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DeKalb resident receives alumni award

Published: Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

William A. Oleckno of DeKalb is the recipient of a 2012 Willard W. Patty Distinguished Alumni Award from Indiana University School of Public Health.

This award, named after the school’s first dean, is presented annually to graduates of the school who have demonstrated outstanding personal and professional achievement. The honor was presented to Oleckno on Oct. 19 during an alumni recognition banquet held on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.

Oleckno is currently a distinguished teaching professor emeritus with the School of Nursing and Health Studies in the College of Health and Human Sciences at Northern Illinois University. He is a former coordinator of the undergraduate and graduate public health programs, which he originally developed and then directed for many years.

Oleckno received his Bachelor of Science degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, his Master of Public Health degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and his doctorate from Indiana University-Bloomington. His teaching, research and professional service have focused on issues in environmental health, epidemiology and disease prevention. He has published numerous scholarly papers in his field and has been a frequent presenter at national and international professional conferences. He also is the author of several books, including two popular textbooks in epidemiology, one of which has been translated into Japanese.

Oleckno, now retired, is a volunteer member of the Citizens’ Environmental Commission in DeKalb and continues to be active in his field as an educator and consultant. He has been honored previously for excellence in teaching, research and other professional achievements in public and environmental health by several local, state and national organizations, including an editorial award from the Journal of Environmental Health for contributions as a reviewer and author.

He resides in DeKalb with his wife.

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