Class of 2022 Honored with Public Health Awards

The Department of Public Health in Falk College is pleased to recognize the outstanding work of its undergraduate and graduate students for excellence. Students are nominated for these awards by the Public Health faculty.

Academic Excellence in Public Health

Quinn Tobias, BS Public Health

Quinn is recognized for her outstanding academic record, earning a cumulative GPA of 3.978 and Dean’s List status during each year of undergraduate study. In addition to the public health major, Quinn completed a minor in business. Quinn will be continuing her studies at the University of Pennsylvania in their Accelerated BSN/MSN program in the neonatal nurse practitioner specialty.

Excellence in Public Health Practice

Cathryn Willing, BS Public Health and Policy Studies

Cathryn (Cate) is recognized for her outstanding public health practice across all four years of her undergraduate study. Cate served as the managing editor for the Healthy You publication and completed summer internships with the Food Industry Association and the Well Being Trust. In addition, she completed her senior internship at the Environmental Protection Agency while participating in the Maxwell-in-Washington undergraduate program. Cate has been accepted to New York University’s Steinhardt Master in Food Studies but may defer her acceptance to work first in health, data analytics, and communications.

Madison Humphry, BS Public Health and Environment, Sustainability, and Policy

Madison is recognized for her public health surveillance work with the COVID-19 Saliva Testing Lab. Madison has been a resolute member of the laboratory team since September 2000 and is an integral member of the lab collaborating with others to problem solve and maintain efficiency in the lab. Following graduation, Madison will pursue an MPH degree with a focus on Health Policy and Management.

Public Health Leadership

Haley Tomasso, BS Public Health

Haley is recognized for community service work and projects outside of her academic requirements. Haley has been an active member of the Syracuse University Camp Kesem chapter, an organization that supports the needs of children impacted by a parent’s cancer diagnosis. Haley initially served as a camp counselor, then as the Make the Magic Coordinator raising $70,000 to support the camp’s work, and currently as Director where she oversees the activities of the Executive Board and coordinates the weeklong summer camp. Haley currently serves as Vice President of Syracuse University Ambulance (SUA). Following graduation, Haley plans to take a gap year to work in clinical services while applying to physician assistant programs.

Research Award for Public Health

Megan Willkens, BS Public Health and Policy Studies

Megan, a participant in the Renee Crown University Honor’s Program, is recognized for her participation in a number of research projects. In 2020, Megan was awarded an Honor’s Program Crown award to support her research on the impact of insecticides on the cognitive development of pre-school aged children living in sub-Saharan Africa. This research project was named as the winner of the 2021 Falk Student Research Celebration Undergraduate Poster Award. Megan will be joining Cornell University Weill School of Medicine as a research fellow.

Social Justice in Public Health

Renee Verdi, BS Public Health and Policy Studies

Renee is recognized for her social justice related work in research, academics, and public health practice. As a participant in the Maxwell-in-Washington program, Renee interned with the Truth Initiative where she worked on tobacco and e-cigarette policies, particularly to reduce the targeting of populations at elevated risk of using these products. Renee has participated in two social justice related research projects, one in which she examined immigrant and refugee satisfaction with COVID-19 relief programs and another in which she studied newspaper reporting on vaccine hesitancy among people of color. After graduation, Renee plans to work in the public health policy sector.

Excellence in the Public Health Graduate Program

Nicole Carter, MPH

Nicole is recognized for her academic excellence and internship work with the Joslin Diabetes Center at Upstate Medical University where she is working with their Transition Program. This program aims to provide a smooth move from pediatric to adult diabetes care. Nicole will be using interview, chart review, and survey data to prepare an analysis of current Center and program practices. Following graduation, Nicole will be joining the Cortland Area Communities that Care (CACTC) organization as an epidemiologist.

Falk Scholars

Falk College awards the Falk Scholar designation to students recognized for their academic excellence, exceptional campus and community engagement, independent research and creative work, evidence of intellectual growth and/or innovation in their disciplinary field, and personal integrity. Cathryn (Cate) Willing and Megan Willkens were named 2022 Falk Scholars.

Class Marshalls

Class Marshalls lead the undergraduate and graduate degree candidates into the Falk College Convocation event. The selection of class marshals is made by faculty and peers and is based on academic strength, academic honors, student organization involvement, campus and community service and loyalty to Syracuse University; including activities to support the public health programs.

Graduate Class Marshall: Gursimar Singh, MPH

Gursimar was chosen for her strong research record and service to Syracuse University. She has completed research projects with Professor Appiah and Professor Walia. In addition, she is Co-Director of Orange Seeds and has served as a Residence Hall Advisor. After graduation, Gursimar plans to pursue a career as a community health educator, promoting a more inclusive healthcare system.

Undergraduate Class Marshall: Lily Esteghamati, BS Public Health and minor in Business

Lily was chosen for her service to support our undergraduate program. She has served as a Peer Advisor, was selected as a teaching assistant for HSH 101 Freshman Gateway Seminar, and has worked with the Falk College Admissions Office to recruit high school seniors to the major. Lily is also the Special Events Chair of the SU OttoTHON student organization. Lily is seeking public health related employment and plans to pursue a joint MPH/MBA degree in the future to further her aim of making a difference in the health care system.