Students name Dr. Dinorah Martinez Tyson #1 teacher

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

Since 2008, students in the USF College of Public Health (COPH) have annually recognized outstanding instruction at the Annual National Public Health Awards Ceremony. On April 6, graduate and undergraduate students joined forces to present the Excellence in Teaching Award to COPH alumna Dr. Dinorah Martinez Tyson, associate professor.

“It has been said of this year’s winner that she, time after time, puts her whole heart and soul into her students and community,” said Natalia Vázquez Plaza, an MPH student and vice president of the USF Public Health Student Association. “She also has an outstanding mentorship record.”

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

“Martinez Tyson was available for consultation during class and after class—including recording classes so that I could have access to them since I was dealing with health challenges that, at times, made my class participation difficult,” said Alice Musumba, a DrPH student. “When I thought I could not make it to the end of the semester in the class, she encouraged me to stick with it and accommodated me, yet also held me accountable to produce quality work. I not only learned the course content but the compassion with which to treat my future students. She truly is my inspiration as I seek a career in academia.”

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

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 nonprofit organization that provides support to Latinos diagnosed with cancer. She also co-coordinates Campamento Alegria, a three-day integrative program for Latina cancer survivors.

She is currently working with faculty across the COPH on the Salud Latina initiative to address Latino health disparities.

“I love that I get to practice my passion, which is teaching, every day,” Martinez Tyson said. “I am honored and humbled and so happy that I get to do what I love here at the COPH.”

Story by Caitlin Keough, USF College of Public Health