Walter P. Cooke Community Leadership Award

Danise Wilson, MPH ’14.

Danise C. Wilson, MPH ’14

Wilson, a graduate of the School of Public Health and Health Professions, has committed more than 25 years to addressing health disparities and advocating for underserved communities.

Since 2016 she has served as the executive director of the Erie Niagara Area Health Education Center (AHEC), whose mission is to create and train a diverse health workforce through career exposure programs, mentorship and increasing understanding of cultural competency. In this role, Wilson is a change agent for communities, addressing social determinants and educational opportunities, and practicing career exploration activities.

She is actively involved with the school’s field education program, supervising student field placements. Without her efforts, many would not realize the ways in which they can impact health outcomes that affect their families, their communities and themselves. Wilson is an eager career connector for fellow public health alumni, especially new graduates; she also is an undergraduate mentor and has served as a guest speaker and panelist for several classes within the school.

In 2018, and in keeping with her goal of helping others attain success, promoting diversity and representation, she co-established the Hamilton Wilson Student Support Fund, offering a financial award to two students of color each year entering UB’s MSW and MPH programs. Wilson is active on several committees and boards of directors in Western New York. She was a recipient of the Buffalo Business First 40 Under 40 award and one of two Western New York residents listed in Business Journals’ Influencers: Rising Stars 2018. She is chair of the board of trustees for the State University of New York Erie Community College, where she advocates for improving excellence in education to ensure student success.

Walter P. Cooke Community Leadership Award

The Walter P. Cooke Community Leadership Award is presented in recognition of outstanding accomplishments that make our university and community a better place. Honorees influence the growth and improvement of the UB community and inspire others to give their active interest and material support.