Dr. Dinorah Martinez Tyson awarded 2017 Excellence in Teaching Award

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Since 2008, students in the USF College of Public Health have annually recognized outstanding instruction at the Annual National Public Health Awards Ceremony. On April 5, graduate and undergraduate students joined forces to present the Excellence in Teaching Award to COPH alumna Dr. Dinorah Martinez Tyson, assistant professor in the Department of Community and Family Health.

“Thank you for making an impact as an instructor, mentor and advisor. On behalf of all the Public Health Student Association and the students of the COPH, I am honored to present this year’s award to Dr. Martinez Tyson,” said COPH student Lydia Mezenghie.

Dinorah Martinez Tyson, PhD, MPH, MA (Photo by Caitlin Keough)

Dinorah Martinez Tyson, PhD, MPH, MA (Photo by Caitlin Keough)

Martinez Tyson earned a BA from Florida Atlantic University in 1996 and an MA from Northern Arizona University in 1998. She attended the University of South Florida and earned an MPH in 2003 and a PhD in anthropology in 2008. After graduating from USF, she joined the College of Public Health in an official capacity.

Bilingual in English and Spanish, Martinez Tyson is academically trained in applied medical anthropology and epidemiology. She has extensive experience in qualitative methods and community engaged research.

Her educational and research interests are aimed at designing effective community-based education and outreach strategies to reduce health disparities among diverse and medically underserved populations.

“Dr. Martinez Tyson is an inspirational leader in health disparities and community engaged research, Latino and immigrant health, cancer survivorship programming, and chronic disease management. She is a true inspiration and advocate for community-engaged research and practice. She has truly put her research and passion into practice,” COPH student and nominator Lillie Dao said.

She has worked closely with various community organizations to address health disparities among ethnic minorities and underserved populations in the Tampa Bay area and Spanish-speaking Caribbean. Her community experience has provided her with invaluable insights about partnership and coalition building processes.

Martinez Tyson has worked in the area of Latino health and in the cultural adaptation of evidence-based interventions for Latino audiences. She is the co-founder of Latinos Unidos por Un Nuevo Amanecer, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides support to Latinos diagnosed with cancer. She also co-coordinates Campamento Alegria, a three-day integrative program for Latina cancer survivors.

“When I had the opportunity to be in the classroom and work with my students, it made a world of difference. I wanted to do something that let me teach and also pursue my research. I’m so honored to be here at the COPH and have this opportunity to do both. Honestly the part that’s most fulfilling of my job is working with the students,” Martinez Tyson said.

Story by Caitlin Keough, USF College of Public Health