UNMC to honor two Nebraskans at May 7 commencement ceremony

Sina Bavari, Ph.D.

Sina Bavari, Ph.D.

Two individuals – one among Nebraska’s most dedicated public health advocates, the other an alumnus who has gone on to a distinguished career at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) – will be honored for extraordinary service at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Omaha commencement ceremony at 9 a.m. May 7 at Baxter Arena.

Margaret Brink, of York, Neb., a longtime public school teacher turned national leader in the field of local public heath, will receive the J.G. Elliott Award for her decades of service to her fellow Nebraskans.

Dr. Sina Bavari, who earned his Ph.D. degree at UNMC, will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Science degree for his high distinction in the advancement of science and service to the United States.

Brink was an integral leader in the reorganization of public health infrastructure in York County and helped found the Four Corners Health Department, which serves Butler, Polk, Seward and York counties. She has been president of the Four Corners Board of Health since 2007. She recently stepped down as president of the National Association of Boards of Health.

Brink is known throughout the state as a tireless advocate for public health. She taught at York High School for decades and has served on the York City Council for more than 20 years. She is a graduate of Hastings College and has a master’s degree from Fort Hays (Kan.) State University.

Dr. Bavari serves as chief of molecular and translational sciences at USAMRIID in Frederick, Md.

An extremely productive scientist in his own right, Dr. Bavari is perhaps best known as a leader that brings together teams that get things done. He helped lead the USAMRIID effort to collaborate with other government agencies and private companies in the fight against Ebola.

A graduate of Odell High School in Gage County, Neb., Dr. Bavari earned a B.S. in pharmacy from Creighton University.

The J.G. Elliott Award is given in memory of Jack Elliott, a former Scottsbluff resident, who served on the University of Nebraska Board of Regents for 20 years until his death in 1974.

Honorary degrees are awarded by the University of Nebraska to recognize those who have attained achievements of extraordinary and lasting distinction.

We are Nebraska Medicine and UNMC. Our mission is to lead the world in transforming lives to create a healthy future for all individuals and communities through premier educational programs, innovative research and extraordinary patient care.

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