own concentration to take this class… [sic] feel enlightened and HEARD!

Anne WallisEpidemiology & Population Health

Dr. Anne Wallis is the best advisor and professor I've ever had. Loved her class and the way she teaches the class. She is amazing.

Grade A Instructor
Monica WendelHealth Promotion & Behavioral Sciences

Professional and created a safe class environment for open dialogue and critical thinking. The bread pudding and cookies were also great!

Ray YeagerEpidemiology & Population Health

Dr. Yeager was a great professor! He was always so considerate of our time and gave us so much support for tests, quizzes, assignments, etc. He is really committed to what he teaches, which makes it that much more engaging - and is overall a great guy!

Qunwei ZhangEpidemiology & Population Health

Dr. Zhang is a perfect mentor to me. He gave me instructive help for my proposal.

Qi ZhengBioinformatics & Biostatistics

Always helpful and generous with his time. He put in a lot of work responding to the students in the class.

His course is one of the most fun quantitative classes I've ever had. He pushes us to understand the content at the deepest level, and from multiple perspectives. We think critically about theory, application, & coding--and he helps us put it all together. He'll answer any Q at any hour and is so passionate about helping students succeed. He's a caring, hardworking person!

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