University of South Florida

Unable to narrow list to one winner, COPH names three for Greg Alexander scholarship

Deciding who among a scholarship applicant pool is both qualified and deserving can be challenging. When the College of Public Health Student Affairs Committee met to determine who would be selected to earn this year’s Greg Alexander Scholarship in Maternal and Child Health, the team was at a standstill – three candidates stood out above the others but none of the three was clearly more qualified.

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At the scholarship presentation, from left, Anthony Panzera, Dr. Donna Petersen, Korede Adegoke, and Chighaf Bakour.

“They were all very strong candidates,” said Dawood Sultan, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management and chair of the scholarship selection committee. “We couldn’t rank them. They were basically all equal.”

The result: for the first time in the history of the college, three students received full scholarship funding. They are Korede Adegoke, MBBS, MPH, Chighaf Bakour, MD, MPH, and Anthony Panzera, MPH.

Funding multiple students was unusual, Dr. Sultan said.

“We may not be able to fund multiple students every year,” he said. “But at least this year the COPH had enough to fully fund all three very deserving students.”

The Greg Alexander Scholarship in Maternal and Child Health is awarded to PhD or DrPH candidates in any COPH department with a strong interest in the field of maternal and child health or perinatal epidemiology. The award is named after Greg Alexander, RS, MPH, ScD, an internationally known researcher and professor of public health and pediatrics who taught at USF. His research helped define the entire field of perinatal epidemiology in public health and medicine and provided the clinical science behind ensuring healthy births and healthy babies. He developed fetal growth curves for national use to measure and prevent health disparities at childbirth. Dr. Alexander, who passed away in 2007 at age 56 of heart failure associated with radiation treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma 30 years earlier, is the late husband of Donna Petersen, ScD, MHS, CPH, dean of the USF College of Public Health.

Photo by Ellen Kent, USF Health Service Corps. 

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