The Charger Blog

Health Sciences Professor Receives Prestigious Mentorship Award

Alvin Tran, Sc.D., MPH, director of the University's B.S. in public health program, has been named the recipient of the Karen Denard Goldman Mentor Award from the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE).

March 27, 2023

Alvin Tran, ScD, MPH
Alvin Tran, Sc.D., MPH, accepted the highly esteemed Karen Denard Goldman Mentor Award.

Alvin Tran, Sc.D., MPH, assistant professor and director of the Bachelor of Science in Public Health program and assistant provost for diversity, equity, and inclusion, was named the recipient of the Society for Public Health Education’s highly esteemed Karen Denard Goldman Mentor Award.

The award recognizes individuals who have provided excellence in mentorship to health educators in preparation, performance, and practice to bridge the gap between practice and research. “Whether it is through fellowships, research, or the implementation of programs, Dr. Tran is committed to seeing his students succeed,” wrote the SOPHE in a press release announcing the award. “His zeal to support and mentor his students from various walks of life makes him a standout health educator and mentor.”

According to SOPHE’s leadership, Dr. Tran, who joined the University community in 2019, was carefully chosen among a national pool of candidates nominated from across the country.

'This recognition means the world to me'

Dr. Tran recently accepted the award at SOPHE’s 2023 Annual Conference: “The New Age of Civil Rights, Advocacy & Equity,” in Atlanta, Georgia.

Alvin Tran, ScD, MPH
Alvin Tran, ScD, MPH, speaks at SOPHE’s 2023 Annual Conference.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support, training, and compassion of my own mentors,” he said. “Mine never gave up on me even during my moments of doubt and struggle. They challenged me in so many ways that taught me to be resilient. It has always been a priority of mine to be a mentor as effective as those who took me under their wing. This recognition means the world to me.”

Peri Alexander ’23, a health sciences major graduating this May, considers Dr. Tran to be one of her most valued mentors since joining the University community four years ago.

“Dr. Tran believed in me and supported me in ways I didn’t know I needed and allowed me to conduct research, talk to lawmakers, and conduct diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives around campus.” said Alexander. “Without him pushing me to success, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

'Incredibly supportive'

In addition to mentoring students across various majors at the University, Dr. Tran has also supported early career public health professionals across the state.

“Dr. Tran provided invaluable support as we worked to establish a local Board of Directors and develop other chapter documentation such as bylaws and strategic plans,” said Nicole Batista, the founding president of the Connecticut Chapter of SOPHE.

Batista added that “as a graduate student at the time, I had limited experience in the health education field or in leadership skills. Dr. Tran helped to guide me through this process and was incredibly supportive throughout the four months of my internship.”

Dr. Tran, a faculty member of the Department of Population Health and Leadership in the School of Health Sciences, teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in public health. He also leads a research working group of students, staff, and faculty called the WeEmbody (WE) Lab, which aims to train the next generation of public health leaders.

Dr. Tran’s research and advocacy efforts through the WE Lab secured him a place in Connecticut Magazine’s 40 Under 40 List in 2020.

The Society for Public Health Education is one of the largest national, nonprofit associations of health educators, with a membership of approximately 4,000 health education professionals and students.