Yearly Awards Highlight of SPHHP's Annual Meeting


Published June 2, 2020

The University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions announced the recipients of its 2019-2020 awards during the school’s annual meeting in May 2020. The award recipients have been chosen for their outstanding dedication and service to the school in areas of scholarship, community engagement and professional duties.

Outstanding Junior Researcher of the Year—Katherine (Katie) Balantekin, clinical assistant professor, Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

Katie Balantekin, assistant professor.

This award is presented to a junior faculty member whose recent research initiatives demonstrate outstanding importance and relevance to the overall mission of the School of Public Health and Health Professions. Balantekin’s research into the intersection of disordered eating and obesity has been productive during her first two years at UB, as she published 22 manuscripts and collected data for two different projects on top of her duties as a professor and thesis mentor. She has also been invited and elected to numerous positions on committees such as the Advocacy Committee for the Obesity Society and the Recruitment and Retention Committee for the Academy of Eating Disorders, highlighting her reputation as a scholar in her field.

Outstanding Senior Researcher of the Year—Marianthi Markatou, professor, Department of Biostatistics

Marianthi Markatou professor.

This award is presented to a senior faculty member whose recent research initiatives demonstrate outstanding importance and relevance to the overall mission of the School of Public Health and Health Professions. Markatou is a well-known developer of statistical methodology and most of her statistical publications have appeared in highly regarded statistics journals. In the past year alone, her scholarship resulted in a total of 11 publications, on seven of which she is senior or lead author. She also received a Fulbright Greece Fellowship Award in 2019 and was recently a Thematic Leader of “Emerging Applications” of the National Science Foundation workshop, recognizing her contributions and reputation as a national and international expert in her fields.

Outstanding Staff Award—Eric Stimson, technology services manager, Dean’s Office

Eric Stimson, technology services manager.

This award is presented to a staff member who has demonstrated distinction in their contributions towards supporting academic excellence and a strong, overall commitment to fulfilling the mission of the School of Public Health and Health Professions. Stimson is a vital member of the SPHHP IT team not only in day-to-day work, but also in activities above and beyond the call of duty. During the recent COVID-19 crisis, he independently prepared 20 new laptops for faculty and staff in need of a system to work remotely, and personally delivered many of the laptops to homes, even on weekends. His dedication contributes greatly to the successful operations of the School of Public Health and Health Professions.

Academic Service Award—Chris Koenig, CEO, Niagara Lutheran Health Care System


This award recognizes contributions to academic service that have been made by volunteers or adjunct faculty to one or more academic programs within the School. Koeing is a graduate of the Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master’s in Business Administration programs at UB and uses his expertise as both a PT and an executive to teach the PT 701 Management Sciences for Physical Therapy course. He also serves as a mentor for DPT students in their clinical internships. He consistently receives excellent reviews from students in his course, and students actively seek placement in his practices for their internships, highlighting his popularity and respect among students.

Dean’s Award for Community Service—Jeanne Langan, associate professor, Rehabilitation Science

Jeanne Langan, associate professor.

This award is presented to a faculty member in recognition of achievements in providing professionally relevant community service in furtherance of the school's mission to improve the health of populations, communities and individuals over the past year. Langan’s research and professional interests support her passion for community engagement, which is concentrated in two main areas: outreach to stroke support groups and supporting adaptive sports groups in Western New York. She also volunteers beyond her professional interests and is extremely dedicated to engaging the community, especially in the underserved groups of those with disability. Her presence in the community has elevated the reputation of UB, SPHHP, the RS Department and the DPT Program in the minds of those she serves.

SPHHP Dean’s Award—SPHHP IT Team

This award recognizes a faculty or staff member for outstanding professional accomplishments and effort on behalf of the school within the past year. This year’s award is given to the entire IT Team of the School of Public Health and Health Professions because of their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic not only to help faculty and students transition to distance learning but also to help faculty and staff transition to working from home. Their assistance helped make an undeniably stressful situation less so, while insuring work and learning could proceed without disruption.

  • Keith Conroy, director
  • Eric Stimson, technology services manager
  • Edward Brooks, IT security and support
  • Lorie Wolf, IT help desk support
  • Brian Benson, IT student support