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Arnold School of Public Health

HPEB News and Kudos

Please join us as we congratulate HPEB students and faculty on their accomplishments and recognitions!

Message from the Chair

Screenshot of Zoom video conference

Dear HPEB,

Welcome and welcome back to HPEB!  How is it already September?

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Leila Larson, new assistant professor, in HPEB!

We know 2020 has been and continues to be a very different kind of year. While we have daily schedules to keep up with for classes, assistantships, teaching, research, and family responsibilities, how can we not get distracted, frustrated, and angry when so many are suffering? I’ve been thinking back to when I started graduate school. I was under the impression that taking fewer classes than in my undergraduate life and doing a bit of grading as a teaching assistant wouldn’t take up the full week. Well, that ‘brilliant’ idea flew quickly out the window. It took me a few weeks to get into the swing of things. Support from my advisor and peers was tremendous! With their help, I figured out how to manage my time as a graduate student and still enjoy my coffee talks and walks with friends and fit in some volunteer opportunities. Starting graduate school now in 2020 is a whole new ballgame. As I’ve shared several times, “Forget trying to find unicorns and balance. If you were perfectly balanced, you’d never have to take anyone’s hand to steady yourself, and that would be a tragedy” (Glennon Melton Doyle, 2014). Now more than ever, let’s take time to support each other and be patient with each other. Yes, we still need to meet our deadlines but let’s work together to achieve them while still giving each other permission to take time with our feelings. One of the most informative books I’ve read (and re-read) on conscious leadership, reminds us that “every feeling we experience invites us in a specific way to  grow in awareness and knowing” (Dethmer, Chapman, and Klemp, 2015).  I’m trying my best at this – let’s try   together.

Our gatherings and seminars are going to look different this year.  Please take part – we have an opportunity to explore our creative sides and try something new and exciting. Felt uncomfortable wearing a top hat to an in-person seminar? Don’t be! If you’re Zooming from home, that top hat might be in the room right next to you and you can wear it proudly for our next virtual gathering. I tried something new this summer. I attempted to turn the Arnold School leadership into a choir on Zoom. Unfortunately, I failed miserably and promise I won’t try this with HPEB … unless you’re interested 😊.

Please email or call anytime to share ideas and interests with me, with your student representatives, Gaby Armendariz and Kristine Arnau, and with Dr. Rachel Davis, who is heading up our Student Engagement Committee. Students -  your input matters and it is your feedback that has led to improvements and new initiatives.

Thank you for choosing HPEB! On behalf of the department, I wish you all the very best for this academic year. And

…. What’s most important? Health, safety, family, and loved ones. Please take good care.

-Daniela Friedman

Congratulations are in Order

Dr. Stephanie Child, HPEB alum, recently accepted a tenure-track Assistant Professor Position at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Dr. Tracey Thomas, HPEB alum, has accepted a position as a Senior Evaluation Associate with LeCroy and Milligan.

Dr. Spencer Moore co-edited a special volume about social capital and Health in Social Science & Medicine. Link

Dr. Donaldson Conserve was selected as an HIV Prevention Trials Network Scholar for the 2021-2022 domestic cohort.

Dr. Sarah Kershner, HPEB alum and assistant professor at Francis Marion University, will be starting as Chair of the Department of Healthcare Administration at her institution. Link

Dr. Andrea Warren, HPEB research associate and HPEB alum, has been named a 2020-2021 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She accepted a placement with the Office of Food for Peace at USAID as a nutrition research advisor.

HPEB second-year MPH student Wendy Besmann received a Pathways to Practice Scholar Award from the Region IV Public Health Training Center for a Spring 2021 field placement with the Mississippi Public Health Training Institute. She will work remotely on developing and evaluating content for Mississippi Behavioral Health Learning Network, a program that provides training for professionals in the substance use disorder treatment and prevention fields.


