University of South Florida

Colleagues celebrate Dr. Phil Marty’s 27 years of outstanding service at USF Health

Dr. Phillip J. Marty, Professor Emeritus of the USF College of Public Health

Dozens of colleagues and leaders gathered July 20 to celebrate the outstanding 27-year career of Phillip J. Marty, PhD, a consummate professional dedicated to the advancement of USF and USF Health.

Dr. Marty, professor of public health, internal medicine and psychiatry, held several administrative positions in the College of Public Health, Morsani College of Medicine and USF Health throughout his tenure at the University of South Florida, including 14 years as associate vice president for USF Health Research. Before retiring on Aug. 6, he led the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology as interim chair for five years.

Colleagues and leaders gathered to celebrate Dr. Marty’s 27 years of service at USF.

Edmund Funai, MD, chief operating officer at USF Health and senior vice president of strategic development for USF, congratulated Dr. Marty on a well-deserved retirement.

“I want to express my sincere gratitude for all you have done over the past two plus decades to carry forward our missions of teaching, research, patient care and service,” Dr. Funai said. “You treated our university like home, and treat your colleagues and students as if they are family.”

Dr. John Curran (right), who retired earlier this summer following 45 years at USF, congratulates Dr. Marty on his exemplary career and retirement.

Dr. Marty arrived at the USF College of Public Health in 1990 from the University of Arkansas College of Education, where he worked in the health sciences program at the Little Rock campus.  During his time in Arkansas, Dr. Marty’s collaborative research work on the use of smokeless tobacco was cited by the U.S. Congress and contributed to the passage of the Congressional Smokeless Tobacco Act of 1986.

Among his many accomplishments at USF:

  • Often stepped up to fill vital interim roles during searches for a new dean or chair. Dr. Marty served as interim dean of the College of Public Health before Dr. Charles Mahan arrived as dean in 1995, helping to advance the early distance learning program, the executive MPH program, and development of the public health practice program for working professionals.  He was also interim director of the Chiles Center for Healthy Mothers and Babies, and interim chair of several COPH departments: Environmental and Occupational Health, Health Policy and Management, and Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Most recently, he served as interim chair for Pathology and Cell Biology in the Morsani College of Medicine.


  • Successfully championed, transitioned and expanded Research Day from the corridors of USF Health to the Marshall Student Center –– drawing record numbers of promising research presentations not only from USF Health, but also from across USF.

Dr. Marty gets a hug from one of many who stopped by to wish him well.

  • Instrumental in helping rebuild USF Health’s research infrastructure.
  • Helped secure state funding for cardiovascular and personalized medicine.
  • His advocacy work in the Florida Legislature resulted in laws passed to protect young people and adults from starting smoking, reduce smoking rates and warn people of the dangers of smoking. In 1993, the College of Public Health recognized his advancement of better tobacco control policies with the college’s Exceptional Community Service Award.

USF Health Associate Vice President Dr. Jay Wolfson was among those who shared stories about working with Dr. Marty, who held administrative positions in the USF College of Public Health, USF Health and the Morsani College of Medicine.


In retirement Dr. Marty, a Professor Emeritus at the College of Public Health, hopes to return to some international public health work, especially in Zambia, Africa, where his daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren live.  He will also have more travel with his wife Marianne, volunteer, fish and “putter on small projects” at their Tampa home and cabin in Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains.

Asked if he had any advice to leave current students, Dr. Marty encouraged them to consider unexpected opportunities to shift directions in their careers, even if it involves some risk.

Dr. Stephen Liggett, associate vice president for research at USF Health,  presented Dr. Marty with a plaque recognizing his 15 years of dedication in leading USF Health Research Day.

“In my own case, I had no expectation of being a professor earlier in my youth.  I never expected to be a selected for the various administrative roles I have had over the years.  However, I kept an open mind and saw these opportunities as challenges and areas for professional and personal growth,” Dr. Marty said.

“As a result, I have had tremendous experiences and worked with and met wonderful people throughout my career… I couldn’t have asked for a more rewarding 38 years in higher education, and 27 of these at the College of Public Health, USF Health and USF.”

Dr. Marty enjoys a laugh with colleagues.

Dr. Marty with his family

You can’t have a retirement party without a cake!

Dr. Marty with some of the staff who assisted him at USF Health over the years — from left, Cheryl Lesko, Jo Ann Moore, Linda Lalli, Charmaine Disimile and Carolyn Mercurio Dove.


-Photos by Eric Younghans, USF Health Communication and Marketing


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