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.
Marty, professor of public health, internal medicine and psychiatry, held several administrative positions in the USF 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.
Edmund Funai, MD, chief operating officer at USF Health and senior vice president of strategic development for USF, congratulated 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,” Funai said. “You treated our university like home, and treat your colleagues and students as if they are family.”
Marty arrived at the COPH 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, 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.
The COPH was young and still expanding and he believed he could make a contribution with teaching, research and service.
“The COPH was so dynamic and eclectic with its varied faculty and backgrounds, as well as university,” he said. “I saw so much potential for my further personal and professional growth.”
Among his many accomplishments at USF:
- Often stepped up to fill vital interim roles during searches for a new dean or chair. Marty served as interim dean of the COPH 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 Lawton and Rhea 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 MCOM.
- 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.
- 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 COPH recognized his advancement of better tobacco control policies with the college’s Exceptional Community Service Award.
“I just hope that I have been able to further the teaching, research and service missions of these units and have made a bit of a difference at USF,” he said.
Marty’s favorite memory of the COPH was during his time in the COPH Dean’s Office as the interim dean and then executive associate dean when Mahan became dean.
“The next seven years working with Dean Mahan was intense, but also a great deal of fun,” he said. “The dean’s office was a great place to work at that time because many of the rapid advances of the COPH occurred under the leadership of Dr. Mahan.”
Over the years he’s been at USF, the COPH has grown tremendously. Marty said that he is most surprised by the expansion of academic opportunities at all levels that are now available in the COPH from undergraduate to professional degree programs.
“Now undergraduate programs provide somewhat of a backbone for financial health of the COPH as well as feeders for its graduate programs,” he said. “Dean Petersen and her staff have provided excellent leadership in moving the COPH into one of the top tier public health schools in the country, something of which we should be immensely proud.”
In retirement Marty, a professor emeritus at the COPH, 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, Marty encouraged them to consider unexpected opportunities to shift directions in their careers, even if it involves some risk.
“In my own case, I had no expectation of being a professor earlier in my youth. I never expected to be 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,” 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 COPH, USF Health and USF,” he said.
Story by Anne DeLotto Baier, USF Communications and Marketing, and Caitlin Keough, USF College of Public Health. Reposted from USF Health News
Tags: Charles Mahan, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Department of Health Policy and Management, Edmund Funai, Lawton and Rhea Chiles Center for Healthy Mothers and Babies, leadership, Morsani College of Medicine, Phillip Marty, professor emeritus, USF, USF Health, USF Health Research Day