Student Awards

Public health is not for the hesitant, the meek, or the tentative. The problems we face are systemic and deeply rooted. Barriers to meaningful change require creative approaches, hard work, and personal risk. To “Be Bold” is not a cry to recklessness, but rather an invitation to innovation, to action, to expansion of personal boundaries. The “Precautionary Principle” appropriately urges that risk be tempered by evidence in order to avoid harm. Still ultimately, authentic public health requires calculated risk, pushing boundaries, and calling others to do the same. If we hope to improve the lives and health of others, it may be in our shared best interest to “Be Bold”.

The MPH Program values and recognizes student achievement through a variety of awards given throughout the year. The awards are given in a public presentation and usually include a certificate and a gift card. The available awards are summarized below:

  • The Spirit of the MPH Award - The Spirit of the MPH Award is presented to a student entering the second year of the program in recognition of their contribution to the intellectual, social and emotional well-being of the program as illustrated by involvement in discussions, personal initiative relating to the health of the community, and their role in facilitating the development of positive relationships within the program.
  • Public Health Student of the Year - Given annually to the student who best represents the Master of Public Health as a scholar, a citizen of the program and a member of the Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics.
  • Outstanding Dual Degree Student - Given annually to the dual degree student who excels at building bridges between their two degree programs and serves as a resource for the fellow students in both programs, while achieving high academic success.
  • Excellence in Public Health Award - Given annually to a student whose sole program of study is public health, who demonstrates a high level of scholarship, and who has great potential for future contribution to the development of the field of public health.
  • Outstanding Core Curriculum Performance Award - Given to any student achieving a 4.0 in the core curriculum at the time of graduation.
  • Capstone Audience Award - Given to the student who receives the highest audience rating for their presentation during the Innovations in Population Health conference.
  • Outstanding Population Health Research Award - Given annually to the student who exemplifies outstanding work in the Population Health Research major.
  • Outstanding Global Health Award - Given annually to the student who exemplifies outstanding work in the Global Health major.
  • Outstanding Health Care Policy & Administration Award - Given annually to the student who exemplifies outstanding work in the Health Care Policy & Administration major.
  • Outstanding Health Promotion/Disease Prevention Award - Given annually to the student who exemplifies outstanding work in the Health Promotion/Disease Prevention major.
  • Summer Internship Awards - Awarded annually and competitively to public health students proposing summer internship projects in collaboration with local health departments or community partners.
  • Service Recognition for Student Representation - Given annually to student(s) serving in the elected role of MPH student representative for that term.
  • Award for Tenacity & Diligence - Given to a graduating student who prevailed at completing degree requirements despite interruptions and other professional demands, usually after an unusually long run within the program.

In addition to the Student Awards administered by the MPH program, students may be considered for the following awards administered by the School of Graduate Studies:

  • Graduate Student Appreciation Award - In recognition of graduate students who make a difference on campus and/or in our Cleveland community.
  • Lenore A. Kola Graduate Student Community Service Award - In recognition of community service activities (internal and external) that have an impact on the university committee. (Awarded to student that is a current active member of the Graduate Student Senate or a student organization recognized by the Graduate Student Senate.) Award amount: $1,000.
  • Ruth Barber Moon Award - To graduate students who demonstrate academic promise, leadership ability and financial need. Award amount will vary depending on the annual allocation and the number of awardees.

Conference Support

The MPH program and the School of Graduate Studies considers attendance at international, national, state, and local conferences an integral part of the professional development process. As such, the MPH program and School of Graduate Studies offer financial assistance to students attending these conferences. Students who are presenting at the conference are given priority for the following funding opportunities:

  • MPH Program Support - Awarded on a case-by-case basis, up to $300.00 per student. Students should contact the MPH program directly about these awards.
  • Graduate Student Travel Award - Awarded on a case-by-case basis, the maximum contribution from the School of Graduate Studies is $500 for travel within the United States and $1,000 for travel outside of the United States in support of conference-related expenses such as registration, lodging, meals, and transportation. Students should contact the School of Graduate Studies for further details on the Graduate Student Travel Award. Additional information is also available online at:
  • Verhosek Fund (“V” Fund) - Awarded on a case-by-case basis, up to $200 per student. Applicant must be a presenter at a conference to be eligible. The “V” Fund is administered by the Graduate Student Senate. Further details about the “V” Fund are available online at:

Capstone Support

The MPH program recognizes that the Capstone Experience may entail expenses for the student (e.g., survey instruments, materials, etc.). The MPH program provides financial support, on a competitive basis, for student capstone projects up to $250 per student. Recognizing that international projects entail greater expense, Global Health capstones that include international travel are allotted up to $500. Full details about financial assistance for the Capstone Experience can be obtained from the MPH Office.