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Medical School's Joy Boissevain is Globally Respected

UVA Today is highlighting the winners of the 2011 Leonard W. Sandridge Outstanding Contribution Awards. Today: Joy Boissevain of U.Va.'s Center for Global Health. To see all of the stories, click here.

June 2, 2011 — As assistant director of the University of Virginia's Center for Global Health, Jane R. (Joy) Boissevain is globally respected for her abilities as a leader, a colleague and a friend with a passion for doing her best in everything she does, said those who successfully endorsed her for a 2011 Leonard W. Sandridge Outstanding Contributor Award.

"Her selfless service and remarkable commitment have vastly exceeded any possible expectations, and she has benefitted literally hundreds of us as faculty, fellows and students across the entire University and at our collaborating sites in Brazil, South Africa and Tanzania," wrote her nominator, Dr. Richard L. Guerrant, director of the center.

Boissevain prepares and tracks budgets, including those of partner organizations in Asia, Africa and Latin America; she proofreads, edits, writes and manages grant applications and papers; and "orchestrated" – as Guerrant described it – 12 National Institutes of Health, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and endowment research grants worth more than $5 million per year. She also organizes meetings across disciplines, institutions and continents.

Boissevain coordinated the Framework Program in Global Health, bringing together faculty from multiple departments and schools to develop projects and courses related to global health. Since 2008, she has played a central role in strengthening the collaboration between U.Va. and the University of Venda in South Africa, traveling on several occasions to South Africa as part of the faculty team for community site selection and fieldwork.

She has worked on numerous other initiatives as well, including the Malnutrition and Enteric Diseases network, which is conducting a five-year cohort study funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and  the National Institutes of Health. She also has represented the Center for Global Health at national and international meetings and workshops.

In addition to all of that, last year she earned a master's degree in public health.

"The skill with which she represents all of us has been remarked upon by global health leaders from around the world," noted nomination supporter Dr. Rebecca Dillingham, associate director of the center. "Not only does she perform her duties in an exemplary fashion, but Joy also continuously strives to help others to be their best. She does this with a kindness and generosity of spirit that is unparalleled."

— By Fariss Samarrai

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