SPH Alumni Awards

The School of Public Health recognizes the outstanding achievements of its alumni annually at our alumni awards celebration. Alumni are honored at various stages of their public health careers. Interested in nominating an SPH alum for an award, but not sure which one is the right fit? See our quick reference guide.

Established in 1986

The Gaylord W. Anderson Leadership Award is bestowed upon a graduate of the School of Public Health who embodies Anderson’s qualities as an established visionary leader, teacher, collaborator and public health ambassador, and who possesses an abundance of intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, and the ability to inspire others. Recipients of the Leadership Award must have:

  1. demonstrated leadership and forward thinking, and advanced public health goals, initiatives and outcomes;
  2. served as an exemplary model or mentor in his/her role as an educator, researcher, administrator, practitioner or advocate in public health; and
  3. exhibited creativity and innovation in building partnerships, multidisciplinary teams or service structures to bring about change.

The Gaylord W. Anderson Leadership award is the highest award given to School of Public Health alumni by the school. It recognizes well-rounded, exceptional leaders in public health with a commitment to the advancement and future of public health.

Advanced professionals and retirees are recommended for nomination.

Past Award Recipients

2022 John Kralewski, PhD ’69, MHA ’62
2020 Kelly P. Coleman, PhD ’05
2019 David Fine, MHA ’74
2018 Janet Porter, PhD ’94
2017 Martin LaVenture, MPH ’78
2016 Robert W. Blum, PhD ’78, MPH ’77
2015 Andrew R. McCulloch, MHA ’80
2014 Gretchen Musicant, MPH ’86
2013 Susan Abderholden, MPH ’80
2011 Bernard Harlow, MPH ’78
2011 Robert Hiller, MS ’58*
2002 Gordon Sprenger, MHA ’61
1999 Michael T. Osterholm, MS ’78, MPH ’80, PhD ’80
1998 Margaret M. Mackling, MPH ’69
1997 Ross P. Marine, MHA ’82
1996 Robert W. Ten Bensel, MPH ’74*
1995 Edith D. Leyasmeyer, PhD ’68
1995 Gayle S. Hallin, MPH ’77
1994 Michael H. Trujillo, MHA ’84, MPH ’84
1994 Willy De Geyndt, PhD ’70
1993 David L. Demets, PhD ’70
1992 Susan Hadley, MPH ’89
1991 Lawrence H. Meskin, MS ’66*
1990 Judith Bond Johnson, MPH ’77
1989 James A. Rice, MHA ’71, PhD ’91
1988 Sr. Mary Madonna Ashton, MHA ’58
1987 Lee D. Stauffer, MPH ’56*
1986 Bailus Walker, Jr., PhD ’75*


Established in 2014

The Alumni Award of Merit recognizes graduates of the School of Public Health who have achieved professional excellence in the field of public health through numerous years of consistent performance and service, distinguished themselves in their particular profession or field of endeavor, and contributed substantially to the health and well-being of people, communities and society.

The Alumni Award of Merit is the award for exceptional service in public health.

Mid- and advanced career professionals are recommended for nomination (>10 years).

Past Award Recipients

2022 John Amuasi, PhD ’14, MS ’14, MPH ’07
2020 Christine Goertz, PhD ’99
2019 Véronique Roger, MPH ’96
2018 Jillian (Croll) Lampert, PhD ’03, MPH ’99
2017 Sharon E. Buhr, MPH ’80
2016 Monique E. Muggli, MPH ’99
2015 Meng-Chih Lee, MPH ’87
2014 Jill M. DeBoer, MPH ’90
2014 Robert W. Schwanke, MPH ’66

Established in 2014

The Alumni Innovator Award is bestowed upon a graduate of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health who has made, developed or implemented innovative ideas, approaches or solutions to public health services through science, practice or education while displaying qualities of persistence in pursuing his/her career.

Past Award Recipients

2022 Sarah Atunah-Jay, MD, MPH ’13
2020 Rebecca Leighton, MPH ’17
2019 Chris Pulling, MS ’96
2018 Jean E. Morehead, MPH ’67
2017 Carolyn M. Porta, MS ’00, MPH ’97
2016 Erin J. Erickson, MPH ’10
2015 Olivia Mastry, JD ’88, MPH ’93
2014 Ryan R. Armbruster, MHA ’98

Established in 2014

The emerging leader award is presented to an alumnus/a who has made a significant impact in his/her profession or community at large within 10 years of graduating from the School of Public Health. The emerging leader is a well-rounded and highly engaged professional who possesses integrity, credibility and competence.

Past Award Recipients

2022 Rachel Hardeman, MPH ’11, PhD ’14
2020 Katie G. Nelson, MPH ’17
2019 Stephanie Heim, MPH ’09, Carrie Klumb, MPH ’10
2018 Ina Park, MS ’07
2017 Carrie Rigdon, PhD ’07
2016 Lauren D. Gilchrist, MPH ’08
2016 Brian P. Hobbs, PhD ’10, MS ’07
2015 Paula K. Larson, MS ’05
2014 Jason R. Crawford, MPH ’09


The outstanding mentor award is conferred upon an individual who has served as a dedicated mentor and has made outstanding contributions to the career and professional development for multiple SPH students through the SPH Mentor Program.

Past Award Recipients

2022 Linda Brandt, MPH ’03
2022 Victor Galfano, MH ’86
2020 Harrison Quick, PhD ’13
2019 Amy LaFrance, MPH ’06
2018 Gary Greenfield, friend of SPH
2017 Janette I. Brust, MPH ’87

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