Public health dean launches college’s new brand at annual address [VIDEO]

State of the COPH 2012, Donna Petersen, fall address 

View the USF College of Public Health branding campaign video. 

The state of the University of South Florida College of Public Health is good, and getting even better, Donna Petersen, ScD, the college’s dean said Oct. 4 at her annual fall address to faculty, staff and students.

Dr. Petersen used the event as the launching pad for the college’s new branding campaign, which will guide the school’s actions and bold strategic goals over the next decade.  

The college, building on the successes, talents and creativity of its people, will transform its MPH program, accelerate the application of research into meaningful practice and strengthen its interdisciplinary collaboration with partners to help make the world a healthier place, Dr. Petersen said. “Our College of Public Health will be the exemplar catalyst for public health innovation and advancement of the profession, locally and globally.”

State of the COPH 2012, Donna Petersen, dean's fall address

Donna Petersen, USF public health dean, reported on the progress of the College of Public Health over the last year.

The Dean prefaced her comments by saying that much work needs to be done in helping people understand why public health — which helps provide clean air and water and ensure safe food, mitigates disasters and promotes healthy behaviors — is important to them.  

Referring to the first presidential debate the evening before, Dr. Petersen said, that while healthcare was a topic of discussion, “the word prevention was mentioned only one time … I never heard anything about whether government may have a role to play in helping its people be healthy.”

The address reviewed the college’s progress over the last academic year (2011-2012) and celebrated its achievements, including student successes and internationally-recognized faculty expertise, new programs and opportunities for growth.  Among just a few of the highlights that Dr. Petersen presented:

–          Last year brought $18.5 million in research expenditures, with four COPH principal investigators among the top 20 of highest research-funded faculty across USF

–          USF’s nationally-recognized online public health education program continues to grow to keep pace with student needs.  More than 1,000 students enrolled in online courses, and the college now has 10 fully on-line graduate certificate programs and four online degree programs.

–          The college continues to attract top students from around the world; 118 of its graduate students come from 39 countries outside the United States, ranging from Afghanistan to Venezuela.

State of the COPH 2012, branding campaign, fall address

James Taylor, multimedia designer at the College of Public Health, displays a mug with the college’s brand artwork.

Working together, faculty, staff and students would develop measures to hold the college “collectively accountable” for its sustainability, Dr. Petersen said. This will include creating incentives to enhance research mentoring, develop new international partnerships, increase visibility and amplify the public health impact of the college’s work.

Her presentation culminated with a declaration of the college’s brand promise and its distinct values and characteristics – embracing social justice, interdisciplinary approaches, an inclusive and nurturing culture, informed innovation and passionate advocacy.

“This is who we are. This is what we care about. This is our passion,” Dr. Petersen said.  “It is the spirit within which we will advance our strategic plan and position ourselves where we rightly belong — among the best schools of public health in the world.”

USF College of Public Health Brand Promise

With selfless dedication, we promise to use our transformational research and interdisciplinary approach to passionately solve problems and create conditions that allow every person the universal right to health and well-being.

Sam Bell, Donna Petersen, State of the COPH 2012, fall address

Sam Bell, a founder of the USF College of Public Health and member of its advisory board, with COPH Dean Donna Petersen.

 State of the COPH address, branding campaign

State of the COPH 2012 address, branding campaign, mugs

Sam Bell, Betty Castor, College of Public Health

Photos by Eric Younghans, USF Health Communications