Elizabeth Dunn honored with 2020 COPH Excellence in Teaching Award

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Called “dedicated,” “motivating” and “inspiring” by the students she teaches, Elizabeth Dunn, a USF College of Public Health (COPH) instructor and alumna, receives the college’s 2020 Excellence in Teaching Award.

Each year, COPH undergraduate and graduate students nominate a college faculty member who has made a major contribution to student development and the quality of their education. The award, now in its twelfth year, is presented during National Public Health Week, recognized this year from April 6-12. To see our virtual ceremony that honors Dunn and other award recipients, click here.

“This is an incredible accomplishment in my teaching career,” said Dunn, who specializes in courses dealing with international humanitarian relief, disaster management and citizen engagement in homeland security. “Knowing that the students I have been privileged to have in my courses and work alongside in the community have nominated me for this award is a remarkable feeling.”

Elizabeth Dunn, MPH, is awarded the 2020 COPH Excellence in Teaching Award. (Photo by Caitlin Keough)

Dunn earned both her BA and MPH from USF. She joined the COPH in 2012, working in the global disaster management, humanitarian relief and homeland security (GHH) program as the assistant to the director and teaching courses as an adjunct instructor. 

“My students are a driving force that reaffirms my passion for teaching every day,” said Dunn. “Being able to interact with students while watching them explore what they’re passionate about and how it correlates with the field of disaster management is rewarding. Additionally, I enjoy exploring innovative teaching strategies that help facilitate learning, encourage critical thinking and engage students within the community.”

When asked what she thinks makes her a successful teacher, Dunn uses one word: passion.

“I think my enthusiasm and passion for the field of disaster management resonates through my teaching. I strive to motivate my students to succeed, and I aim to build their trust by making them feel I am approachable and willing to listen to their ideas or problems,” she commented. “I believe that by setting this example, students will be inspired to follow their dreams and focus their energy on what they’re most passionate about as future leaders in public health.”

Story by Donna Campisano, USF College of Public Health