Honors and Awards

All-University Commencement Honors

Commencement Tribute Video

Mary Katherine Stewart
MPH in Public Health Policy and Management

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Commencement Profiles Magazine

Phuc Vu
MPH in Biostatistics

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Class Representative

Nahom Daniel
MPH in Epidemiology
 
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Banner Bearer

Diksha Meenakshi Nitin Deshmukh
MPH in Epidemiology
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GPH Graduation Awards

Student Engagement Award

Mykel LeRoy Miller
MPH in Public Health Policy and Management

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Public Health Social Justice Award

Uzoma Emmanuella Adebayo
MPH in Epidemiology
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Faculty of the Year

Emily Goldmann
Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology
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GPH Student Speaker

Jason El Azzi
MPH in Epidemiology

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Public Health Research Award

Phuc Vu
MPH in Biostatistics
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Public Health Practice + Leadership Award

Maryam Elsayed
MPH in Public Health Policy and Management
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Teaching Excellence Award

Yang Feng
Professor of Biostatistics
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Chief Marshal

DeRonn Kidd
GPH Alumnus and President of the GPH Alumni Board

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All-University Commencement Honors

 

Commencement Tribute Video
Mary Katherine Stewart, MPH in Public Health Policy

Before arriving at NYU to pursue a master's degree from GPH with a concentration in Public Health Policy and Management, Mary Katherine Stewart received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Birmingham-Southern College in her native Alabama. During her time there, serving as a hospice volunteer taught her firsthand about health disparities linked to race, gender and socioeconomic status. Mary Katherine also volunteered at a cervical cancer screening clinic in the Bronx while completing her studies. She was fortunate to conduct literature research alongside her esteemed mentor and professor, Jin (Jean) Yung Bae. And for the 2023-2024 academic year, Mary Katherine served as the GPH Graduate President, representing her classmates and hosting networking events.

Beyond her academic pursuits, Mary Katherine finds joy in running, a specialty she cultivated during her collegiate swimming career at Birmingham-Southern. In 2023, she participated in the New York City Marathon, raising funds for the charity Keep A Child Alive. Grateful for her experiences in the Big Apple, Mary Katherine will return to Alabama and begin osteopathic medical school there in July.

 


Commencement Profiles Magazine and GPH Public Health Research Award
Phuc Vu, MPH in Biostatistics

Phuc Vu’s life in Vietnam changed when his mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the freshman year of his undergraduate degree. Taking care of her in the hospital, he came to appreciate a life that enhances the health of others. After teaching himself computer programming and working for three years conducting research on the accessibility of essential antibiotics, Phuc received his BS in Pharmacy and traveled from Ho Chi Minh City to New York City to pursue an MPH with a concentration in Biostatistics.

Over last summer Phuc was a healthcare analyst intern at Analysis Group, and he has continued to serve as a tutor in the Department of Biostatistics at GPH. In addition, he and his team presented their project on the association between hypertension awareness and blood pressure control at the ENAR Spring 2024 conference. Phuc is grateful for the opportunities he has had at GPH: doing research and helping students from all walks of life to learn statistics. These experiences have motivated him to study public health at Harvard in the fall and pursue a PhD in Biostatistics.

 


Class Representative
Nahom Daniel, MPH in Epidemiology

Hailing from an Ethiopian immigrant family in Washington State, Nahom Daniel graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Washington. During that time he worked as a research assistant, focused on learning the barriers to HIV testing and stigma within East African communities, and illuminating the healthcare challenges faced by marginalized populations. This work, and Nahom’s lived experience, fueled his passion for community engagement in public health.

At GPH, Nahom earned his master’s degree with a concentration in Epidemiology. He actively applied public health principles through his leadership in the Applied Global Public Health Initiative and by co-founding the Black Public Health Network to support Black students. His work, spanning global health projects, underscores his commitment to fostering equitable public health programs. Nahom cherishes his roots and is eager to contribute to a more inclusive public health landscape.

 


Banner Bearer
Diksha Meenakshi Nitin Deshmukh, MPH in Epidemiology

In her native Amravati, India, Diksha Deshmukh began building her knowledge with an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering. The next stop on her journey was NYU for a master’s degree in Public Health, where she hopes to apply her concentration in Epidemiology to facilitate innovation and research. As she pursued her MPH, Diksha was a participant in New York City’s Epi Scholars Program, and she was also an intern for the prestigious HRTP program; both of these opportunities occurred under the aegis of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Her experiences there enabled her to fortify her expertise in disease surveillance and investigation.

Diksha's research projects, including her master's thesis on melanoma detection using machine learning, underscore her commitment to advancing healthcare through cutting-edge technology. Indeed, she was recently honored by a nomination for the Congress of Future Medical Leaders Award of Excellence. Beyond her strong sense of resilience and gratitude, Diksha invites us all to believe in the power of our dreams and our limitless potential.

 


 

GPH Graduation Awards

 

Student Engagement Award
Mykel LeRoy Miller, MPH in Public Health Policy and Management

A Brooklyn native, Mykel Miller received his bachelor’s degree in Biology from Williams College, majoring in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. He served as a mobile vaccine clinic site manager during the Covid-19 pandemic, providing vaccinations and actively engaging communities with high vaccine hesitancy and low vaccination rates. This experience fueled his commitment to center marginalized communities in his work and research.

In addition to earning his MPH with a concentration in Public Health Policy & Management, Mykel contributed to the Center for Anti-racism, Social Justice, & Public Health as a graduate research assistant and project coordinator. He founded and was President of the Black Public Health Network, a student group aimed at fostering community and increasing the likelihood of success of Black students at GPH by providing programming and resources. This year, Mykel joined the Nathan Kline Institute as a research coordinator, focusing on maternal mental health. In his free time, you’ll find him exploring New York City on his bike.

