University of South Florida


two women being presented with an award

COPH honors Dr. Gillian Stresman with the 2024 Excellence in Teaching Award

Each year, students in the USF College of Public Health (COPH) nominate faculty members for the COPH’s Excellence in Teaching Award.

The award is given to one faculty member who, according to the college’s webpage, “has made major contributions to student development, as well as to the quality of education within their department and the college as a whole.”

This year’s recipient is Dr. Gillian Stresman, assistant professor of epidemiology. 

“Receiving this award is a testament to the dedication and passion I bring to my role as an educator,” Stresman said. “It reaffirms my belief that every student deserves excellence in teaching and serves as a reminder of the transformative power of education – while simultaneously encourages me to keep pushing boundaries to continue to foster critical thinking and intellectual curiosity.”

Stresman joined the COPH in July 2022 after working at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine for the previous 10 years. She has been working on malaria epidemiology research for more than 15 years and has spent time in multiple malaria-endemic countries, including Zambia, Kenya, Gambia, Philippines and Haiti. 

Her research focus is on understanding the epidemiological and spatial determinants of malaria transmission with the ultimate goal of accelerating transmission reduction and achieving elimination. 

white woman with blonde hair and blue eyes

                                            Dr. Gillian Stresman (Photo courtesy of Stresman)

According to her students, they nominated Stresman because of her dedication to fostering students’ interests in public health so that they can succeed, not only in their time at USF, but also in their careers. 

“Dr. Stresman creates a judgement free environment in her classes that allows students to feel comfortable to ask questions and participate in lecture,” MPH student Jessica Monaghan said. “Her lectures are engaging. It’s easy to see her passion for not only public health, but also for teaching. Her course comes with a dense material load in which she was able to explain and elaborate topics effortlessly, breaking down terminology that made it easy to comprehend.”

During the National Public Health Week Awards Ceremony, Public Health Student Association President Sarah Daniels said the students who nominated Stresman spoke highly about her dedication and teaching.

“It was pretty incredible reading the nominations. At the COPH our motto is ‘Our Practice, Is Our Passion’ and Dr. Stresman embodies this wholeheartedly,” Daniels said. “Everyone spoke of your passion, not only for public health, but for teaching which is such an admirable quality for a professor. Thank you for all your hard work.”

Stresman said she is looking forward to witnessing the growth and success of her students as they develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to pursue their dreams and make a positive impact in the world.

“What I love about teaching is that we empower the next generation of leaders to tackle the challenges of the future with resilience, innovation, compassion and the critical thinking skills to navigate the uncertainties and opportunities of the future,” Stresman said.

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