Distinguished Alumni Awards

W. W. Patty Distinguished Alumni Award
Dr. William A. Oleckno - 2012

Dr. William A. Oleckno's career has been one of excellence as revealed by his many achievements, his unrivaled professionalism, and his unwavering dedication to the field of public and environmental health. He has generously shared his talents and time to the betterment of his field as an educator, professional, and mentor.

Since graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 1973 with a Master of Public Health degree in Environmental Health, William Oleckno has had a long and distinguished career as an academician and program administrator.

He took his first academic position as an instructor in the Public Health Academic Programs at the IU School of Medicine in Indianapolis. There he successfully built and managed the program while teaching and completing his doctoral degree with a focus on environmental health and safety in the School of Public Health (HPER) at IU-Bloomington. Shortly after completing his doctorate degree in 1980, Oleckno became associate professor and coordinator of the newly approved Community Health Program at Northern Illinois University (NIU) in DeKalb. Dr. Oleckno immediately made his mark at NIU by developing first-class academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels with new concentrations in Environment and Health, Health Promotion, and Health Administration. During his long career at NIU, Dr. Oleckno was recognized for his outstanding teaching abilities and dedication to students.

The recipient of several teaching and research awards, he also published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and two popular epidemiology textbooks. Both textbooks have received excellent reviews and have been adopted by faculty at many universities and colleges throughout the United States. Dr. William A. Oleckno has had a long and successful career in public and environmental health with a number of notable achievements. His teaching and research have helped shape the public health profession, and exemplifies the ideals set forth in the W. W. Patty Distinguished Alumni Award.