UW School of Public Health E-news
August 2010  |  Return to issue home

Student News

Outstanding Student Awards
Abigail Shoben entered our biostatistics doctoral program with a background in chemistry and a degree in math, science, and technology education. Her dissertation studied the behavior of statistical information growth in longitudinal clinical trials. She starts her career as assistant professor of biostatistics at Ohio State in the fall.

DEOHS undergraduate and Mary Gates Scholar Alyssa Vivas has worked on a number of projects showing the impact of environmental factors on health, especially maternal and child health. Her work on air pollution and cardiovascular disease was presented at the 2010 Undergraduate Research Symposium. She plans to pursue an M.D./M.P.H. degree.

Alex Domesle has degrees in chemistry and international studies and has worked with the Council of the Baltic Sea States, the European Space Agency, and as a VISTA volunteer. His doctoral work in DEOHS is on dermal absorption of chemical agents at very low loads on skin, which has implications for consumer product regulation. Read about his research.

Epidemiology doctoral student Amanda Fretts grew up on a reservation near the Arctic Circle and has focused her research on lifestyle factors, such as nutrition and physical activity, and incident type II diabetes in Native Americans. Mandy published her master’s thesis in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Amanda Phipps, also a doctoral student in epidemiology, has a notable publication record. She has published 11 peer-reviewed papers, five as first author, and four first-author book chapters. Her research is expected to make a significant and important contribution to our understanding of the molecular aspects of breast cancer.

Global health doctoral student Lucia Vojtech is interested in viral infections and immunity. She worked in HIV research prior to entering graduate school, and her contributions to basic science are expected to enhance our understanding of immunity to infectious agents, the cornerstone in developing vaccines.

Maxx Rivas completed the undergraduate Health Informatics and Health Information Management Program in the Department of Health Services. His professionalism, enthusiasm, ability to work effectively in teams, and problem-solving skills all point to his potential for success in his chosen field.

Two undergraduates majoring in public health were honored by the Department of Health Services. Sheela Bowler, who majored in both public health and African studies, has worked in Uganda in an HIV clinic and filmed a documentary on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in that country. She plans to spend the next year in Africa before entering a global health program. Jennifer Vahora also did a dual major (in public health and medical anthropology/global health). She has worked on behalf of refugees and other underserved populations and was named one of two Presidentís Medalists for the Class of 2010 for her achievements.

Brook Martin, Ph.D. graduate in health services, is interested in musculoskeletal problems, especially back pain. His novel approach to quality of care monitoring using administrative claims data has revolutionized the field of orthopedic surgery and helped redefine quality of care standards. He has now begun his career at Dartmouth Medical School.

Rachel Hanisch
Rachel Hanisch

Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award
Rachel Hanisch, teaching assistant in the School’s Department of Epidemiology, provided the support students needed to get through a difficult course. She was responsive and accessible well beyond her normal office hours. She made an effort to find new ways to convey the concepts introduced in class, often by referring students to other textbooks or websites.

Anna Talman
Anna Talman
Youyi Fong
Youyi Fong

Gilbert S. Omenn Graduate Student Award
for Academic Excellence
A Peace Corps Masters International student, Anna Talman, who just received her M.P.H. in global health, did her field service in Ethiopia at an HIV care facility. Since returning to the U.S., she has continued to show her commitment to community service through her involvement in caring for people with HIV and AIDS. Read more about Anna and her work.

Youyi Fong began his doctoral studies in biostatistics having already earned a Ph.D. in molecular biology. He is equally adept at statistical theory and applied work and has accepted a position in the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Institute at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, where he will direct his talents toward vaccine development.

More Great Stuff
Jo-Ellen Callahan, Executive M.H.A. student and Group Health Cooperative (GHC) Central Campus Radiology Services Manager, is the GHC recipient of the Carla A. Bush Endowed Fund for Inspired Delivery System Leadership Award.

MHA student Paul Myoung was awarded one of nine national David A. Winston Health Policy Fellowships for 2010.


Public Health Major undergrads Abinnet Ainalem and Alvin Tran, DEOHS undergrad Wint Wai, and epidemiology graduate student Kristen Heitzinger received Multidisciplinary International Research Training Fellowships for 2010.

We reported in our last issue that two DEOHS students had won Presidential Management Fellowships. Here are three more winners and their assignments:

  • Erin Hurley, Community-Oriented Public Practice Program (COPHP), Policy Research Analysis Development Office
  • Suzanne Luther, Institute for Public Health Genetics, Social Security Office
  • Natalie Stahl, COPHP, Division of Adult and Community Health, CDC

Tegan Callahan and Coby Jansen of COPHP begin their CDC Public Health Prevention Services Fellowships with the Fellow class of 2010.

Kate Cross
Kate Cross

In May, Kate Cross (Executive M.H.A. Program) was awarded the Margaret Geering Award at the 2010 Washington Association Medical Staff Services Conference. This award is given annually to a WAMSS member who has contributed significantly to the profession.

Derek Wilson, concurrent M.H.A./M.B.A. student, recently received a $4000 scholarship through the Foster School of Business.

August 2010  |  Return to issue home

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