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Master’s Student Earns Impressive Internship

University of South Carolina master’s student, Manju Tanwar, was among ten interns chosen for a prestigious internship with the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Tanwar is completing the six-month internship in Rockville, Maryland as part of her practicum and is expected to complete her studies at The University of South Carolina in 2009, finishing her master’s in Library and Information Sciences (M.L.I.S) this spring and her master’s in public health (M.P.H.) this summer.

As the health communications intern with the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences’ (DCCPS) Designing for Dissemination Office, Tanwar has a variety of tasks. Some of her work deals with disseminating completed research out into the hands of public health officials at state public health agencies or universities.

“Health communications was a natural area for me to go into and health literacy is a growing area,” said Tanwar.

Another project Tanwar is involved with is the web portal, Cancer Control P.L.A.N.E.T. (Plan, Link, Act, Network with Evidence-based Tools). Cancer Control P.L.A.N.E.T is a collaborative effort with agencies that include the NCI, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and The American Cancer Society (ACS).

“It goes over steps that you need for planning a public health intervention or program,” said Tanwar. 

For Cancer Control P.L.A.N.E.T., Tanwar updates an online tutorial, evaluates the usability of the program, and writes a monthly e-newsletter to those on the listserv for Cancer Control P.L.A.N.E.T.

Tanwar is also involved with coordinating patient feedback for the Journal of the National Cancer Institute supplement: “Coordinating Care across the Cancer Continuum: The Interface of Primary and Oncology Specialty Care.”

“This is a great learning experience for me,” said Tanwar.  “This gives me a much greater perspective on public health and I see all the different considerations and programs under the NCI.”

While at The University of South Carolina, Tanwar worked on several projects involving health literacy and communication including an assessment of disaster preparedness information and of adult learners’ comprehension and understanding of preparedness resources. Tanwar was actively involved as co-author on two manuscripts based on this research (Prehospital and Disaster Medicine journal, published in 2008: and Community Literacy Journal, which is in press.) In addition, Tanwar played a key role on a graduate student communication campaign to promote recycling and healthy environments during National Public Health Week in April 2008. In this task, Tanwar handled media promotions and educational events at a local library.

Dr. Daniela Friedman of the Department of Health, Promotion, Education and Behavior, served as Tanwar’s graduate research advisor on these communication projects.

“We are very proud of Manju,” said Dr. Friedman. “She is motivated and passionate about improving people’s health through the use of clear and culturally appropriate communication.           

For more information on the National Cancer Institute Health Communications Internship Program, please visit http://hcip.nci.nih.gov.

|RJ Kraft, graduate student, School of Journalism and Mass Communications
 
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