UNC Graduate Student Chosen for National Public Health Education Award

Meagan Cain

A student in the Colorado School of Public Health's Community Health Education master's degree program at the University of Northern Colorado has been chosen as the sole winner of the 2015 Chapter Student Recognition Award from the national Society of Public Health Education.

Meagan Cain was selected from dozens of undergraduate and graduate students for her contributions to public health, both locally and globally.

Earlier this year, Cain was also recognized by the Colorado School of Public Health with the school's first Student Award for Excellence in Public Health Practice during the 2015 Public Health in the Rockies conference.

In addition to her work in Nepal last summer where she acted as a lead relief distribution coordinator and emergency medical supply organizer following Nepal's devastating earthquakes, she also established the Girls Moving Mountains project to educate and empower young girls before they are victims to sex trafficking. The project aims to establish a new generation of sustainable health educators—a passion for Cain.

Cain also regularly teaches a weekly health class in Greeley geared toward Somali refugee women and successfully recruited several of her classmates to be citizenship instructors for incoming refugee populations.

Cain has been active in bringing attention to women's public health issues through organizing International Women's Day events at UNC and presenting related data at conferences. She also organized and distributed more than 2,000 art kits to local families in need, while coordinating art nights for families as well as the Colorado Refugee Student Mural Project.

"I have never known a student more deserving of this national recognition than Meagan—she lives, breathes and has dedicated her life to the field of public health, particularly community health education," said Dani Brittain, Ph.D., associate professor of Community Health Education in the Colorado School of Public Health at UNC.

When asked about what drives her passion, Cain said, "I am guided by the belief that every person on this earth has a right to education, dignity, and freedom from violence and I recognize the important role public health has to reduce gender violence and help communities improve their own health and social determinants. Being a leader means taking on many roles and I have enjoyed both being a leader and enabling leadership in others."

Cain will receive her award at the Society for Public Health Education's 67th annual meeting award gala on March 29 in Charlotte, NC.