We are delighted to announce the new winners of the Friedman School’s two annual faculty awards. We wish to thank the students, faculty and staff who provided thoughtful nominations, and to also thank the committees who reviewed nominations and made the difficult choice of selecting only one winner for each of our two faculty awards.
The winner of the Mozaffarian Family Award for Public Impact is Professor Eileen Kennedy.
Dr. Kennedy has played a major role over many years in shaping government policies that have had demonstrable impact, not only in the US, but also in Ethiopia and other international locations. Dr. Kennedy focuses on how the best science can be translated into real policy options, and ensures that these get funded and implemented to achieve important improvements in nutrition, health, food systems.
Before joining the Friedman School as Dean, Dr. Kennedy founded and was the first Executive Director of the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, and created the Healthy Eating Index, a widely used index of diet quality. Dr. Kennedy then served as Deputy Under Secretary and Under Secretary (Acting), Research, Education, and Economics at the U. S. Department of Agriculture.
Dr. Kennedy has also been active throughout her career in international nutrition. She was a key member of the High Level Panel of Experts of the Committee on World Food Security, promoting a new vision for food systems, including, for example, shaping the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation’s new Food Systems Framework. Most recently, Dr. Kennedy successfully led the development of a set of proposals for the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) that were selected for global discussion in the July 2021 pre-summit meetings in Rome. Dr. Kennedy also successfully established a pre-summit virtual dialogue that is co-hosted with the EAT Foundation (one of the lead players in UNFSS), to ensure wider discussion of the needs and potential solutions. Here at Tufts, Dr. Kennedy has led the new university-wide Tufts Food Systems Initiative aimed at playing a global catalytic role in shaping the science-to-policy agenda on sustainable, healthy food systems.
The public impact that Dr. Kennedy has achieved is tremendous and we are fortunate to have her as a colleague.
The winner of the Friedman School Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year is Professor Sean Cash.
Dr. Cash’s nominators noted too-numerous-to-mention contributions to teaching, advising, mentoring, research, public impact, diversity, equity, inclusion and school culture. In his teaching, Dr. Cash strives to deepen his students’ engagement with issues of gender, race and racism, and ethical issues in the collection of data and its analysis. As an academic advisor, Dr. Cash provides students with caring, proactive, strategic guidance tailored for their academic goals and future professional aspirations. As the School’s Doctoral and Postdoctoral Officer, Dr. Cash brings positivity and attention to issues concerning doctoral students and is a strong advocate for trainees. Dr. Cash was described as a standout contributor to the School’s admissions committee, and was noted as always making room in his schedule to speak with prospective students.
Dr. Cash has been scientifically very productive despite the challenges over the past year, publishing eight peer-reviewed publications in 2020, several of which included students or trainees as first authors. He is also a co-PI of the project recently chosen for the Research Award for Interdisciplinary Nutrition Study funding, and is a co-investigator on several new externally funded projects that started in 2020. As the Program Chair of the Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics, he has also contributed to the broader understanding of food, nutrition and agricultural issues over the past year by coordinating a series of national webinars geared toward policymakers and other stakeholders.
Dr. Cash is collegial, supportive, and has also been known to offer a bit of levity. A testament to his commitment, his nominators noted that he consistently steps up for his faculty, staff, and student colleagues in times of need.
Please join us in congratulating Dr. Kennedy and Dr. Cash on their well-deserved awards!