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Arnold School of Public Health

2021-2022 SPARC Graduate Research Grants awarded to 9 Arnold School graduate students

February 4, 2022 | Erin Bluvas,

Nine of the 52 2021-2022 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 examining the intersectional stigma faced by members of sexual/gender minority populations living with HIV, orthographic and phonological awareness in chidlren with speech sound disorder, associations between dietary index scores and cancer, and the impact of exercise on lipoproteins. 

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 2021-2022 SPARC awards.



Project Title

Gabriel Benavidez Epidemiology Examining Disparities in Cancer Stage and Mortality Among Medicaid Enrollees
Ellen Cooper Communication Sciences and Disorders Impact of Training and Experience on Hearing Loss Health Literacy in Speech-Language Pathologists
Katie Lynn Epidemiology Infectious causes of perinatal and congenital morbidity in pregnant women from rural El Salvador
Sean McQueeney Exercise Science Influence of Maximal Grip Contraction on Medial Elbow Joint Space Displacement in College Baseball Pitchers
Carly Moser Communication Sciences and Disorders The Role of Physiological Coordination Among Parents and Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Chelsea Norregaard Health Services Policy and Management The role of structural racism on the association between maternal obesity and severe maternal morbidity in South Carolina
Nkechi Okpara Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior Body Image blended with Nutrition, and add a dash of Self-compassion: A randomized controlled trial for African American high school teenage girls
Hannah Parker Exercise Science The Feasibility of a Community-Based Resistance Training Program of Youth with Overweight and Obesity
Fanghui Shi Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior The impact of structural racism on poor engagement along the HIV care continuum in South Carolina

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.