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Arnold School of Public Health

2019-2020 SPARC Graduate Research Grants awarded to 12 Arnold School graduate students

March 20, 2020 | Erin Bluvas, 

Twelve of the 57 2019-2020 Support to Promote Advancement of Research and Creativity (SPARC) Graduate Research Grants from the UofSC Office of the Vice President for Research have been awarded to Arnold School graduate students. The students, who represent the Departments of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Exercise Science, Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, and Health Services Policy and Management 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 assessing stakeholder needs and preferences for coastal swimming advisories, integrating stroke survivors into cardiac rehabilitation, vasectomy in the American South, and socioeconomic disadvantage and childhood health/obesity.

Upon completion, the students will present their findings at Discover USC 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 2019-2020 SPARC awards.



Project Title

Reed Handlery Exercise Science Increasing Cardiovascular Fitness and Physical Activity in Survivors of Stroke and Their Care Partners: Cycling for Stroke
Lynsey Keator Communication Sciences and Disorders Effects of transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) on language and cortical network coherence in post-stroke aphasia
Amir Mehrabi Health Services Policy and Management Perceived Disease Risk, Vaccine Confidence, and Parent Decision-Making Regarding Influenza Immunization: Examining Changes in Vaccination Rates Following the H1N1 Pandemic and the Withdrawal of LAIV
Alicia Oostdyk Health Services Policy and Management Using Pictures to Provide Patients Power Over Pain: A Novel Application of Photovoice
Krystal Rampalli Health Promotion, 
Education, and Behavior
Adolescent food choices amidst the nutrition transition in Ghana: the role of cultural values, Westernized food marketing, and body image perceptions
Lauren Reid Epidemiology and Biostatistics Household Food Security, Lifestyle Factors, and Glycemic control among Youth and Young Adults with Diabetes
Chelsea Richard Epidemiology and Biostatistics Effect of Maternal Disability Status and Prescription Opioid Use Before and During Pregnancy on Small-for-Gestational Age Infants
Stacey Sangtian Communication Sciences and Disorders Speech Error Detection and Sensorimotor Processing of Auditory Feedback in Aphasia
Yi-Wen Shih Health Services Policy and Management Acupuncturist visits and changes in opioid use among adults with chronic non-cancer pain
Allison Smith Exercise Science Examination of Low Energy Availability and Bone Health in Physically Active Adolescent Females
Charles Smith Exercise Science Effect of Attentional Focus Instructions on Learning a Whole-Arm Three-Dimensional Motor Sequence Task
Valerie Yelverton Health Services Policy and Management Understanding Perspectives on Characteristics of Shared Decision-Making of People Living with HIV in South Carolina

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.