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Last modified: Monday, October 15, 2012

Judith Monroe to kick off IU School of Public Health-Bloomington’s Public Health Lecture Series

Oct. 15, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington is kicking off its new Public Health Lecture Series with a talk by Judith A. Monroe, deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and former Indiana State Health Commissioner.

Monroe will discuss "Trends in Public Health," from 3 to 4 p.m. Oct. 22 in the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center's Grand Hall. The public is welcome.

The Public Health Lecture series was launched by Interim Dean Mohammad R. Torabi to bring the most innovative speakers to the Bloomington campus to discuss a unique blend of critical public health issues facing the state, nation and world. The talks will be of interest to a wide range of faculty, staff, community health practitioners and clinicians within the university and Bloomington communities. Speakers may include award-winning IU faculty nationally recognized in their fields.

"We are most fortunate to attract such high-caliber speakers as part of our new lecture series," Torabi said. "The breadth and depth of knowledge these speakers have to share with the campus community reinforces the vital role public health plays at Indiana University and in the health and economic vitality in the State of Indiana."

Upcoming speakers include:

  • Bernice Pescosolido, Distinguished Professor and Chancellor's Professor of Sociology in IU Bloomington's College of Arts and Sciences and director of the Indiana Consortium for Mental Health Services Research, will talk from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Nov. 9 in Room 125 of the School of Public Health-Bloomington. Pescosolido has been recognized for her influential research in mental health services, social networks, suicide and the stigma of mental illness.
  • Joan Austin, Distinguished Professor of nursing at the IU School of Nursing at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, will talk from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Dec. 7 in Room 125 of the School of Public Health-Bloomington. Austin has adjunct appointments in the Department of Psychiatry in the IU School of Medicine and in the Department of Psychology in the Purdue School of Science. Austin has been actively engaged in research investigating mental health problems in children with epilepsy for two decades.
  • Julia Heiman, director of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, will talk from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Feb. 1 in Room 125 of the School of Public Health-Bloomington. Heiman, who has joint appointments in the Department of Psychological and Brian Sciences in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences and in the Department of Clinical Psychiatry in the IU School of Medicine, is a leader in the field of sex research.

In addition to serving as deputy director of the CDC, Monroe also directs the Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support, where she provides critical leadership improving and supporting the public health system. She served as Indiana state health commissioner from 2005 until 2010, when she began working for the CDC.

During Monroe's tenure as Indiana state health commissioner, Indiana improved its obesity ranking from most obese in 2003 to 28th in 2009; cigarette consumption decreased nearly 25 percent, smoking among high school students dropped 21 percent and among middle school students dropped 46 percent.

In 2007, the Indiana General Assembly passed a bill to increase the cigarette tax and all revenue went to health-related programs. As a result, childhood immunizations improved and the percentage of uninsured residents declined. In addition, colon cancer screening increased 34.5 percent; cancer incidence, heart disease, and all causes of mortality decreased significantly.

Monroe's talk is made possible as part of the Ruth Engs lecture series, established in honor of health historian Ruth Clifford Engs, author and professor emerita in the Department of Applied Health Science in the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington.

About the School of Public Health-Bloomington

With nearly 2,500 students in more than 50 undergraduate and advanced degree programs, the School of Public Health-Bloomington offers a traditional campus experience enriched by 21st-century innovation. More than 120 faculty in five academic departments -- Department of Kinesiology; Department of Applied Health Science; Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies; Department of Environmental Health; and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics -- conduct major research, teach and engage with communities across a broad spectrum of health, wellness and disease-prevention topics. Each department offers numerous majors, minors and opportunities for graduate and undergraduate studies. In addition to its academic departments, the school administers Campus Recreational Sports, which serves roughly 80 percent of the IU Bloomington student body through various intramural, club and individual sports opportunities.

For more information, contact Charles Rondot at 812-855-1354 or