Larissa Brunner Huber, an associate professor of epidemiology in the Department of Public Health Sciences, is the 2013 recipient of the Harshini V. de Silva Graduate Mentor Award. She was presented the honor at a reception Feb. 20.
During the award ceremony, Provost Joan Lorden noted Huber has mastered the art of mentoring students. “She is recognized by her colleagues for her approach to the student-mentor relationship, and she is lauded by her students—both present and former—for offering an unparalleled level of support and guidance.”
Lorden also shared some stories from Huber’s past and present students.
“One former student recounts the ways in which Dr. Huber mentored and accommodated her as she worked through her thesis,” she said. “The level of support Dr. Huber provided was extraordinary for a number of reasons, including that she maintained and fulfilled her role as thesis chair to eight students while dealing with a very serious medical issue.”
The student wrote in her nomination letter: “Throughout this entire process Dr. Huber exhibited unparalleled generosity, patience and understanding. Since Dr. Huber was not maintaining office hours or teaching for the spring semester, students were welcomed into her home. Selflessly, she spent Thanksgiving Day helping me make final edits in preparation for my upcoming proposal and responded to panicked messages I’d send regarding statistical analysis syntax errors while at the doctor’s office.”
In his nomination letter, Gary Silverman, chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences in the College of Health and Human Services, said “Amongst her peers—those especially known for mentoring graduate students to succeed as scholars—Dr. Huber clearly is known as the best of the best.”
In the words of one graduate, “Dr. Huber honestly cares about each and every one of her current and former students and goes above and beyond just teaching course material or serving as an advisor.”
During her academic and professional career, Huber has chaired or served on 44 thesis and dissertation committees. She has published extensively, including jointly authoring 13 publications with students, and she has worked with more than 60 students on a variety of research projects. Huber also has secured or provided expertise on grants totaling more than $400,000, including funding from the National Institutes of Health.
Huber earned her bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University, master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a doctoral degree in epidemiology from Emory University. Huber joined UNC Charlotte in 2005. She serves as a reviewer of numerous publications, including Maternal and Child Health Journal and Annals of Epidemiology, and she provides expertise to professional organizations, such as the American College of Epidemiology, the Society for Epidemiologic Research and the Society for Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiologic Research.
Photo: 2013 de Silva Award recipient Huber (center) with Chancellor Philip L. Dubois and Tom Reynolds, dean of the Graduate School