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 Friday, Oct. 19, to Oleckno during a special alumni recognition banquet held on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.
Oleckno is currently Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus with the NIU School of Nursing and Health Studies in the College of Health and Human Sciences. He is a former coordinator of the undergraduate and graduate Public Health programs, which he originally developed and then directed for many years.
In selecting Oleckno for the award, it was stated that his “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.”
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.
Now retired, Oleckno is a volunteer member of the Citizen 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 “outstanding contributions as a reviewer and author.”
Oleckno lives in DeKalb with his wife.