On April 12, 2019, Robert Leeman, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Health Education & Behavior, was named the inaugural Mary F. Lane Endowed Professor which will be housed in HHP in perpetuity.
At the Spring Awards, Dean Michael Reid explained that endowed professorships allow the college to recruit and retain high achieving faculty members.
Mrs. Mary Lane, who is a HHP alumnae, and her husband Chip Lane, who is also a UF alumnus, established the endowed professorship in Mary's name. The professorship honors an outstanding behavioral scientist who has a distinguished research program that addresses health behavior problems common among younger adults, adolescents or children and that contributes knowledge relevant to prevention and modification of health-related behavioral risk factors.
“Dr. Leeman's scholarly work on understanding and preventing substance misuse and risky sexual practices among young adults exemplifies these objectives, and he is richly deserving of being named the first Mary F. Lane Endowed Professor at the University of Florida,” said Dr. Jalie Tucker, chair of the Department of Health Education & Behavior.
The Mary F. Lane Endowed Professorship is the third endowed professorship in HHP and the first to be awarded in the past five years. Faculty endowments are one of the major campaign goals outlined in the University of Florida Go Greater Campaign.
Dr. Leeman has received numerous honors, including Health Education and Behavior Educator of the Year, the Health Education and Behavior Research Excellence Award, and most recently, the American Psychological Association (APA) Society of Addiction Psychology Presidential Citation for Distinguished Service. He spent a decade at the Yale School of Medicine as both a postdoctoral fellow and as a faculty member, served in fellowships sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and has four active research grants from the NIH. His current research investigates technology’s applications as an intervention against substance abuse.
Mrs. Lane has dedicated her entire professional career to the public educational school system. She served as an adjunct instructor for University of Central Florida and later became the chairperson for the Donor Relations Committee for the UF Foundation and is on the National Board of Directors.
She serves on our college’s leadership council, was inducted to the HHP Alumni Hall of Fame and has received the BK Stevens Award.
Endowed professorships are one of the highest honors the college can bestow on a member of its faculty. They play a critical role in attracting and retaining proven leaders who exhibit the highest standards of excellence. Income from the endowment provides salary, research support and resources for program development that enable the professor to pursue projects at the forefront of advancing the way we live, work, and play. Endowed professorships have become essential tools to express faculty members’ importance to the college and the university.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact Lesley Ann Thurston-Watt.
The University of Florida has undertaken the most ambitious fundraising campaign in its history to continue its rise as one of the nation’s leading public universities. The $3 billion initiative — tagged Go Greater —is among the largest active campaigns for a public university and almost double the $1.72 billion raised during UF’s previous campaign, which concluded in 2012.
Read more at uff.ufl.edu/gogreater.