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PhD ’10 alumna receives APHA International Health Mid-Career Award

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Meg received the APHA International Health Mid-Career Award in early November. From left to right: CPHHS Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs Marie Harvey, CPHHS PhD ’10 alumna Meg Henning and APHA International Health Section Chair Omar Khan. Photo courtesy Angeli Rawat.

College of Public Health and Human Sciences alumna Margaret Jo (Meg) Henning, PhD ’10, recently became the first OSU graduate to receive the American Public Health Association (APHA) International Health Section – International Health Mid-Career Award.

She received the award at the APHA conference in Chicago.

“Meg is diligent, persistent and fearless in pursuing academic excellence. She never ceased to surprise me in her academic performance,” says CPHHS Professor Chunhuei Chi, who served as Meg’s mentor. “Meg receiving this award is a great statement of the quality of our graduate program in public health at OSU.”

Meg at the 30th Takemi Symposium at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Meg at the 30th Takemi Symposium at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Passionate about access to health care and education for girls, Meg recently completed field research in Zambia, Africa, exploring psychological support and education for orphans and vulnerable children. She recently completed a project working with the Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative for children affected by poverty, conflict and HIV and AIDS in East and Southern Africa.

“Gender inequity in educational enrollment is evidenced by the relative under-enrollment of girls in primary and secondary education,” says Meg, who serves as associate professor of Health Sciences at Keene State College in Keene, N.H. “Educational inequalities for women are driving factors in early marriage, pregnancy and relative poverty for women and increasing underdevelopment for entire communities. Access to quality education goes hand-in-hand with the skills and information necessary to translate education into positive life opportunities.”

In collaboration with the University of Zambia, Meg’s next project will focus on community health assistants in Zambia, specifically in relation to their role in providing maternal and child health care services.

Meg began her PhD program in the CPHHS in Fall 2004 and served as a GTA, GRA and president of the International Health Club, and conducted field research in Zambia, collecting data on a teacher’s role in HIV/AIDS prevention.

“Access to quality education goes hand-in-hand with the skills and information necessary to translate education into positive life opportunities.”

Meg and CPHHS Professor Chunhuei Chi.

Meg and CPHHS Professor Chunhuei Chi.

“I came to the PhD program at OSU with a lot of questions,” she says. “I wanted to know more about justice, health systems and equity in resource-poor settings – how to better reach and work with communities. My training at OSU provided a foundation for global health as an interdisciplinary field. My mentors taught me to ask harder questions, to be comfortable with uncertainty and to think outside the box in addressing health challenges.”

“Meg is ambitious and adventurous in terms of exploring new intellectual territory,” Chunhuei says. “Not many doctoral students would take a newborn to Zambia and travel around Lusaka to 123 schools sampling 720 teachers for original research. Besides her excellent academic quality, Meg is one of the most reliable, caring and passionate students and colleagues I have ever met. This award recognizes her achievements and fine quality.”

Of note:

  • Completed master’s degree in Health Education in 2002 from Teachers College, Columbia University.
  • Worked as a communication specialist and health educator for the Society for Family Health-Population Services International in Lusaka, Zambia, before enrolling as a PhD student in the CPHHS in Fall 2004.
  • Received three tenure-track faculty position offers in 2010 following graduation.
  • Began her career in 2010 as assistant professor at Keene State College.
  • Presented her paper titled, “Exploring Factors Associated with a Teacher’s Self-Efficacy in HIV-Prevention Education in Lusaka, Zambia,” at the 6th International Conference of International Society for Equity in Health in Cartagena, Colombia in 2011. The paper was later published in the International Journal of Health Equity.
  • Selected into the Takemi Program in International Health – a competitive mid-career fellowship program that focuses on problems of mobilizing, allocating and maintaining limited resources to improve health – at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in 2012.
  • Meg’s paper, “Exploring Factors Associated with a Teacher’s Self-Efficacy in HIV-Prevention Education in Lusaka, Zambia,” was one of 12 presented during the Takemi Program’s 30th Anniversary Symposium in 2013. The paper is now a book chapter in “Governing Health Systems.”
  • Promoted to associate professor in Spring 2015.