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Doctoral student wins a Carolina Breakthrough award

Posted April 2, 2017
By Desirae Gostlin


Jo-Yun “Queenie” Li is a recipient of the coveted 2017 Carolina Breakthrough Graduate Scholar Award. Li is one of 13 USC Ph.D. students chosen from various fields of study ranging from political science to chemical engineering to receive this award.

The annual Breakthrough Graduate Scholar Awards are awards of recognition from the Office of the Vice President for Research given to exceptional graduate students who demonstrate excellence in the classroom, and make considerable contributions to research and scholarly activities in their field.

A doctoral candidate in mass communication, Li is using research skills gained here at Carolina to enhance the field of public health.

“My professional mission is to use my expertise in mass communication and public health to enhance individuals’ health awareness, improve their health behaviors, advocate for public health policy, and reduce the health disparity across ethnic/racial groups, especially among new immigrants in the United States,” writes Li in her application for the award. 

Li's research has won other awards, including top honors from USC's 2016 Graduate Student Day for her oral research presentation. “When Colleges Fail Us All: Campus Sexual Assault: Formative Survey Research on College Student Perceptions, Attribution of Responsibility, and Preventive Behaviors" looks at measures schools can take to help curb sexual assault on campus.

In addition, Li  was accepted into the Junior Scholar program in the South Carolina SmartState Center for Healthcare Quality (CHQ).

This one-year appointment provides a supplementary stipend and funds to defray travel expenses to participate in a scientific conference or to publish research findings. 

Dr. Sei-Hill Kim, associate director for graduate studies and research, nominated Li for the Breakthrough Award.

“Jo-Yun Li has a very solid grounding in research design and statistical analysis. She is an excellent collaborator and will make a good communication scholar. Her scholarly vision and discipline have already borne fruit,” says Kim. 


Desirae Gostlin

Desirae Gostlin

Desirae Gostlin is a first-year Master of Mass Communication student. Her reporting has been featured in The Waterfront and Lexington Life Magazine among others.