College of Public Health students graduating

CPH Faculty Promotions and Awards

Posted: June 4, 2013

Heather Bush, PhD and Richard Charnigo, PhD, Department of Biostatistics have received promotions.

Dr. Bush teaches in the MPH, DrPH, and PhD programs and has a successful track record of collaborating with, advising, and teaching researchers and other established professionals in the Colleges of Medicine, Dentistry, Public Health, Behavioral Sciences, and Health Sciences, with a particular interest in patient outcomes and correlated data. She is currently Associate Director of the Applied Statistics Laboratory as well as the Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design key function of the Center for Clinical and Translational Science. Dr. Bush has been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure.

Dr.Charnigo holds a joint appointment in the Department of Biostatistics, College of Public Health and Department of Statistics, College of Arts and Sciences. His research interests in statistics include theory and methods for mixture modeling and nonparametric smoothing. His areas of interest for applied research include cardiology, psychology, and public health. Dr. Charnigo teaches biostatistics and statistics courses to various audiences of graduate and professional students. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Army Research Office. Dr. Charnigo has been promoted to Full Professor.

The promotions will take effect July 1, 2013.

During the College’s graduation recognition ceremony after UK’s Commencement, Robin C. Vanderpool, DrPH, Department of Health Behavior received the Dean’s Outstanding Teaching Performance Award and Lorie Chesnut, DrPH, Department of Epidemiology received the Golden Apple Award from the UK Public Health Student Association.

Dr. Vanderpool has been at UK for over 12 years. She served as an educator and researcher for the National Institute’s Cancer Information Service (CIS), awarded locally to the UK Markey Cancer Control Program for nine years. During her tenure with the CIS, she was responsible for working collaboratively with researchers across the southeastern U.S. to formulate research projects, develop funding applications, coordinate the implementation of studies conducted with the CIS, and translate and strategically disseminate CIS research findings. Dr. Vanderpool currently serves as the Deputy Director of the CDC-funded Rural Cancer Prevention Center (RCPC), awarded to the UK College of Public Health. Dr. Vanderpool also participates in the NIH-funded Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) Scholar Program in the UK College of Medicine. Her research interests center on the intersection of health behavior, public health practice, and cancer prevention and control.  Vanderpool, an assistant professor in the Department of Health Behavior, also teaches graduate courses on rural health disparities, public health and disease prevention, and health behavior theory.

Dr. Chesnut is a faculty member in the Department of Epidemiology. Prior to joining the department, she worked in the field of maternal and child health (MCH) epidemiology for over 15 years, initially for the Kentucky March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation and later for the Kentucky Department for Public Health. During her time at the state office, she coordinated reporting for the Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grant through the federal Title V Information System, worked as an epidemiologist in Kentucky’s oral health program and wrote numerous federal grants.

Dr. Chesnut recently completed her doctorate at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the Maternal and Child Health Policy and Leadership Program, under the Department of Health Care Organization and Policy. Dr. Chesnut received her MPH from the University of Kentucky in 2005 with a focus in epidemiology. Her primary research interests are rural health disparities, perinatal epidemiology, oral health, maternal mortality, birth weight distribution, preterm birth and surveillance. While primarily addressing issues pertaining to data collection and analysis, she is also working to improve federal and state systems of care for American Indian and Alaskan Native women, infants, and children through enhanced system integration and expanded resources for both tribal governments and state offices.