Health Education Professor Brian Geiger, Ed.D., has helped place a target on the back of obesity in Alabama and been a friend to individuals with disabilities since arriving at UAB in 1993.

Health Education Professor Brian Geiger is being honored for his community service work with the 2009 Odessa Woolfolk Community Service Award.
He has been a member of the State Obesity Task Force and was an organizer for the Alabama Governor’s Conference on Obesity 2006-2007. He also was a principal investigator for the Selma Nutrition, Exercise, and Wellness Study for Students (NEWS) that sought to reduce childhood obesity in Selma.

Geiger is being honored for his community service work with the 2009 Odessa Woolfolk Community Service Award, which will be presented during the Faculty Convocation ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday, March 23 in the Alys Stephens Center Sirote Theatre.

The award is named after Woolfolk, who was the special assistant to the president for community relations until her retirement in 1993.

“It’s pretty humbling to receive this award,” says Geiger, who attributed it to the “culmination of a lot of collaborations.”

Geiger said becoming involved with community service is a good way to learn about the different agencies and who the players are in the community.

Geiger teaches in the Department of Human Studies in the School of Education and is assistant director of the UAB Center for Educational Accountability. He is a senior scientist in the UAB Center for the Study of Community Health and a scientist in both the UAB Center for Aging and the UAB Clinical Nutrition Research Center.

Geiger is the lead principal investigator for a study to examine the health-care needs of persons with developmental disabilities in Alabama. Data from the study will be used to create new programs to train consumers, students and health-care professionals to work with the disabled.

Geiger has been a member of the Alabama Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Task Force and chairman and vice chair of the Alabama Coalition for School Health. He was a board member of the American Association for Health Education and will be inducted as a Fellow later this month. He also is a member of the Dental Advisory committee, a partnership between the School of Dentistry and United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Birmingham. Geiger is assisting project administrators with developing a statewide plan to provide dental care to individuals with disabilities.

Geiger has been an active community volunteer with a number of organizations. He has been a volunteer radio announcer with the Alabama Radio Reading Service at WBHM-FM and has volunteered with Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge and the Alabama Department of Public Health Volunteer Network. He is a vice president of the board of directors for the Horizons School in Birmingham and a volunteer clinical coordinator with the Alabama Special Olympics Healthy Athletes Program.

Geiger says community service is an excellent way to engage students in classroom learning and hopes other faculty will encourage their students to engage in their communities.

“I hope this award encourages other faculty to get involved in community service because it not only improves the lives of people in the community, but it also provides employment and classroom learning opportunities for students,” he says.