UVM Announces Public Health Award Winners for Academic Excellence, Service, and Achievement

Three individuals are being recognized for their commitment to public health.

John Paul Grogan, Caitlin Jenkins, and Alex Sherbrook are the recipients of the UVM Master of Public Health annual awards. Grogan received the Academic Excellence Award, Sherbrook the Achievement in Public Health Practice Award, and Jenkins the Linda Dorey Service to Public Health Award. UVM public health program faculty nominated the award winners.

John Grogan – Academic Excellence Award

Grogan, a public health outreach director for the UVM Center for Health & Wellbeing, completed the UVM Master of Public Health degree program in May.

public health award winners
John Paul Grogran

After earning a history degree from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, Grogan completed a master’s degree in counseling from UVM in 2010. He enrolled in the UVM Master of Public Health program in 2016 to broaden his skill set.

“Before I went back to school for counseling, I spent a couple of years doing AmeriCorps and Youth Conservation Corps in Vermont. I really enjoyed the nonprofit, management community pieces of the work,” he says. “Professionally, I was looking for a skillset and the educational pieces to support me to work in more systematic ways. I was looking for a broader scope in professional engagement.”

This award recognizes Grogan for maintaining an overall GPA greater than 3.5, and for consistently demonstrating academic excellence and a commitment to the field of public health.

“Finishing this degree while working a full-time job feels very rewarding,” Grogan says. “I had felt like I was juggling between working really hard and trying to be a student. Through the program, my grades were excellent, but internally I was critical of myself. The award is a validation of the work I had done.”

Caitlin Jenkins – Linda Dorey Service to Public Health Award

Jenkins is an Accreditation Specialist for the UVM Master of Public Health program, which is an applicant for accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).

public health award winners
Caitlin Jenkins

She earned an undergraduate degree at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, and went on to pursue a master’s degree in human kinetics at the University of Windsor.

For Jenkins, winning the Linda Dorey Service to Public Health Award is bittersweet, as Dorey and her contributions are truly missed.

“Linda was just awesome to work with at UVM. She had that public health perspective, and she looked at things in such an interesting way. She was pragmatic and to the point, and she had a very analytical mind,” Jenkins says.

The new award was established in honor of Dorey, who recently passed away. Dorey was the director of communications for the Vermont Department of Health, and later worked for UVM and helped develop the Master of Public Health program.

The award recognizes a student, staff person or faculty member in the UVM Public Health program who has demonstrated a high level of service to the program, the University, or public health more broadly.

“Linda was just a wonderful woman and so inspiring,” Jenkins says. “It’s a true honor to be connected to her name in any way. I hope to have as much of an impact as she did.”

Alex Sherbrook – Achievement in Public Health Practice Award

Alex Sherbrook completed the Master of Public Health program in May. She graduated from UVM with an undergraduate degree in psychological science in 2017 and enrolled in the public health program to find a way to serve the greater good in Vermont.

public health award winners
Alex Sherbrook

“I didn’t have set career in mind when I started the public health program. The great thing about public health is that there are so many paths to pursue,” she says. “I was born and raised in Vermont, and I want to stay here and serve this population.”

This award is made to a UVM public health student who has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to advancing public health practice, including working effectively in teams.

Sherbrook’s group research project—in the program’s Culminating Project Experience course—was to assess the effect of cold weather on rural cardiovascular deaths in Vermont.

“I’m really grateful to be nominated for this award,” Sherbrook says. “This award should go to my project group, as we all were highly committed to our goals.”

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