COPH graduate student Haley Maxwell honored with Academic Excellence Award

| Academic & Student Affairs, COPH Home Page Feed, Featured News, Monday Letter, Our Accolades, Students

USF College of Public Health graduate student Haley Maxwell was honored with the Academic Excellence Award by the Office of Multicultural Affairs during their Sankofa Celebration for Black History Month on February 13.

The Academic Excellence Award is given every year to a student who exemplifies dedication to academics, community involvement and leadership.

The Sankofa Celebration was held by the Office of Multicultural Affairs to share more about Black culture as it relates to the theme of Sankofa —a concept derived from the Akan people of West Africa that incorporates the past into the present to make positive progress for the future—and see student leaders honored for their involvement with USF and the surrounding community.

MPH student Haley Maxwell (Photo courtesy of Maxwell)
MPH student Haley Maxwell (Photo courtesy of Maxwell)

“This award serves as a reminder to continue striving towards my educational and professional goals. To be recognized by the Office of Multicultural Affairs was a catalyst to continue striving for success within my academic journey,” Maxwell said. “When I received the award, I felt incredibly proud of myself. I was surrounded by friends during the award ceremony who had acted as a support system for the award. In that moment of walking up to accept the award, I felt confident and unstoppable.”

Haley Maxwell receiving her award at the Sankofa Celebration (Photo courtesy of Maxwell)
Haley Maxwell receiving her award at the Sankofa Celebration (Photo courtesy of Maxwell)

Maxwell is currently pursuing her MPH with a concentration in maternal and child health.

“My passion for public health is to advocate for women in leadership, reduce racial disparities, and improve health equity,” she said. “The maternal and child health field needs to be reformed to promote optimal health outcomes for women and their families.”

Maxwell serves as the president of the Public Health Student Association for the upcoming 2020-21 school year. She is also a graduate research assistant in the Public Health Interdisciplinary Research and Education Department working alongside Dr. Jennifer Marshall, COPH associate professor, evaluating fatherhood involvement within the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program.

Upon graduation, Maxwell hopes to continue pursuing a field within maternal and child health that focuses on reducing racial disparities.

“The African-American maternal mortality rate in the United States is the largest racial disparity within the public health sector. To address this issue, expanding health care coverage, promoting diversity within healthcare providers, and providing high-quality care for at-risk populations could all help,” Maxwell said. “I would love to work with a community-driven organization that aligns with my mission.”

Story by Caitlin Keough, USF College of Public Health