John B. Waller Jr., Dr.PH., and Menthele (Mikki) Waller Endowed Scholarship awarded to M.P.H. students

April 21, 2017

The John B. Waller Jr., Dr.P.H., and Menthele (Mikki) Waller Endowed Scholarship for M.P.H. Students was recently awarded to Lisa Lukose and Henri Avril, Master of Public Health students in the Wayne State University Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences.

Avril and Lukose were chosen on the basis of their scholastic achievement and public health engagement, and were recognized during a Dec. 16, 2016, celebration. Each received a scholarship award of $1,500 for M.P.H. course credit.

“As educators and mentors, the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences is honored to serve our greater Detroit communities, and to promote public health scholarship,” said Tsveti Markova, M.D., F.A.A.F.P., professor and chair of the department. “We are proud of Lisa and Henri, and look forward to their futures in public health.”

Mrs. Mikki Waller was the honored guest. “Many of our public health friends knew our Dr. John B. Waller, Jr. as ‘Dr. J.’ They respected him not only as a researcher in population-based epidemiology, but as a public health leader and practitioner who served as Public Health director for the city of Detroit,” she said. “His heart was in community health, which makes the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences a great home for the Waller Endowed Scholarship. We look forward to generations of students who share Dr. J’s vision and compassion for public health.”

Dr. Waller served as chair of the Department of Community Medicine and had tremendous influence in shaping public health policy and the establishment of community health systems in Detroit. He was recognized nationally for his leadership. In a 2006 Michigan Journal of Public Health tribute to Dr. Waller, David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., 16th United States surgeon general, an esteemed colleague of Dr. Waller, wrote, “Dr. Waller will always be appreciated for his ability and commitment to put a community face on public health. Hopefully, public health will always reflect this ‘community face.’”

WSU School of Medicine celebration speakers included Dr. Markova; Kimberly Campbell-Voytal, Ph.D., M.S.N., R.N., director of the M.P.H. program; and Herbert Smitherman, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P., vice dean of Diversity and Community Affairs. Anita Moncrease, M.D., M.P.H., presented “WSUSOM Public and Community Health Historical Highlights.”

Dr. Waller established the Master of Public Health program in the WSU School of Medicine. Before 2016, the first year of the Waller Endowed Scholarship, the Waller family and the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences provided an annual John B. Waller Student Achievement Award.

As the M.P.H. program continues to grow, Dr. Markova noted, “We appreciate the generosity of the Waller family and their contribution to the advancement of the values of Detroit urban health.”
To learn more about how you can help to advance Dr. Waller’s legacy and support M.P.H. students in conducting leading-edge public health research and practice in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, contact Patty Paquin at or 313-577-0026.