Wheeler awarded UNC’s Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement

University of North Carolina recognizes Stephanie Wheeler, PhD, for her research using mathematical modeling and systems thinking to address complex health services and policy questions.

Wheeler awarded UNC’s Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement click to enlarge Stephanie Wheeler, PhD, was awarded UNC's Hettleman Prize for her research using mathematical modeling and systems thinking to address complex health services and policy questions.

Stephanie Wheeler, PhD, a member of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Cancer Prevention and Control and Cancer Outcomes Research programs and an associate professor of health policy and management at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public, has been awarded UNC’s Philip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement by Young Faculty.

Wheeler’s research is focused on the use of mathematical modeling and systems thinking to address complex health services and policy questions. She examines links between “big data” and analytics, and studies cancer care quality and outcomes, health disparities, social epidemiology, medical decision making and reproductive health.

“Stephanie is a perfect choice for this prestigious award. She is doing some ground-breaking work in identifying innovative and cost-effective ways to improve cancer screening rates and to reduce the burden of cancer among lower income and racially diverse populations,” said Kurt Ribisl, PhD, co-program leader for Cancer Prevention and Control and chair of UNC Gillings’s Department of Health Behavior.

Wheeler is the latest Lineberger member to be honored with the Hettleman Prize. Other winners since 2010 are James Bear, PhD, (2010); Yufeng Liu, PhD, (2010); Karen Mohlke, PhD (2011); and Yang Claire Yang, PhD (2012).

“I feel incredibly honored and humbled to be among those selected for the Hettleman Prize,” Wheeler said. “It is a testament, not to my own successes, but rather to the unparalleled mentorship and outstanding intellectual and material support I’ve received at Carolina over the years, both as a student and as a faculty member. There is truly no better place to grow an academic career in public health.”

Other 2017 Hettleman Prize winners are Mara Buchbinder, PhD, associate professor of social medicine, and Spencer Smith, PhD, associate professor of cell biology and physiology, both in the UNC School of Medicine; and James Cahoon, PhD, associate professor of chemistry in the UNC College of Arts and Sciences.

The award, which includes a $5,000 stipend, was established in 1986 by the late Phillip Hettleman, a New York investment banker and member of the UNC class of 1921, to recognize the achievements of outstanding junior tenure-track faculty or recently tenured faculty. A stipulation of the award is that the recipients will deliver a lecture during the academic year.

As a student at Carolina, Hettleman was business manager of The Daily Tar Heel when Thomas Wolfe was editor. In 1946, Hettleman bought a portrait of the then-famous author, and for years it hung in his office in New York City. One of his earliest gifts to the University, the portrait hangs in the Wolfe Room of Wilson Library’s North Carolina Collection.