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Arnold School of Public Health

  • Alonso, Friedman, Austin; Mi and Li Awards 2022

2022 Student Awards

Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior (HPEB) is proud to announce the 2022 winners of the department's student awards program. The HPEB Outstanding Master's Student Award recognizes a Master of Public Health (MPH) or Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) student for their performance in the classroom/field as well as their potential for professional contributions to the field of health promotion. The Christopher Peter Aluah Outstanding Doctoral Student Award honors the student who best demonstrates the highest level of rigor, commitment and ethics. 

Bella Alonso

HPEB Outstanding Master’s Student Award: Isabella (“Bella”) Alonso

Isabella (“Bella”) Alonso graduates in May with her second Arnold School degree, an MPH in HPEB  following a B.A. in Public Health. During her program, Alonso assessed COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy among Spanish- and Portuguese-speakers in South Carolina and interviewed HIV-positive South Carolinians to understand their experiences with HIV stigma. She also co-chaired Columbia’s first student-run World AIDS Day event and co-led an initiative to educate and promote the use of K-N95 masks. She gained additional experience with Good Samaritan Hospital, Jacobi Medical Center, and Ending the Epidemics South Carolina. She spent her free time volunteering as an English language tutor at a local elementary school and serving on her department’s Student Engagement and Faculty Search committees. Next, the Jeffrey Keith Mattison Outstanding Student Achievement Award winner will help provide outreach and connection to care support to a local non-profit while pursuing a position at an HIV community organization.

Megan Austin

HPEB Outstanding Master’s Student Award: Megan Austin

Megan Austin will begin her third Arnold School degree this fall when she enrolls in the Ph.D. in HPEB program. During her MPH in HPEB and Graduate Certificate of Health Communication programs, Austin led various initiatives for her department’s Student Engagement Committee and served on the Dean’s Student Advisory Council. She also co-chaired the student section for the South Carolina Public Health Association, interned with Wholespire, and served as graduate assistant and communications coordinator for Smokefree SC. Austin explored her interests with a Group Care Global research assistantship observing a group model of prenatal care training for midwives in China and an internship/practicum with Fact Forward to advance teen pregnancy prevention and STI awareness in South Carolina. During her doctoral program, she will work with advisor Lucy Ingram and co-advisor Debbie Billings and plans focus on maternal and child health, specifically the racial disparities in teen pregnancy and infant mortality rates in the American South. 

Tianyue Mi

Christopher Peter Aluah Outstanding Doctoral Student Award: Tianyue Mi

Tianyue Mi will graduate from the Ph.D. in HPEB program in August in just three fast-paced years. After studying psychology at Peking University, Mi joined the Arnold School to work with HIV stigma expert and HPEB professor Xiaoming Li at the Center for Healthcare Quality (CHQ). The Norman J. Arnold Fellow is particularly interested in developing public health strategies to address the disparities faced by vulnerable populations, such as LGBTQ+ individuals who are living with HIV. She uses an intersectionality framework to evaluate the overlapping effects of sexual and gender minority- and HIV-related stigma on mental and physical outcomes for these groups. Mi has already authored or co-authored 10 peer-reviewed publications with half as many under review or in progress. She is a 2022 Breakthrough Graduate Scholar, SPARC grant recipient, CHQ Junior Scholar, Graduate Scholar with the Maternal and Child Health Catalyst Program, and the recipient of the International AIDS Society Conference Student Scholarship and the AcademyHealth Alice S. Hersh Student Scholarship.


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