2016 Outstanding Alumni Award Recipients

2016 Outstanding Alumni Award Winner Erica Spies.

Erica Spies, MS, PhD,received her Master’s degree in 2009 and her PhD in 2013 in Community and Behavioral Health from the University of Iowa. She is currently an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer in the Division of Violence Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In this prestigious role she utilizes her training as a behavioral scientist and her research skills in qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis to aid the division, communities and states in understanding critical public health challenges related to injury prevention and control. In her brief career, she has received three CDC honor awards for her work on suicide prevention, identifying risk factors for fentanyl-related overdose deaths, and for evaluation work on the Ebola Response Evaluation Team. In her prior position as a CDC Foundation Evaluation Fellow, she designed and implemented an evaluation for a teen driving program and was awarded a Unit Commendation, United States Public Health Service in 2015. She has continued her relationship with the College of Public Health and has advised students interested in working at the CDC, assisted students in locating practicum opportunities, and has been a guest lecturer in classes sharing her experiences of conducting research in a government setting.

Portrait of Leslie Ain McClure, 2016 outstanding Alumni Award winner.Leslie Ain McClure, MS, PhD, received her Master’s degree in 1997 in Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health from the University of Iowa. She subsequently earned her doctoral degree in biostatistics from the University of Michigan. She is currently professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Drexel University. She has an active research career, with applied interests in stroke and cardiovascular diseases and methodological interests in clinical trials methodology, and environmental epidemiology. McClure has 139 peer-reviewed publications and has been Pl or co-Pl on a number of grants using NASA environmental data and other sources of environmental exposures to address public health issues. Her reputation as an expert in her field has led to her involvement in a variety of grant review committees and invited seminars throughout the country. While serving as Head of the Section on Research Methods and Clinical Trials and professor in the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, she aided in the recruitment of new faculty, chaired student dissertations, and was recognized for her outstanding contributions to both teaching and mentoring. She serves on the Advisory Board for the National Alliance for Doctoral Studies in the Mathematical Sciences, which brings students from traditionally underrepresented groups into the fields of math, statistics, and biostatistics to earn doctoral degrees and is committed to increasing diversity in her field.


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