2013 Student Assembly Public Health Mentoring Award

The Student Assembly Public Health Mentoring Award, which recognizes the essential role of mentoring in public health and leadership development, was presented to Manoj Sharma, PhD, MCHES, MBBS.

Since 2008, Sharma has been professor of health promotion and education at the University of Cincinnati. Prior to that, he was an associate professor in health promotion and education for four years, an associate professor of community health education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha for three years and an assistant professor of community health education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha for four years. His other teaching experience includes as a faculty mentor at Walden University, an adjunct graduate faculty member at Central Michigan University, visiting faculty at Southen Illinois University at Carbondale and as a graduate research and teaching assistant at Ohio State University and Minnesota State University.

Sharma has chaired the Nutrition Advisory Board for the American Cancer Society in Omaha, been an evaluator for the Project Frontier Youth Initiative, and served as consultant to the Indian Chicano Health Center, the American Lung Association and the Charles Drew Health Center, among many other public health positions. His publications include co-authorship on book chapters about such topics as community and public health, mental health promotion, health education and practical stress management as well as peer-reviewed articles on alternative cancer treatment, school-based obesity interventions targeting minority youth and the relationship between emotional intelligence and substance abuse, to name just a few.

“Dr. Sharma is a highly dedicated educator who knows how to motivate his students to strive for excellence and to lead his students in deep learning and critical thinking,” said former student Edith Claros, PhD, MSN, RN, assistant dean and associate professor at he Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and School of Nursing.

Former student Melinda J. Ickes, PhD, now assistant professor in the Deaprtment of Kinesiology and Health Promotion at the University of Kentucky, described Sharma as an educator “who maintained high expectations for all of his students.”

“I will say that at first this was daunting, but I came to understand the importance when I left his classes with a better understanding of research, how to apply the information and a grasp of what challenges would like ahead,” Ickes said. “As someone who is currently teaching graduate students, I further appreciate all that Dr. Sharma did for us as students to enhance our learning experience.”

His former students also describe Sharma as someone who encouraged them to find balance in life and strive for excellence in all they do.

Among his many awards: the Outstanding Educator Recognition Award for 2012 from Cincy Magazine, the William R. Gemma Distinguished Alumnus Award from the College of Public Health Alumni Association at Ohio State University and the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching and Student-Faculty Relations from the University of Cincinnati.