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Arnold School of Public Health

2020-2021 SPARC Graduate Research Grants awarded to 9 Arnold School graduate students

February 15, 2021 | Erin Bluvas,

Nine of the 43 2020-2021 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, Environmental Health Sciences, Exercise Science, and Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior 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 increasing physical activity among stroke survivors, using photovoice to provide patients with power over pain, shared decision-making among people living with HIV, and acupuncturist visits and opioid use. 

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 2020-2021 SPARC awards.



Project Title

Jacob Barber Exercise Science Molecular Foundations of Lipoprotein Response to Exercise
Kase Bezawit Epidemiology and Biostatistics  Dietary Index for Gut Microbiota and Associations with Colorectal Cancer and Breast Cancer Risk
Anna Ehrhorn Communication Sciences and Disorders Orthographic Awareness and Phonological Awareness in Children with Speech Sound Disorder
Shirelle Hallum Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior Using innovative technologies to advocate for pedestrian infrastructure and address 
health inequities
Erin Kishman Exercise Science Salivary Insulin, Cortisol, and Estrogen in the First Year Postpartum
Tianyue Mi Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior The impact of intersectional stigma on mental and physical health outcomes among HIV-infected Sexual and Gender Minority population
Megha Oza Environmental Health Sciences Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocyte associated Markers for Colorectal Cancer Prognosis and Significance
Karlen Correa Vélez Environmental Health Sciences Transcriptome sequencing of Vibrio vulnificus exposed to wastewater treatment plant effluent
Marilyn Wende Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior Neighborhood socioeconomic status, green space, and walkability and risk for fracture among postmenopausal women: The Women’s Health Initiative

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.