In announcing this year's recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Award for service to the University, President Bill Chace described John Boring, chair of the Epidemiology Department of the School of Public Health, as one who "helped to midwife the School of Public Health." A faculty member who teaches in both the medical school and the School of Public Health, Boring has been named teacher of the year five times by medical students, Chace said, "for teaching them, of all things, statistical analysis."
The announcement was met with applause and cheering from the area of the quadrangle populated by medical and public health graduates. But Boring's impact on the campus has gone beyond those areas. Chace commented on Boring's contributions to the University, particularly his authorship of "The Boring Report," a University-wide report on the tenure process and its implications. That report, according to Public Health Dean James Curran, "was produced in a timely manner, clearly articulated the issues and proposed several options."
While commenting on "the fire in his eyes when he talks about his teaching activities," Professor of Epidemiology David Kleinbaum called Boring "the consummate teacher and the ultimate team player for Emory," and said that Boring "has made a great impact on Emory's growth and quality by having chaired or served on so many important University and School of Public Health committees dealing with policy, faculty appointments, student admissions, curriculum improvements and development."
Boring has been at Emory for more than 25 years, coming from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Associate Dean Dick Levinson said that Boring "was among the small group that conceived and designed the Master of Community Health program, the entity that has evolved into the School of Public Health." Boring was, Levinson said, "a founder of the school and creator of our academic program in epidemiology."
-- Nancy M. Spitler