Matthew Lee Girvin Award

Matthew Girvin This award honors the memory of Matthew Girvin, '94 MPH IH, who died in January 2001 while serving on a United Nations surveying mission.

The award is presented to a recent graduate of the Rollins School of Public Health who exemplifies Girvin's selfless dedication to the field of public health and who has made significant contributions toward improving the lives and health of others.


Lt. Aneesah Akbar-Uqdah, MPH '08

Aneesah Akbar-Uqdah

The 2015-2016 Matthew Lee Girvin Award Recipient is Lt. Aneesah Akbar-Uqdah, MPH. Since graduating from the Rollins School of Public Health in 2008, Akbar-Uqdah, United States Marine Corps, has dedicated her career to supporting the prevention, detection, and response efforts of infectious diseases threatening societies around the globe. Whether volunteering as a hometown diplomat, supporting the professional development of Rollins students, or responding to global epidemics, Akbar-Uqdah leads with compassion and integrity.

As a public health analyst at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Global HIV and TB, Akbar-Uqdah is merging her backgrounds in anthropology, military training, and public health experience to serve civilian and military communities afflicted by HIV/AIDS and advance health security at the local and international levels. Prior to joining the CDC, she worked at Emory’s Interfaith Health Program as a senior research coordinator, which provided her with a foundation in health diplomacy and exposure to those who continue to fight the AIDS epidemic in Atlanta.

Highly active in the community, Akbar-Uqdah, routinely volunteers with Refugee Family Services, the Health Initiative, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. She supports the selection of Marine Corps Officer candidates at universities throughout Georgia as a physical training instructor. She currently serves as the president-elect of the Rollins School of Public Health Alumni Association Board, as well as the president of the newly created CDC Employee Association of Emory Alumni.

Akbar-Uqdah has been awarded the Bernard M. Rosoff Master’s Thesis Fellowship from the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, inducted into the Golden Key International Honor Society, and spotlighted in CDC Connects three times for her work engaging communities at home and abroad.

Her desire to enhance the lives of women and girls leads her aspirations to become an ambassador of Global Women’s Issues and to run as a candidate for president of the United States in 2044.

We are pleased to recognize Akbar-Uqdah with the Rollins School of Public Health’s Matthew Lee Girvin Award.


Criteria for Selection

  1. The individual shall be a recent graduate of Rollins and will have made an outstanding contribution to public health at a community, state, national, or international level.
  2. The contribution(s) should have been made subsequent to receiving a degree from Rollins.

Nomination Procedure

Please download, complete, and return the Award Nomination Form.

All nominations are confidential and will be considered for three years, unless otherwise indicated by the nominee. If needed, the committee will contact the nominee to update the application.


For more information, please contact:

Michelle James
Senior Director, Alumni & Constituent Relations
Rollins School of Public Health
1518 Clifton Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30322
Tel: (404) 727-4740
Fax: (404) 727-9853
Email: sphalumni@emory.edu