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Arnold School of Public Health

2020 Student Award Winners

The Arnold School is proud to announce the recipients of the 2020 Student Awards. With nominations from across all six departments, the school-level awards recognize the top master's student and top doctoral student. Each department honors students with awards based on the programs they offer. Congratulations to all of the award winners and nominees! Learn about the journeys of a few of these winners and other May graduates with these stories.  

Arnold School Awards


Jeffrey Keith Mattison Outstanding Student Achievement Award: Kacey Ohlemeyer

Photo of Kacey Ohlemeyer

Originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, Kacey Ohlemeyer became interested in public health because he liked the idea of protecting and improving the health of individuals and their communities. He chose athletic training because it provided an opportunity to work in a healthcare profession that promotes physical activity and encompasses all three levels of prevention: primary, secondary, tertiary.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training from Indiana State University in 2018, Ohlemeyer moved right into the Master of Science in Advanced Athletic Training in the Arnold School’s Department of Exercise Science. During his program, Ohlemeyer has developed interests in nutrition, manual therapy, professionalism and outcome measures. 

A May graduate, Ohlemeyer will enroll in the Athletic Training Residency Program (Orthopedics and Diagnostics Clinical Focus Area) at Boston University. 

This award is presented each year to the master's level graduating student who best exemplifies the special characteristics of Jeffrey Keith Mattison, an epidemiology and biostatistics student who passed away early on during his program. To remember his life, initiative and motivation for work in public health, the Student Public Health Association (now the Dean’s Student Advisory Council) created the Jeffrey Keith Mattison Outstanding Student Achievement Award.  

Doctoral Student Achievement Award: Elizabeth Regan

Photo of Elizabeth ReganElizabeth Regan joined the Arnold School’s Ph.D. in Exercise Science program to bridge the science and practice of her work as a physical therapist. With research interests in integrating stroke survivors into cardiac rehabilitation, Regan's goal is to focus on the translation of physical activity research in healthcare and community settings for stroke survivors.

A trainee of UofSC’s Behavioral-Biomedical Interface Program (a National Institute T-32 pre-doctoral research training grant), Regan is also a Presidential Fellow and an American Heart Association Pre-Doctoral Fellow. She has already received several grants, including a Component Grant for Physical Activity, Exercise and Health Promotion (American Physical Therapy Association), Health Policy and Administration Research Grant (American Physical Therapy Association), and a UofSC SPARC grant. The May graduate will join the Department of Exercise Science's Doctor of Physical Therapy program as a clinical assistant professor. 

This award is presented to an outstanding doctoral candidate graduating from the Arnold School. Students are nominated by Arnold School faculty, and selection is based on academic performance and achievements as well as their potential for professional contribution.

Departmental Awards


Outstanding MSP Student of the Year Award: Erin Van Meter
Outstanding MCD Student of the Year Award: Natalie Hirons

Doctoral Student Excellence Award: Amjed Alabresm
Master's Student Excellence Award: Mirza Isanovic

Outstanding Epidemiology Master's Student Award: Brianna Tennie
Outstanding Biostatistics Doctoral Student Award: Yuan Hong
Outstanding Biostatistics Master's Student Award: Xingpei Zhao 

Outstanding Doctoral Student Achievement Award: Rebecca Hirschorn 
Outstanding MPH Student Achievement Award: Katherine DeVivo
Outstanding MS Student Achievement Award: Katie Kramps
Outstanding Advanced Athletic Training Master's Student Achievement Award: Alanie Welch Rhodes 

Christopher Peter Aluah Outstanding Doctoral Student Award:  Yoojin Cho
Master's Student of the Year Award: Emily Loud

Michael D. Jarrett Award: Masroora Tabassum 
Susie B. Yates Award: Brandon Martin
Foster G. McGaw Award: Adam Moore
Foster G. McGaw Award: Emily Dunn
Foster G. McGaw Award: Victoria Hickman


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