Funding News

Victoria Lambert, Dr. Jim Thrasher, Dr. Rachel Davis, and Gaby Armendariz of HPEB and Dr. Diego Leal in the UofSC Department of Sociology received funding from the American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant to study how communication, acculturation, and the structure of social networks influence smoking cessation among Mexican Americans.

Dr. Caroline Rudisill received funding as PI for a grant entitled Evaluating a Technolgy EMR-based Strategy to Intervene on Social Determinants of Health-related Needs in a Large Health System. Link

Dr. Caroline Rudisill was awarded a COVID-19 Seed grant, A Data-Driven Model to Predict Demand for Inpatient COVID-19 Care in the Prisma Health System.

Drs. Xiaoming Li and Shan Qiao received a supplemental grant from the National Institutes of Mental Health to continue their research on HIV-related health outcomes among men who have sex with men living with HIV in China. Link

Dr. Edward Frongillo and collaborators at the University of California at San Francisco have recently been awarded three research grants and one training grant from the National Institutes of Health. He is one of three multiple principal investigators for the first one, co-investigator for the next two, and trainer for the fourth:

“Intersection of Material-Need Insecurities and HIV and Cardiovascular Health” (R01, NHLBI) “Food is Medicine: Randomized Trial of Medically Tailored Food Support for Diabetes Health” (R01, NIDDK)

“Pilot Study of the Nutrition-Enhanced Wellness for Diabetes Self-Management Program among Low-Income Adults with Type II Diabetes” (R21, NIDDK)

“Sustainable Development for Improved HIV Health and Prevention in Kenya” (D43, Fogarty International Center)

Dr. Deborah Billings received a mini-grant from Eat Smart Move More to support the Sabor Latino initiative.

Drs. Xiaoming Li and Bankole Olatosi, co-principal investigators, were awarded $1.25 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to develop a state-wide data-driven system to fight COVID-19 in South Carolina. Link


HPEB in the News

Dr. Andy Kaczynski alongside Dr. Jan Eberth were recognized on the Arnold School website for their recent development of the first comprehensive obesogenic environment index for youth in the United States. Link

Dr. Tramaine Paul McMullen, HPEB alum, was featured on the Arnold School's website for her work as grant manager for SC DHEC. Link

Selena DeConti, online professional MPH student in HPEB, was highlighted for her work as a public helath advocate and pharmacist. Link

Emily Loud, MPH graduate and new doctoral student, had a feature on the Arnold School's website that described her passion for and experience conducting public health work. Link

Carrie Draper, HPEB senior research associate, and her team received recognition for the publication of SNAP-Ed program's inaugural report. Link

Dr. Donaldson Conserve was featured on the Arnold School's website for his work on bringing the STEP project to the Caribbean. Link

Dr. Deborah Billings was invited to speak about pregnancy and birthing during COVID on the show, Watching the Hawks. Link


Dissertation and Practicum Presentations


Practicum Presentations:

Audrey Gleaton: Improving Health Knowledge and Health Seeking Behavior of Unaccompanied Minors in the Hope for Children Shelter in Nicosia, Cyprus {July 2020}

Emily Loud: Evaluation of Rescue Agency Media Campaigns Year 1 in South Carolina {August 2020}

Dissertation Proposal Defenses:

Akeen Hamilton: Effective Strategies to Increase Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Knowledge, Willingness to Use & Uptake Among Black Heterosexual Men {April 2020}

Chengbo Zeng: Applying Health Stigma Framework to Examine the Mechanisms of HIV-related Stigma on Treatment Outcomes {September 2020}

Dissertation Defenses:

Shilpa V. Constantinides: Determinants of Nutrition Agenda Setting in the Context of the Double Burden of Malnutrition in Tamil Nadu, India. {June 2020}

Tramaine Paul McMullen: Does Marriage, Employment, and Having Children Matter? A Secondary analysis on Physical Activity Levels, Leisure Time Physical Activity Levels, and Social Roles Among Women in the United States. {July 2020}

