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Arnold School of Public Health

Ten Arnold School graduate students earn 2017-2018 SPARC Graduate Research Grants

January 26, 2018 | Erin Bluvas, 

Ten of the 54 2017-2018 Support to Promote Advancement of Research and Creativity (SPARC) Graduate Research Grants from the USC Office of the Vice President for Research have been awarded to Arnold School graduate students. The students, who represent the departments of health promotion, education, and behavior, health services policy and management, environmental health sciencesepidemiology and biostatistics, and exercise science will have a little over a year to complete SPARC-funded projects (up to $5,000 each) that support the completion or promotion of their research, creative or other meritorious scholarship.

Previous SPARC awards have been used by Arnold School students to fund projects, such as diet quality and mental health during pregnancy, flavored tobacco products, eye-hand coupling, and inflammatory diet and pacreatic cancer. 

Upon completion, the students will present their findings at Graduate Student Day and are encouraged to develop articles and papers based on their projects for publication in scholarly journals. Before the actual projects even begin, however, the students have already learned about the competitive research proposal process that will continue throughout many of their careers.

The Office of the Vice President for Research designs SPARC application materials to simulate the experience of applying for nationally competitive grants, helping applicants develop their skills in these areas. Students must supply the standard components of a comprehensive grant proposal package, such as a detailed research narrative, budget and other supporting documentation.

Congratulations to the following Arnold School graduate students who have earned 2017-2018 SPARC awards.



Project Title

Marian Botchway Health Promotion, 
Education, & Behavior
Social Networks and Type 2 Diabetes in Ghana
Brittany Counts Exercise Science The Effect of Cancer-Induced Cachexia on Skeletal Muscle Anabolic Flux
Melanie Gwynn Health Services Policy and Management Continuity of Care: Evaluation of Multi-Facility and Single-Facility Retention in HIV Care and Patient Health Outcomes
Md Akhtar Hossain Biostatistics A Dynamic Joint Model to Predict Co-morbidity Risks for Chronic Disease Patients
Chelsea Larsen Exercise Science Reducing Sedentary Behavior to Improve Blood Pressure
Nazratun Monalisa Health Promotion, 
Education, & Behavior
Influences on Parent’s Food Shopping for Children’s Consumption in South Carolina
Cassie Odahowski Epidemiology Identifying Disparities in the Access to Advanced Surgical Techniques for the Treatment of Lung Cancer in the United States
Sahar Pourhoseini Environmental Health Sciences A Comparative Uptake and Toxicity Study of Silver Nanoparticles (AgNPs) on Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells
Sarah Tryon Exercise Science Modulation of Glutamatergic Neurotransmission to the Basolateral Amygdala by Muscarinic Acetylcholine Receptors
Brandon Vanderveen Exercise Science Calcium’s Role in the Disruption of Skeletal Muscle Function and Protein Degradation During Cancer Cachexia


2016-2017 SPARC Awards

Health services policy and management professor and rural health expert Janice Probst receives 2018 Breakthrough Leadership in Research Award

Mohammed Baalousha (ENHS) and Brie Turner-McGrievy (HPEB) named 2017 Breakthrough Stars

Doctoral students Firas Alhasson (ENHS) and Min Jee Lee (HSPM) named 2018 Breakthrough Graduate Scholars

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