McIntosh recognized for extraordinary dedication to Public Health students

While some organizations undergo growing pains in the early years, the West Virginia University School of Public Health has experienced growing gains. Since the School’s establishment less than 10 years ago, it has continually grown to create an environment where students can find their purpose and thrive.

During that time, Scot McIntosh, the School’s first director of career development and student success, joined the Public Health team. And now, his impact on the student experience is being recognized at the national level.

McIntosh has been awarded the 2020 Student Services Excellence Award by the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH). The prestigious ASPPH Student Services Excellence Award is presented to an individual who has been innovative and forward-thinking in student services and who has shown extraordinary dedication in working with applicants and students.

“When I received the message from the team at ASPPH about being the recipient of this fantastic award, I was humbled,” said McIntosh. “Joining the team at the WVU School of Public Health has been an incredible experience. I’m eternally grateful that I get to work in a position that allows me to play a part in watching our students come to campus, find themselves and their passions, and take that energy into the workforce to make a difference in the lives of so many people.”

In his role in the Office of Academic and Student Affairs, McIntosh has made a lasting impact on numerous students as they navigate the college experience and look to their futures. Working with undergraduate and graduate students in the School of Public Health, he provides students with much more than resources. While career counseling, mock interviews, resume prep and ongoing guidance are all part of his offerings, it’s his passion for students and their success that makes him stand out. Each year, McIntosh provides individualized career advising and coaching to nearly 300 students, while also connecting with alumni, teaching a class, supporting the Student Association of Public Heath (SAPH) as its adviser, and serving as a member of numerous internal committees, including as the chair of the WVU School of Public Health Student Centric Task Force.

To be eligible for the award, a nominee must be a full-time staff or faculty member from an ASPPH-member, Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)-accredited school or program of public health. The nominee must also have a primary role in student services and demonstrate a notable record of success and innovation in the field.

McIntosh was nominated for the award by a former student, Marco Schaaf. Schaaf is a 2019 Master of Public Health graduate and now serves as a health data analyst in the WVU Health Sciences Center – School of Public Health Office of Health Affairs.

“I can think of no individual more deserving of the ASPPH Student Services Excellence Award,” says Schaaf of his nomination. “His dedication, expertise and passion for educating students is second to none. In my academic career I have met no one more invested in the success of our students while remaining the epitome of humility and geniality.”

McIntosh has more than 10 years of experience in higher education. Prior to joining the WVU School of Public Health team in June 2017, he served as the director of student success and director of career and alumni services at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health.

“Scot’s appointment to the position of director of career development and student success was a game changer for the School of Public Health,” said Senior Associate Dean for Academic, Student and Faculty Affairs Linda Alexander, Ed.D.

“He is a tireless advocate for student success and provides an unmeasurable amount of support during their academic trajectory,” she added. “His day-to-day work with students, and alumni, from all backgrounds and socioeconomic status has earned him an extraordinary reputation for inclusive excellence. The ability to serve through a multi-cultural lens has greatly enhanced their Mountaineer experience.”

This dedication to students of all backgrounds, especially students from underserved populations, is particularly important given the high percentage of first-generation, rural and/or Appalachian students in the School of Public Health. As a native of Kentucky, McIntosh has a firsthand understanding of this unique demographic – a characteristic Schaaf was quick to acknowledge.

“As a student from Appalachia, I recognize the adjustment to college can lead to lower achievement, self-esteem and success,” he said. “But Scot has created an incredibly inviting atmosphere that ensures every student has the resources and support they need to thrive while in school and to better prepare them to live happier, healthier and more rewarding lives after graduation.”

According to McIntosh, there’s another key component to creating a positive atmosphere, conducive to success.

“I have been continuously impressed by the infectious enthusiasm that our students bring to our offices, classrooms, campus and community on a regular basis,” McIntosh added. “There’s an energy and amazing sense of pride that exists in Appalachian communities, and that energy is alive and well here in Morgantown.”



CONTACT: Nikky Luna, Director of Marketing and Communications
School of Public Health