Professional News

Cohen Named 2016 Mayhew Derryberry Award Recipient

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 29, 2016) — University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information Department of Communication Chair Elisia Cohen was honored as the 2016 Mayhew Derryberry Award recipient at the Public Health Education and Health Promotion Awards luncheon in Denver, Colorado, earlier this month.  

The award, named after dedicated public health service officer Mayhew Derryberry, was designed to recognize exceptional reach and impact of research conducted by faculty in the field of health promotion, health education and health communication. Cohen’s 13 years of health communication research, specifically focusing on cancer prevention and control, made her an excellent candidate for the award.

“I was really honored to receive the award,” Cohen said. “There are certainly people in the field of health communication and health promotion who receive recognition for the volume of their scholarship, and while there might be other people who produce more scholarly articles or reports, I like to think that my research has a large impact and that my work in communication specifically can extend the reach and effectiveness of health promotion and health communication activities. I think this award was really recognition of that.”

Unbeknownst to her, Cohen was nominated for the Mayhew Derryberry Award by a group of her friends, colleagues and former students. The award was presented to Cohen at the luncheon in Colorado by her former student, Katie Head, who has gone on since her time as Cohen’s student to become an assistant professor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Cohen insists that were it not for the group efforts of the teams she worked with to further her cancer prevention studies, her research would not stand as successful as it does today. Beyond her collaborations with colleagues in the Department of Communication, she is a member of the Markey Cancer Center and has enjoyed collaborations with Robin Vanderpool and Richard Crosby of the College of Public Health, Jenna Hatcher in the College of Nursing, and Mark Dignan in the College of Medicine. 

“Without those collaborations, really there would be no recognition," she said. "I’ve had the good fortune to work with excellent researchers in health and medicine who are interested in moving the needle on their impact from a communication perspective."

Cohen is also a recipient of the 2014 Sarah Bennett Holmes Award, sponsored by the UK Women's Forum and the 2009 and 2012 College of Communication and Information Excellence in Research Award.