Charles C. Shepard Award

Charles C. Shepard

Presented annually since 1986, the Charles C. Shepard Award is given to the graduating master's student who is deemed by the faculty to have prepared the most scholarly research paper. The award honors the work and memory of Dr. Charles C. Shepard, an outstanding scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who made important advances in the field of public health.

Each year, RSPH departments are invited to nominate up to two students who they deem best thesis in their department; students who graduated in the most recent summer, fall, and spring semesters are eligible. An annual Shepard Symposium is held each May, allowing nominees to present their work to the Rollins community. The award recipient is chosen by a faculty committee comprised of members of each Rollins department.

View the 2024 Shepard Award finalists here.

Charles C. Shepard Award Recipients

2024 – Sophia Garbarino

2023 – Zora Kesich

2022 – Lauren Nisotel

2021 – Jamie VanTassell

2020 – Shan Jiang

2019 – Julia Gallini

2018 – Martha Wetzel

2017 – Katie Singh

2016 – Adam Joseph Weiss

2015 – Jedidiah Samuel Snyder

2014 – Peter Liu

2013 – Philip Collender

2012 – Jennifer Richards

2011 – Catherine Finneran

2010 – John Rice

2009 – Katie Gass

2008 – Katie Lafond

2007 – Dieudonne Sankara

2006 – Melissa Cheung

2005 – Heather Marlow

2004 – Emily Young Johnson, Andrew Terranella

2003 – Anna Susan Moss

2002 – Josef Amann

2001 – Gretchen Simmons

2000 – Stephanie Stolfus

1999 – Mark R. Stevens

1998 – Jennifer Peel

1997 – Lisa Katz Elon

1996 – Jennifer Lapp Macia

1995 – Heidi Miracle-McMahill

1994 – Michael W. Schooley

1993 – Jane C. Nelson

1992 – Dollie Durrett Daniels

1991 – Janet J. Kelly

1990 – Scott Holmberg, Mary Alice Johnson

1989 – Carol Frances Bruce

1988 – Marco Gomez-Farias

1987 – Gail King, Theresa Ann Sipe, Jans D. Trowbridge

About Charles C. Shepard

Dr. Charles C. Shepard, or "Shep" as he was known to many of his friends, was an enthusiastic supporter of the MPH Program and a distinguished scientist. We honor him because he gave so much to the scientific community. In third-world countries, he gave hope to the multitude of patients and families with leprosy, also known as Hansen's Disease.

Charles C. Shepard in Lab

Shep devoted much of his professional career to the study of leprosy. He gained international recognition for his 1960 report demonstrating the first successful laboratory method to grow Mycobacterium leprae, the organism responsible for leprosy. He discovered the ability of this organism to grow in the foot pads of mice. One of his colleagues, Dr. John R. Trautman, said of this discovery, "This was the greatest breakthrough since the discovery of the causative organism in 1873. The word 'monumental' as it is applied to 'discoveries' is often overused, but in the case of Dr. Shepard's foot pad work, it is most certainly warranted." Shep's discovery has been immensely useful in diagnosis, the study of drug treatments, and development of a promising vaccine.

While most recognized for his contributions to leprosy research, Dr. Shepard also contributed valuable scientific information about the antigenic composition of the organisms responsible for epidemic and murine typhus. He added significantly to our knowledge of Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Q fever. The most recent contribution he and his staff made was the isolation of the organism responsible for Legionnaire's disease. During his career, Dr. Shepard published over 190 scientific papers, served on numerous committees and still found time to teach students in this Program. He received many well-deserved national and international awards and recognitions during his career.

The Rollins School of Public Health takes pride in preserving Shep's memory by holding a symposium and presenting an award in his honor.