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Arnold School of Public Health

Doctoral candidate awarded two scholarships to support professional, educational development of HIV, health services policy research

June 10, 2022 | Erin Bluvas,

Tianyue Mi, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior (HPEB), has been awarded two national scholarships to support her development as a health services policy researcher in HIV and other areas. The Alice S. Hersh Student Scholarship from AcademyHealth is designed to support the next generation of health services researchers. The International AIDS Society’s Educational Fund Scholarship provides support to attend the organization’s International AIDS Conference.

Currently in the third and final year of her doctoral program, Mi will graduate in August to pursue a career developing public health strategies to address the disparities faced by vulnerable populations. She is particularly interested in providing support to LGBTQ+ individuals who are living with HIV. Mi uses an intersectionality framework to evaluate the overlapping effects of the HIV-related stigma faced by sexual and gender minorities – focusing on the mental and physical outcomes for these groups.

She first became interested in this area when serving as a research assistant at Peking University, where she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology. After graduating, Mi joined the Arnold School to work with HIV stigma expert/HPEB professor Xiaoming Li at the South Carolina SmartState Center for Healthcare Quality (CHQ).

“Dr. Li is experienced, patient, and loves to share his insights about either research questions or other confusions I have in my life,” Mi says. “He is always responsive and often times, he is able to use only several sentences to lead me to the key. He has been very supportive, and I will always be grateful to him.”

Li and his team investigate the relationship between social and psychological factors (e.g., disclosure, stigma, discrimination) on the health and well-being of people living with HIV/AIDS. They conduct their research in a global context, with a particular focus on addressing public health challenges and disparities in China and South Carolina.

“As a worldwide pressing topic, the dissemination of the results from our research may aid in developing healthcare strategies for the mental and physical health of sexual and gender minority groups in the United States and beyond,” Mi says.

Immersed in CHQ as a Junior Scholar, Mi has contributed to much of this research and led her own studies using awards from the Office of the Vice President for Research’s SPARC and Breakthrough Scholars programs. The Norman J. Arnold Doctoral Fellow is also a Graduate Scholar with the Maternal and Child Health Catalyst Program. She has 10 peer-reviewed publications, with several more in preparation or under review. Mi was recently recognized for her efforts when her department selected her to receive the Christopher Peter Aluah Outstanding Doctoral Student Award.

“Tianyue has already made significant contributions to research in the field of health promotion and health behavior,” Li says. “She has proven herself to have the perseverance, initiative and intellectual creativity for this award with her exceptional scholarly performance and great potential for future success.”


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