Award named for Hartsville native

on Monday, 11 October 2021. Posted in Local News


The Society for Epidemiologic Research at the University of Michigan recently announced the creation of the “Sherman A. James Diverse and Inclusive Epidemiology Award.”

James is a native of Hartsville and 1960 graduate of Butler High School. He is currently the Susan B. King Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Public Policy at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. James worked at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill from 1973 to 1989 and at the University of Michigan from 1989 to 2003.

At Michigan Public Health, he was the John P. Kirscht Collegiate Professor of Public Health, a professor of epidemiology, the founding director of the Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture and Health, chair of the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, and a senior research scientist in the Survey Research Center at the Institute for Social Research.

James’ research focuses on the social determinants of racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in health and health care in the United States. He is the originator of the John Henryism Hypothesis, which posits that repeated high-effort coping with chronic social and economic adversity rooted in structural racism is an important factor in the early onset of hypertension and related cardiovascular diseases in African Americans.

The award named in his honor will recognize an individual who has demonstrated research, teaching or service that expands the scope of the field to under-represented or disadvantaged populations or researchers, and with an impact that has facilitated greater diversity and inclusiveness. Core criteria for selection include interdisciplinary contributions or leadership to diversity and inclusion related efforts. This could include research, policy, community engagement, public health practice, program development, teaching and/or mentorship.

The inaugural recipient will receive the award at the 2022 Society for Epidemiologic Research Meeting to be held in Chicago. Nominations will be accepted through Jan. 14, 2022.