Executive Masters in Public Health Scholarship Named for Distinguished YSPH Alumnus

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The Yale School of Public Health Executive Masters in Public Health (MPH) Scholarship is named in honor of Irene Trowell-Harris, a school alumnus renowned for her groundbreaking accomplishments and generous support to the education.

The $ 10,000 scholarship is available to anyone who enrolls in the new online Executive MPH program, regardless of financial need. The program is designed for professionals wishing to acquire a solid education in public health and practical training in leadership and management. The inaugural class begins July 2.

“The school is honored to name the scholarship after Dr. Trowell-Harris, one of our most distinguished alumni,” said Martin Klein, Ph.D., MPH ’86, Executive Program Director MPH . “His professional accomplishments have contributed to the health and well-being of millions of people, and his personal story of perseverance and commitment is an inspiration to our students, current and future.

Trowell-Harris, RN, MPH ’73, Ed.D, FAAN, was the first African-American woman in US Air National Guard history to be promoted to Brigadier General and, in 1998, two-star Major General . She was also the first nurse and the first woman to command an Air National Guard medical clinic when she was appointed commander of the 105th US Air Force clinic in Newburgh, NY, a position previously held by medics. .

During his 38 years of service in the US Air Force and Air National Guard, Trowell-Harris has received numerous accolades, including the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal; Legion of Merit Award; Meritorious Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal with Service Star and Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.

A long-time leader in veteran health care, Trowell-Harris has led two presidents as director of the Veterans Affairs Center for Women Veterans, which oversees the welfare of more than 1, 9 million women who served in the armed forces.

Trowell-Harris’s journey as a pioneering African American woman in the armed services is described in her most recent book Bridges: A Life Building and Crossing Them.

She was one of 11 children who grew up on a South Carolina cotton farm that belonged to her grandfather, Jim Trowell, a former slave. Trowell-Harris was the first member of her family to attend college, using $ 61.25 in coins collected by her local church congregation to pay for her initial tuition when she was admitted to a separate nursing school.

She then became a flight nurse in the New York Air National Guard and served as a medical team director during the Vietnam War. Trowell-Harris decided to pursue a master’s degree in public health administration at Yale in 1971 and continued her education at Columbia University where she obtained a doctorate in health education.

Recognizing how the kindness of others has helped to further her own education, Trowell-Harris paid for her by creating several funds to support the education and training of future nurses.

Trowell-Harris said his commitment to supporting others is guided by a famous quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – “The most persistent and pressing question in life is, ‘What are you doing for others? “”

Trowell-Harris said, “My career has been defined by leadership, collaboration and mentorship, coupled with reward and reward for current and future generations. Investing in education provides students with lifelong benefits.

Trowell-Harris has a long history of supporting the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) and the YSPH Alumni Fund. In 2016, she established the Irene Trowell-Harris Scholarship Fund at YSPH, which supports students enrolled in the school’s joint degree program with the Yale School of Nursing. As a Classroom Officer for the Yale School of Public Health, Trowell-Harris inspires others to give so that more students can benefit from a YSPH education, regardless of their ability to pay.

She is a founding member of the Military Women’s Memorial and the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC. She received a scholarship from the American Academy of Nursing in 2018.

About the MPH Online Executive Program

Designed for working healthcare professionals, the online Executive MPH provides a broad foundation in public health, specialist education in areas critical to health promotion and disease prevention, and integration experience in public health. ‘a year that allows students to apply what they have learned to a global public health problem.

Top professors from the Yale School of Public Health, Yale School of Medicine, and outside Yale serve as instructors for the program.

Most courses are completed remotely three semesters per year – summer, fall and spring – over two years. The course also includes three intensive five-day in-person sessions on the Yale campus.

The program offers four tracks:

  • Health informatics
  • Environmental health sciences
  • Applied analytical methods and epidemiology
  • Critical topics in public health

Program participants also have full access to the Yale School of Public Health Career Management Center, which offers personalized and expert advice and assistance to those looking for new employment. Graduates become alumni of the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH), joining an academic community of more than 6,400 alumni in 50 states and 71 countries around the world.

Each online course consists of one hour of pre-recorded lessons and one hour of real-time classroom discussion in the evening. The program consists of 16 credits and is structured around four themes: management and leadership, basic knowledge in public health, specialization and integration.

Within these themes, students can acquire essential skills such as:

  • Evidence-Based Decision Making
  • Application and interpretation of biostatistics
  • Foundations of Behavioral Theory
  • Public health ethics
  • Health informatics
  • Toxicology
  • Public health modeling
  • Leading transformational change



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