The University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions recognized Dr. Mary Peoples-Sheps, the college’s senior associate dean for public health, as the distinguished speaker for the college’s spring convocation ceremony on May 2.
[Photo: Dr. Mary Peoples-Sheps]
Dr. Peoples-Sheps, who retires from the university August 29, has been instrumental in the development and implementation of public health at UF, including the establishment of public health certificate and degree programs as well as new departments and infrastructure within the college. She twice led PHHP’s multi-year effort to achieve accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health. In honor of her leadership in interdisciplinary collaboration, Dr. Michael G. Perri, dean of the college, presented Dr. Peoples-Sheps with the Mase Distinguished Leadership Award. The award is named for the college’s founding dean Dr. Darrel J. Mase, a pioneer in interdisciplinary health education.
Dr. Peoples-Sheps told graduates “As you make decisions about your career, a helpful guideline is to consider who you want to be 40 years from now when you look back over your choices. Notice I said who you will be, not what you will be doing. Your career is part of what will become a very multifaceted life.”
Graduates have a responsibility to support the next generation of health professionals and to contribute to their communities, Dr. Peoples-Sheps said.
“Throughout your careers and personal lives, you will be in positions to enhance opportunities not only for individual clients or the specific populations you focus on professionally, but for your fellow citizens through community action,” she said. “These activities will not only fulfill your social responsibility, they will enrich your lives, and greatly influence the person you become.”