35th Anniversary Magazine

35th Anniversary Magazine

The School of Public Health Logo sits on a purple background. Below it, white text says "celebrating 35 years of excellence", with the 35 large and in gold.

For 35 years, our School has provided defining experiences in public health. We invite you to read more in our 35th anniversary magazine, which begins with a note from the dean:


Colleagues and friends,

This year has been filled with unprecedented challenges in the field of public health. As a nation, we have faced significant loss of life, elimination of critical programming, underinvestment in our discipline and severe consequences from long standing public health problems such as systematic racism, poverty and homelessness— and these represent only a fraction of the challenges in front of us as we work towards a healthier future.

I will admit that it can be both overwhelming and exhausting. But as Nelson Mandela once said, “part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”

Here at the University at Albany School of Public Health, we choose to continue forward towards the light, conducting groundbreaking research, training the next generation of public health leaders and developing thought leadership in areas ranging from emerging infectious diseases to maternal and child health. Each day, our faculty, staff and students dive deep into their work to address pressing public health problems— and have done so for the past 35 years. It is this passion and grit that defines us and propels us to improve the health of populations locally and around the world, despite the obstacles we may face.

This year, we are proud to celebrate our 35th anniversary as a partnership between the University at Albany and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). This strategic relationship between a research-focused academic institution and a government agency has created a strong foundation to make a profound impact in public health research and response, which I invite you to read about over the following pages. In particular, we see the true benefit of this partnership here and now in the present with pandemic response, as our School community banded together to fill emerging roles and help to reduce further devastation from SARS-CoV-2.

As we look back over the past 35 years and celebrate our success, and reflect on the impact we are having as today’s events unfold, we must also look towards our future. Our School is dedicated to continuing to improve public health and public health education, and with the visionary partnership developed upon our founding, I am confident that we will continue to make an impact in the field— and more importantly, in the lives of people here in New York’s capital region and worldwide.

And lastly, we wouldn’t be where we are today without you! I am so pleased that you are a part of our School of Public Health family and thank you sincerely for your support of our School. I look forward to our continued work together and hope you enjoy reading our 35th anniversary magazine!

All the best,

David Holtgrave

Dean, School of Public Health

SUNY Distinguished Professor

SUNY Empire Innovation Professor