 


Public Health Social Justice Award
Uzoma Emmanuella Adebayo, MPH in Epidemiology

Hailing from Enugu, Nigeria, Uzoma Adebayo earned her bachelor’s degree in medical rehabilitation from the University of Nigeria and worked as a physical therapist for two years. This experience prompted her desire to identify and provide innovative solutions for her patients that could mitigate the chronic diseases they suffered, which were exacerbated by health disparities. In 2021 Uzoma founded I Can Too, an NGO that advances health equity and inclusion for persons with disabilities, and has reached over 500 people since its inception.

In pursuit of her MPH, Uzoma concentrated in epidemiology and conducted disability research in collaboration with her professor, Robyn Gershon. In addition to serving as a teaching assistant in Biostatistics, Uzoma was a member of the Evidence to Global Impact lab and also of the Advancing in Respiratory Equity (AIRE) lab. She has served GPH as an Onboarding Ambassador and in leadership roles at the Student Governing Council, as both graduate student representative and senator. Uzoma is grateful to God, her family, her husband and her friends for their support, and she looks forward to using her skills in the workforce.

 


Faculty of the Year
Emily Goldmann, Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology

A Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Emily Goldmann trained as a psychiatric and social epidemiologist. Her research focuses on the social determinants of common mental disorders, substance use, behavioral health surveillance, and physical-mental health comorbidity. She is also interested in the development of pedagogical approaches for teaching epidemiology and public health to diverse audiences.

Dr. Goldmann’s previous work centered on the role of neighborhoods, socioeconomic status and social support in posttraumatic stress disorder in urban areas, as well as on the mental health consequences of disasters and other potentially traumatic events. Prior to joining NYU, she worked as an epidemiologist at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in the Bureau of Adult Mental Health, where she conducted behavioral health surveillance. Dr. Goldmann holds a BA in Economics from Columbia University, and an MPH and PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Michigan. 

 


GPH Student Speaker
Jason El Azzi, MPH in Epidemiology

Born in Lansing, Michigan and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, Jason El Azzi received his Bachelor of Science in Biology from the American University of Beirut. With an initial goal of pursuing a career in medicine, he pivoted to public health during the Covid-19 vaccination drive. Working there, he realized how many diseases and chronic illnesses can be avoided by changing upstream factors in society. As he progressed toward an MPH with a concentration in Epidemiology, Jason focused his research on psychiatric epidemiology and substance use treatment. He has also been involved in the creation of the Public Health and Medicine Society, which aims to bridge the gap between the two interlinked fields.

Outside academics, Jason enjoys exploring New York City and learning about its history, playing soccer, and any form of motor-racing whenever the opportunity presents itself. He feels honored to have been a part of the GPH family, and is committed to continuing meaningful work in the public health field.

 


Public Health Practice + Leadership Award
Maryam Elsayed, MPH in Public Health Policy and Management

Raised in Cairo, Egypt and Queens, New York, Maryam Elsayed earned a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, where she studied human rights and public health. Stemming from her experiences growing up in a working-class community of color, Maryam is dedicated to eliminating structural barriers to healthcare access. She strongly believes in the power of organizing to build community power and to fight for the liberation of all oppressed peoples.

Before enrolling at NYU Maryam worked for Exalt Youth; it was her experience at that non-profit that sparked her interest in criminalization as a driver of health inequity. While pursuing her MPH, Maryam has worked as a research assistant at the Center for Anti-racism, Social Justice and Public Health, and as a health and wellness intern at the International Rescue Committee, investigating the impact of certain determinants of health such as racism and immigration status. With her concentration in Public Health Policy & Management, Maryam is motivated and prepared to develop and implement policies that reduce health inequities for marginalized communities. 

 


Teaching Excellence Award
Yang Feng, Professor of Biostatistics

Yang Feng is a Professor of Biostatistics. He received his B.S. in mathematics from the University of Science and Technology of China and his Ph.D. in Operations Research from Princeton University.

Dr. Feng's research interests include machine learning with applications to public health, high-dimensional statistics, network models, nonparametric statistics, and bioinformatics. He has published in The Annals of Statistics, Journal of the American Statistical Association, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B, Journal of Machine Learning Research, International Journal of Epidemiology, and Science Advances. Feng serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Statistica Sinica, Stat, and Statistical Analysis and Data Mining: The ASA Data Science Journal.

Prior to joining NYU, Feng was an Associate Professor of Statistics and an affiliated member in the Data Science Institute at Columbia University. He is an elected member of the International Statistical Institute and a recipient of the NSF CAREER award.

 


Chief Marshal
DeRonn Kidd, GPH Alumnus and President of the GPH Alumni Board

A 2014 alumnus of NYU GPH, DeRonn Kidd is a visionary healthcare leader with deep experience and demonstrated excellence in healthcare strategy, operations, and policy. Known for bridging access and equity with value and growth, his extensive background entails pivotal roles at some of the nation’s premier companies and organizations in healthcare and public health including CVS Health, Aetna, and NYC Health + Hospitals. As an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor at NYU GPH, he shapes the future of healthcare professionals. He is also a sought-after speaker, having engaged with national audiences on various topics such as health equity, health policy, healthcare innovation, and leadership. With a rich educational background, including a Master of Public Health (MPH) from NYU GPH, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Rochester Simon Business School, and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) from the University of Michigan- Ann Arbor, DeRonn combines theory and practice. He currently works at The Bronzeville Group, a leading healthcare consulting firm in strategy, growth, and innovation. His strategic leadership, community engagement, and commitment to eliminating health disparities and advancing health equity make him a respected figure and thought leader in driving transformation in healthcare.