Olivia Whitt: Examining the Organizational Capacity of Public Libraries That Offer Obesity Prevention Programs {July 2020}

Publications and Presentations

Altman K, Yelton B, Hart Z, Carson M, Schandera  L,  Kelsey  RH,  Porter  DE,  Friedman  DB  (2020). “You gotta choose your words carefully”: Environmental health scientists’ perceptions and information needs about research translation. Journal of Health Communication,  25(5),  454-462  DOI: 10.1080/10810730.2020.1785060

Brian JD, Grzanka PR, Mann ES. (2020). The age of LARC: making sexual citizens on the frontiers of technoscientific healthism. Health Sociology Review. DOI:10.1080/14461242.2020.1784018

Kaczynski AT, Eberth JM, Stowe EW, Wende ME, Liese AD, Mclain AC, Josey MJ. (2020). Development of a national childhood obesogenic environment index in the United States: Differences by region and rurality. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 17(1). DOI:10.1186/s12966-020-00984-x

King SB, Kaczynski AT, Wilt JK, Stowe EW. (2020). Walkability 101: A Multi-Method Assessment of the Walkability at a University Campus. SAGE Open, 10(2), 215824402091795. DOI:10.1177/2158244020917954

Lambert VC, Davis RE, Popova L, Thrasher JF. (2020). Cessation conversations and quit attempts: differences by ethnicity and language preference. American Journal of Health Behavior, 44(4), 473–487.

Mandelbaum, J. (2020 Sept 4 Commentary). COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need for teaching health communication to public health students. Pedagogy in Health Promotion. DOI:10.1177/2373379920957970

Parker PD, Heiney SP, Adams SA, Friedman DB, Dawson RM. (2020 July 23 Epub). Factors influencing chemotherapy   knowledge   in    women    with    breast    cancer.    Applied    Nursing    Research.   DOI: 10.1016/j.apnr.2020.151335

Qiao S, Li Z, Weissman S, Li X, Olatosi B, Davis C, and Mansaray A. Disparity in HIV service interruption in the outbreak of COVID-19 in South Carolina. 2020. AIDS and Behavior. In press.

Troy C, Brunson A, Goldsmith A, Noblet S, Steck SE, Hebert J, Payne JM, Friedman DB. (2020 June 20 Epub). Implementing community-based prostate cancer education in rural South Carolina: A collaborative approach through a statewide cancer alliance. Journal of Cancer Education. DOI:10.1007/s13187-020- 01800-7

Wende ME, Liu J, Mclain AC, Wilcox S. (2020). Gestational weight gain disparities in South Carolina: Temporal trends, 2004‐2015. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology. DOI:10.1111/ppe.12706

Woolf HR, Fair M, King SB, Dunn CG, Kaczynski AT. (2020). Exploring dietary behavior differences among children by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Journal of School Health, 90(8), 658-664. DOI:10.1111/josh.12915

White AL, Davis RE, Billings DL, Mann ES. (2020). Men’s vasectomy knowledge, attitudes, and information-seeking behaviors in the southern united states: results from an exploratory survey. American Journal of Men’s Health. DOI:10.1177/1557988320949368

Yelton B, Brandt HM, Adams SA, Ureda JR, Lead JR, Fedrick D, Lewis KKulkarni  SFriedman  DB. (2020 July 13 Epub). “Talk About Cancer and Build Healthy Communities”: How visuals are starting the conversation About breast cancer within African-American communities. International Quarterly of Community Health Education. DOI: 10.1177/0272684X20942076


Contact Us

Please send submissions for News and Kudos to Grace Lewis so that we can share and celebrate your work!

HPEB Discovery I 915 Greene Street Suite 565 Columbia SC, 29208
Tel: 803.777.7096

Soon-to-be HPEB graduates and alumni, please continue to keep in touch with us! Please also ensure your
contact information is current with the Arnold School by updating your information here: Link

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