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Arnold School of Public Health

Graduate Scholar in Aging

Through the generous support of Norman and Gerry Sue Arnold, the Arnold School of Public Health (ASPH) is committed to developing future leaders in aging research. Therefore, it has established this award to recognize up to two outstanding graduate students who exemplify the highest standards of scholarship focused on aging. The Graduate Scholar in Aging (GSA) was inaugurated in 2017 and continues to support graduate students.

Annually, two student scholars will be awarded $1,000 each, which can be used toward professional development activities and expenses including resources and supplies for data collection and analysis, travel, and registration at national or international conferences where research is presented on this topic, for professional workshops, or for other continuing education or training opportunities of importance to aging research.  The scholars will be expected to engage in research activities with the Office for the Study of Aging during the award period.  The award funds must be used within 12 months of receipt, and all expenses must be pre-approved by the chair or graduate director of the student’s department.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Enrolled at the masters or doctoral level in the Arnold School of Public Health
  • In good academic standing
  • Engaged in research focused on aging

Application Requirements:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Research Statement (no more than 500 words) that outlines the applicant’s research plan. This statement should focus on studies the applicant will conduct that address 1-2 key questions, identified by the applicant, that have the potential to significantly impact aging research.
  • One example of work conducted by the applicant on the topic of aging. This could be a publication or conference abstract or paper.
  • Proposed budget and budget justification for how the award would support the applicant’s research plan.
  • A signed endorsement letter from the applicant’s primary research advisor.

Application Deadline: 

Yearly, during the fall semester; view GSA flyer for details. 

Application Submission & Questions: 

Katherine Leith, PhD, LMSW
ASPH, Office for the Study of Aging 


Scholar Recipients 


prasun kumar dev Mr. Prasun Kumar Dev started his undergraduate studies in the field of computer science. His inclination towards the application of computational analysis in real-world problems inspired him to pursue a master's degree in bioinformatics. After concluding his masters, Mr. Dev worked in the field of cancer genomics, where he further developed interest in prevention research; and now, his primary focus is to understand the molecular aspect of exercise and aging. Mr. Dev enjoys playing cricket and badminton and learning photography.



katherine divivoKatherine is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Exercise Science.  She obtained her BS degree in Exercise Science from Slippery Rock University and obtained her MPH in Physical Activity and Public Health from UofSC. Katherine is interested in behavioral interventions targeting physical activity, sedentary behavior and weight loss. Katherine was awarded the Graduate Scholar in Aging Award in 2020 to support her research on examining the agreement between accelerometers used to measure sedentary behavior and physical activity among older adults who have had knee replacement surgery.

samenah nematiSamaneh Nemati is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Communication Scienced and Disorders. She is a published author on topics of brain, cognition, genetics and behavior in healthy aging, electroencephalography (EEG) in older adults, and functional brain networks in the aging brain.


Radhika Ranganathan Radhika Ranganathan is an MSPH student (Epidemiology). Her role in perioperative cardiac care as a physician assistant has driven her interest pursuing an advanced graduate degree at the University of South Carolina. She is interested in examining the "Variations in Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) constructs by rural-urban status in elderly population with a cardiac/cerebrovascular event", using the nationally representative behavioral risk factor surveillance system.

Kelsey Day Kelsey Rothera Day is a third year Ph.D. student in Exercise Science and a Graduate Research Assistant in the Prevention Research Center. She is a part of the T32-supported Behavioral-Biomedical Interface Program, and a current Health GIS Scholar. Her research interests include disparities in physical activity, particularly among rural and older adults, and community-based physical activity interventions. Kelsey is also a yoga teacher and an avid runner. On most weekend you can find her exploring outdoors with her husband, Ian, and their dog, Whiskey.


Nicholas Resciniti 
Chelsea Carpenter 


Dana AlHasan
Karim Johari



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