A North Dakota State University professor dedicated to mentorship and a student committed to service were recently honored at the Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health.
Mark Strand, associate professor of pharmacy practice and Master of Public Health program, was named Outstanding Rural Educator/Mentor, and Theresa Will, a student in the NDSU Master of Public Health program, was awarded the Outstanding Service Award at the 2014 Rural and Public Health Awards Banquet in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Strand was recognized for his contribution to the education, development and placement of new health care professionals in rural North Dakota communities through his role with the university’s Master of Public Health program. He worked with the Southeast Central Region Collaborative Network in the last year to help improve public health services in eight North Dakota counties. Will was honored for continued excellence in the field of public health.
“It is essential that what we do in the classroom, and in mentoring Master of Public Health students, be done in a way that is informed by the workplace, and relates closely to the skills needed to do public health work,” Strand said. “I think this award reflects my commitment to prepare students for the real world, and to integrate real-world experiences and skills to the educating of students.”
Will has been the administrator for the Barnes County City and County Health District in Valley City, North Dakota, for almost a decade. She helped lead the charge on improved chronic disease management in partnership with local clinics, and helped spur the improvement of mental health screening and services in the county.
Strand currently is mentoring Will’s practicum experience in the Master of Public Health program.
“She is very committed to seeing public health integrate with the medical system to improve coverage and quality of care,” Strand said of Will.
NDSU is recognized as one of the nation’s top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.