On May 13, 2018, SafeTREC founder and co-director David R. Ragland was honored with the Zak Sabry Mentorship Award at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health Commencement ceremony.
Mentoring the Next Generation of Transportation Safety Leaders
The prestigious Zak Sabry Mentorship Award was established in 2004 to recognize faculty with distinguished records of mentorship. The award is notable in that nominations are made by alumni of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health.
Professor Ragland was nominated by former students, graduate student researchers, and mentees at the Traffic Safety Center (TSC, now Safe Transportation Research and Education Center, SafeTREC). Each attested to the vital role his mentorship, support and guidance played in their academic, career, and personal development.
“Dr. Ragland is an exemplar faculty mentor who has demonstrated the outstanding skills that the Zak Sabry Mentorship Award recognizes. He is selfless and humble and his brilliant understanding of high quality research is evident in his mentoring,” said Abbey Alkon, RN, MPH, PhD 1995, and current Professor at the UCSF School of Nursing. Alkon first worked with Ragland as a trainee in the Behavioral Risk Factors and Cardiovascular Disease Pre-doctoral Epidemiology Traineeship, where she came to know Dr. Ragland as someone who “wants to see every student not only succeed but thrive.”
Jenna Hua, RD, MPH, PhD 2016, current Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford Prevention Research Center and former graduate student researcher at TSC shared, “David has always listened, fostered and valued my ideas in research, and made time to offer careful, insightful feedback on these ideas.” Hua also noted that “when I encountered difficulties, David urged me to take a step back and never hesitate to do the best science I could as integrity is one of the most important principles in what we do.”
Dr. Ragland has demonstrated a longstanding and steadfast dedication to his role as teacher, guide and coach. Kara MacLeod, DrPh 2014, and current Project Manager at the UCLA Center for Health Advancement, has known him as supervisor, mentor and dissertation committee member and readily noted that, “For the past 40 years at the School of Public Health, David Ragland has quietly trained and supported numerous students. They have gone on to work in academia, consulting, and government agencies, in part, because of the opportunities and training he provided…they move on to other places but do not forget what he provided. I am one of these students.”
Ragland’s tireless work as an epidemiologist and champion of the public’s health and transportation safety also earned him recognition by the School of Public Health as one of the 75 most influential alumni of the past 75 years. Read his story on the School of Public Health 75th Anniversary website to learn more.
Dr. Ragland is founding director of the Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC) and Adjunct Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. SafeTREC's mission is to contribute to the effort to reduce traffic crashes through teaching, outreach, technical assistance, and research. He has been the PI on numerous projects funded at SafeTREC (more than $30M since 2000) and is also actively involved in the traffic safety efforts with a number of transportation-related agencies, including the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). He has authored or co-authored over 100 publications on health and safety, focusing most recently on safety in multimodal transportation environments. Links to Dr. Ragland’s publications and reports can be found on the SafeTREC website, as well as on ResearchGate, GoogleScholar, and eScholarship. He currently teaches courses on Injury Prevention and Control (School of Public Health), and Traffic Safety and Injury Control (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering).