Tribute from Til Sturmer, Chair, Department of Epidemiology, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Sent: Wednesday, August 5, 2020 5:02 PM
To: Epidemiology faculty, staff, students
Subject: Steve Meshnick

Our long-term colleague, mentor, and friend, Steve Meshnick, died today at his home in Carrboro, surrounded by his family.

While this is a great loss for the Department of Epidemiology, the Gillings School of Global Public Health, the School of Medicine, Infectious Disease Epidemiology and our Global efforts to reduce the spread and improve the treatment of malaria, I am happy to have had the opportunity to talk with Steve after he got diagnosed with cancer last year, to hear him sing his songs at a very special event in Carrboro, and to have attended the really special virtual celebration of Steve as a researcher and mentor on May 15, 2020.

According to David Savitz, chair when Steve joined our department in 2001, "Steve is not a generic parasitologist, though he is a world class researcher in that field. From the beginning, he was flexible and creative in not just contributing to but in shaping the academic program at UNC, one of those colleagues you want to find a way to connect with on a personal and intellectual level."

Later, Steve took on important leadership roles within the department under Andy Olshan who remarked, more than once, how critical Steve has been to the success of the department as leader of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology program area, one of the department’s strongest program areas; as associate chair, providing important input and new initiatives; and as Director of Graduate Studies.

Let me add to this that apart from obviously being a stellar academic leader and a good citizen, Steve was above all a Mensch, and I always enjoyed interacting with him and appreciated his generosity, including taking on a new leadership position as Director of the Master of Science in Clinical Research program.

We will all miss Steve and our thoughts are with his family!