The undisputed champs in the world of public health societies, the WVU School of Public Health Delta Omega Gamma Mu Chapter is continuing its reign as Chapter of the Year for the seventh consecutive year.
After a thorough review of applications received for the 2018-2019 school year, the national selection committee decided to once again reward the WVU Chapter for its dedication to the field of public health through member activities and community service. As part of the application process, the committee reviews the number of community organizations impacted by the chapter’s outreach, alumni engagement, member participation and innovations in communication.
Reacting to the announcement, Gamma Mu faculty adviser Elizabeth Claydon, PhD, said, “It is such an honor to see the hard work of these students and this organization recognized once again. I am grateful to be a part of Gamma Mu and am so appreciative of Dr. Keith Zullig’s leadership before me, who helped set the stage for this continued success.”
Throughout the 2018-2019 year, with just seven current student members, the Delta Omega Gamma Mu Chapter helped assemble more than 800 naloxone kits that were then distributed to health departments throughout West Virginia, volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in the local community, assisted Read Aloud with its annual fundraiser to support education in the surrounding area, prepared local walking trails, sports fields and playgrounds for the outdoor season, and supported blood donation efforts on campus. The group also hosted a poster contest in conjunction with the WVU Office of Research and Graduate Education’s 54thannual Van Liere Research Conference and co-sponsored the School of Public Health’s Dean’s Colloquium Series.
“When I came to WVU in the fall of 2017, I was impressed by Delta Omega’s focus on supporting the community and educating about the importance of public health,” said co-president Stephen Heck, a student in the PhD in Public Health Sciences program with an emphasis in Social and Behavioral Sciences. “Each year, more and more opportunities have been added to give back to the community through efforts in health literacy, housing needs, opioid epidemic harm reduction and park cleanup.”
Following the successful season of community service, scholarship and outreach, the group inducted eight new members at the annual School of Public Health Graduate Awards Luncheon, including four graduate students, two undergraduate students, honorary member and one alumna. Inductees must be in the top 25 percent of their class and participate in at least one Gamma Mu community service activity each semester and engage with the Student Association of Public Health.
The official announcement will be made during the national Delta Omega business meeting taking place during the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting & Expo in Philadelphia, Pa., this November. As part of the APHA meeting, Claydon and Heck have been invited to discuss the group’s strategies for innovation and success. WVU Gamma Mu leadership team members Raihan Khan, co-vice president of scholarship and outreach, Caterina DeFazio, vice president of social events, and Shannon Barth, past co-president, will also be in attendance. For those not able to attend the meeting, the presentation will be available via a webinar in the spring.
Founded in 1924 at Johns Hopkins University, the public health honorary society has grown to more than 100 chapters and more than 20,000 members worldwide. Since the establishment of the WVU School of Public Health in 2012, the Gamma Mu Chapter has been selected as Chapter of the Year every year.
CONTACT: Nikky Luna
WVU School of Public Health