Colorado School of Public Health to Recognize UNC Professor, Student

L-R: Mary Dinger and Dayna DeHerrera

The Colorado School of Public Health will recognize UNC Professor Mary Dinger and graduate student Dayna DeHerrera during its annual awards presentation May 25.

Dinger, Ph.D., who was recently named associate dean for Student Affairs for the CSPH effective June 1, will receive the Faculty Excellence in Teaching award. DeHerrera will be honored for Outstanding Contribution by a Student. They were nominated for the awards by faculty, staff and students of the CSPH, a collaborative of UNC, Colorado State University and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and the first and only school of public health in the Rocky Mountain region.

Dinger has taught and developed public health classes and served as a mentor to students for the past 25 years. She designed a course that integrates course content with programmatic research and evaluation for local agencies in northern Colorado. Students present results from their work to these agencies at campuswide research events. She also spearheaded curriculum changes that resulted in students engaging in an evaluation course that requires working with an organization or agency in the community. Students are able to apply what they learn in class and learn hands on how to evaluate and potentially create change in the community.

DeHerrera, described as "powerhouse" by her nominator, serves on many UNC and community organizations, including as president of CSPH@UNC Student Council, president of the Tobacco Free Coalition of Weld County, and volunteer with Harm Reduction Action Center in Denver. She presented at the 2017 Health Disparities conference in New Orleans and is co-authoring a manuscript focused on community considerations for working with injection drug users. DeHerrera is studying community health at UNC.

Both Dinger and DeHerra were involved in working with the City of Fort Collins to help improve bike safety education as part of the national Safe Routes to School education programs.