New UI scholarship to support students in occupational and environmental health
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Two longtime University of Iowa faculty members have established a new endowed scholarship fund to support students pursuing advanced degrees in the UI College of Public Health’s Department of Occupational and Environmental Health.
The Craig Zwerling and Nancy L. Sprince Scholarship in Occupational and Environmental Health will benefit graduate studies in areas such as occupational health, injury prevention, and rural health. Zwerling and Sprince, of Iowa City, both are emeritus professors who served in senior leadership roles in the UI College of Public Health during a period spanning more than 20 years.
Zwerling, an injury epidemiologist, led groundbreaking research in areas ranging from on-the-job injuries to motor-vehicle crashes to workplace drug testing. Throughout his 21-year career at the UI, he directed the Injury Prevention Research Center and served as the first head of the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health from 2000 to 2010.
Sprince, an occupational medicine physician who specialized in respiratory diseases, directed the Heartland Center for Occupational Health and Safety and the UI’s occupational medicine residency program during a 17-year career at the UI. Their work at the UI Institute for Rural and Environmental Health helped establish the university as an international leader in rural and environmental health research, education, and outreach.
“Looking back on our careers, we believe that one of the most rewarding aspects was helping to train the next generation of scientists and practitioners,” says Sprince. “We are grateful to have had the opportunity to help build the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health and to see alumni flourish in their careers as they protect the health of workers, the environment, and rural communities—and reduce the burden of preventable injury.”
Their gift, made through the UI Foundation, created an endowed scholarship fund that can be supplemented by anyone wishing to contribute or make a gift in honor of Professors Zwerling and Sprince.
“We know others join us in valuing the importance of training graduate students in the fields covered by the department, and we invite them to donate to this fund to increase student support through this scholarship,” says Sprince.
According to Peter S. Thorne, head of the UI Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, the new scholarship will provide critically needed support for students and highlights the professors’ continued commitment to the UI and to the disciplines they helped shape throughout their distinguished careers.
“We are grateful to Craig and Nancy for this generous gift that will serve our students by helping support their professional training,” says Thorne. “It is yet another indelible mark they have left on our department, which has benefitted so greatly from their scholarship, wisdom, and generosity.”