Public Health, Students

Applicants, students and a few other things

April 1, 2009

Men’s basketball

I said Friday that I was definitely not going to stay up for the entire game, but who could turn it off? I’m definitely too old for all-nighters, but that’s what happened (okay, one hour sleep). The only way to cope was two back-to-back spinning classes. Really, it is amazing how exercise creates energy! All day Sunday, the excitement in town was palpable. It was like people were just trying to figure out what to do ‘til game time. All the hype about Blake Griffin and the Sooners, and we beat them. My husband happens to be an alumnus of OU so I took very special pleasure in the win Sunday night. On to the Final Four.

A challenge to our students

Saturday morning, I walked out into a very wet, dark driveway to pick up the papers before going to the gym. As I scanned the Durham Herald-Sun, a local story caught my eye. Written by two Duke students, the article provided extensive details about what Duke students have done to advance prospective health promotion. The concept has to do with individual empowerment for health promotion and personalized strategic health planning. It’s a good idea, and the article was well-written. Now, a disclaimer: I am not a Duke hater. In fact, I am proud to be an adjunct professor of community and family medicine at Duke and even prouder that we train a cohort of Duke’s medical students each year as they seek MPH degrees, most in our Public Health Leadership Program. But please! Across our School, our students are doing so much to promote the public’s health through prevention as a mere scan of our Web site shows. I challenge our students to tell their stories! Don’t let Duke students “own” health promotion. You’ve thought a lot about this, and you have great stories to tell. Ramona DuBose can help contact the editors if you’re interested. And we’d love to have your stories for our Web site, too.

Students’ Photo Exhibit

Tuesday night, the Student Global Health Committee sponsored a global health photo exhibit with some remarkable photos. (Hey, don’t forget to deliver mine!) There were striking photos of smiling Rwandan children, elephants (You were how close?), a rather intimidating silverback gorilla (You were only 15 feet away!) and many more compelling photos of people, animals and places. I bought a couple photos and lots of postcards. You may be able to order prints and postcards soon – I’ll update the link.

Annual “Spotlight on Student Research Poster Presentation Event”

research-014_edit.jpg research-002_edit.jpg

Thursday afternoon, our Office of Research (Thanks to Sandy Martin, PhD, associate dean for research, Christin Minter, MA, director, Office of Research and Tracy Kennedy, assistant director, Office of Research) sponsored the annual Spotlight on Student Research Poster Presentation Event. Thanks to all the students who participated and everyone who came. It was so interesting to read about the many fascinating research projects our students have led or in which they have participated.

Our applicants

Each year, since I’ve been dean, I’ve spoken to increasingly more applicants, and I have always been impressed by them — terrific GPAs, excellent GREs, wonderful values and incredible experiences. No way was I that interesting when I applied for an MPH many years ago. This year, I have been blown away by the applicants who have been calling and visiting. At this point, they have been accepted at UNC and some of our competitors, like Hopkins and Harvard, and they are doing sophisticated cost-benefit analyses to decide where to go. These people are smart, focused and incredibly analytic. It’s about the money but not only the money; they are thinking ahead to the jobs they will get when they finish and how we can help them. Although right now, I’ve got more anecdotes than data, I’m certain that even more of the applicants this year have global health interests. I really enjoy meeting applicants. Besides having a chance to tell the UNC SPH story, there’s no better way to learn what applicants think of us — where they judge us strong and where they find us lacking.

We are all working harder than ever to find scholarship money. Our External Affairs staff is so energetic in this domain, and I spend a lot of my time trying to interest donors or potential donors in funding scholarships. I spent a lot of this weekend working on the renewal of our HRSA traineeship grant which funds many students each year. Fortunately, Felicia Mebane, PhD, assistant dean for students, and Sherry Rhodes, director, student services, had done a great first draft.

Yield to Heels

We want all our faculty, staff and students to be safe on the roads. The annual Yield to Heels campaign highlights pedestrian safety. Each year, tragically, one or more pedestrians are killed in and around our campus. Most of these deaths are preventable.

Tai Chi

clip_image002.jpgKudos to Sherry Roberts for organizing Tai Chi in the courtyard at the SPH with a wonderful instructor from the Wellness Center. No need to sign up; just bring $5 exact change. To learn more, email See if you can find an online pic of someone in a Tai Chi pose.

Happy Monday! Barbara


Sherry Roberts


Dean Rimer, thank you so much for publicizing this pet project of mine. Lisa is an excellent teacher. Everyone please come on Tuesdays at noon. We all need more exercise! Sherry

Want to leave a comment or contact us?

Leave a Reply

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong></strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The views expressed in this blog are Barbara Rimer’s alone and do not represent the views and policies of The University of North Carolina or the Gillings School.