Alumni Highlights

Captain Diana BensylCaptain Diana Bensyl, MA, PhD, FACE, CAPT, USPHS
Lead, Global Emergency Alert and Response Service
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) is pleased to highlight alumna Captain Diana Bensyl, MA, PhD, FACE. Captain Bensyl received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and a Master of Arts in sociology from Baylor University. She subsequently earned her doctoral degree in 1999 at UTMB in Preventive Medicine and Community Health with a specialization in sociomedical sciences.

Following her graduation from UTMB, Captain Bensyl joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer with the Epidemiology Program Office in the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Alaska Field Station in Anchorage, Alaska. She later served as the Acting Chief of the EIS Field Assignments Branch, the Acting Chief of the Epidemiology Workforce Branch, and the Training and Professional Development and Lead Advisor in Atlanta, Georgia, among other roles. Captain Bensyl currently serves as the Global Emergency Alert and Response Service (GEARS) Lead in the Emergency Response and Recovery Branch of the Division of Global Health Protection at the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia. GEARS is a functional unit that combines response-purposed detection, alert, and response support activities in providing emergency support for all of the CDC. In her role, she directs the development and implementation of training for emergency and humanitarian responses of CDC staff, in coordination with academic, government, and non-government partners, both domestically and internationally.

In addition to her work with the CDC, Captain Bensyl has taught a variety of courses and workshops nationally and internationally on the topics of emergency public health epidemiology, outbreak investigation, and questionnaire design. She has produced more than 40 articles and has presented at numerous conference proceedings. Her work has been recognized by such awards as the Outstanding Service Medal for Program and Organizational Leadership, the Presidential Unit Citation for Ebola Response, and the Commendation Medal for Leadership in Epidemiology, among many others. Congratulations to Captain Bensyl as the GSBS 50th Anniversary March alumna!

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