Skip to Content

Coronavirus: Get complete details about the university's response to COVID-19.

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

Dear HPEB,

I’ve been writing you a lot of notes lately. My life is an open book. I am so grateful that we have stayed connected virtually. The last time I saw most of you in person was during the week of March 9th. And many of you were on Spring break that week so I saw you the week before that. … and now it’s June. Unbelievable. This is an unprecedented time and everyone has had and continues to have their own unique challenges and experiences. Seeing our South Carolina community come together and support those in need through the mutual aid initiative and other programs has been a comfort.

Time for a question: What three things have you learned about yourself, your family, or others around you over the past three months? Here are my answers:

  1. I love working at work. I always knew this but it has been reinforced for me.
  2. My son always hums when he’s cooking and working on his building projects.
  3. My family members (like the ones I live with and see and talk to each day) really had no idea what I do at work.

Bonus (even though I limited it to three responses): I’ve learned a lot about many of you – your hobbies, interests, humor, favorite foods and drinks, and pets.

Congratulations to all HPEB students who graduated in May with an MPH, PhD, and/or Graduate Certificate. We missed seeing you walk across the stage at an Arnold School of Public Health hooding ceremony or at a University-wide commencement. I hope you visited this webpage to celebrate graduation virtually. Please continue to keep in touch with us. We want to congratulate you on your next achievements – big or small. I love bragging about you! We will be doing virtual orientations with our incoming masters and doctoral students in July – we look forward to welcoming them to the HPEB family.

On to some humor since this has become a comforting tradition for our department since remote living began:
In late May, my 7-year-old Dylan had a dentist appointment. He asked the dentist to pull out all three of his loose teeth. She agreed. He was loopy and talking the entire time and here was one of the jokes he told: What is the main ingredient of a popsicle? The stick. While they were painting a sealant on his new molars, he said, “It’s always important to color within the lines. Get it?” May we always have such pleasant experiences at the dentist.

We’ve had some heavy downpours lately so our finale -- John Bernhart’s joke -- matches the weather: Tommy asked his mom if bees can fly in the rain. She told him they can if they remember to wear their yellow jackets.

Take good care HPEB. I am so very grateful for each and every one of you.

[see PDF version with photos]

Congratulations Are In Order! 

Dr. Edward Frongillo received the 2020 National S cientific A chievement A ward f rom the American Society for Nutrition Foundation. Link

Dr. Jim Thrasher was named the recipient of the Office of the Provost’s 2020 Educational Foundation Research Award for H ealth Sciences. Link

Yoojin Cho, HPEB doctoral graduate was awarded HPEB’s Christopher Peter Aluah Outstanding Doctoral Student award. She was also featured on the Arnold School website. Link

Jennifer Mandelbaum, HPEB doctoral student, was awarded the Rhude M. Patterso n Fellowship from The Graduate School.

Emily Loud was awarded HPEB’s Outstanding Masters Student of the Year award.

Dr. Caroline Bergeron, HPEB alum, has accepted a position with the Public Health Agency of Canada. She will be a Senior Policy Analyst in the Aging and Seniors Unit in the Division of Aging, Seniors, and Dementia in the Center for Health Promotion.

Dr. Jean Marie Place, HPEB alum, received tenure and promotion to associate professor at Ball State University She was also recently featured in the Ball State Magazine. Link

Sarah Eustis, UofSC undergraduate student, received HPEB’s inaugural Outstanding Undergraduate Student Research Award.

Kristine Arnau, HPEB Masters student, received the 2020 Ann Cassady Endowed Fellowship.

Dr. Shaun Owens, HPEB alum was one of 25 individuals selected for the American Association of State College and Universities 2020 Emerging Leaders Program.

Dr. Stephanie Ureña, HPEB and OSA postdoctoral fellow, was elected to the American Sociological Association’s Section on Aging and the Life Course Council.

Dr. Andrew Kacynski was awarded the 2020 Arnold School Faculty Service Award.

Dr. Deborah Billing s had two students complete their Honors College thesis:

  • Sarah Johnson: Contraceptive Education in South Carolina Women’s Jails. Thesis Director, Deborah Billings; Second Reader, Kathryn Luchok.
  • Rebecca Early: Centering Pregnancy in South Carolina: Group prenatal care and social support networks in the Latinx community. Thesis Director, Deborah Billings; Second Reader, Kara Montgomery

Dissertation and Practicum Presentations

We congratulate the following students who completed milestones in their academic programs during the past three months:

Practicum Presentations:
LaShonda T. Collins: Employee Health and Wellness Survey {April 2020}

Amanda Hipschman: Higher Reliability Cervical Cancer Project {April 2020}

Alison Huckaby: South Carolina Rural Communities Opioid Response Program {April 2020}

Alexandra Scott: Initial Assessment of Gaps and Opportunities to Address Community Health Needs {April 2020}

Shannon Scott: Applying Public Health Practice in Maternity Health Care Setting {April 2020}

Shana Karp: East Oakland Food Access {May 2020}

Isabel Atkinson: A Process Evaluation at Hanover Safe Place {June 2020}

Dissertation Proposal Defenses:
Marilyn Wende: Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status, Green Space, and Walkability and Risk for Falls and Fracture Among Postmenopausal Women: The Women’s Health Initiative {May 2020}

Dissertation Defense:
Ashley White: Studying the “Snip”: A Multi-methods Exploration of Vasectomy in the Southern United States {April 2020}

Yoo Jin Cho: Warning Label Systems for Communication Relative Risks of Cigarettes, Heated Tobacco Products, and E-Cigarettes {April 2020}

Funding News

Dr. Xiaoming Li along with 2 other members of Big Data Health Science Center were awarded funding through the National Science Foundation for their project “Monitoring the Spatial Spread of COVID-19 through the Lens of Human Movement using Big Social Media Data.”

Drs. Andrew Kaczynski, Courtney Monroe, Spencer Moore, Chigozie Nkwonta, and Cheuk Tam all received 2020 ASPIRE grants from the UofSC Office for the Vice President for Research. Link

Drs. Rachel Davis, Xiaoming Li, Caroline Rudisill, and Brie Turner-McGrievy (and Co-investigator colleagues) were each awarded grants through the UofSC Office for the Vice President for Research COVID-19 Research Initiative. Link

Dr. John Bernhart, PRC and HPEB postdoctoral fellow, received a supplemental grant from the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute for his project entitled, “Dissemination and Implementation of the Nutritious Eating with Soul Study.


Publications and Presentations

Davidson CR, Turner McGrievy GM, Messias DKH, Robillard AG, Friedman DB , Schwiesow J, Warren P. Campus ministry leaders promoting student mental health at a large public university in the Southeast United States. Mental Health, Religion & Culture. 2020 May 13 Epub; DOI: 10.1080/13674676.2020.1718068.

Haldeman MS, Nolan MS, Ng'habi K. Human hookworm infection: Is effective control possible? A review of hookworm control efforts and future directions. Acta Tropica. 2020. 201, 105214.

Nguyen HT, Frongillo EA, Blake CE, Shapiro CJ, Frith AL. Earlier and concurrent food insecurity are associated with suboptimal parenting in early childhood. Journal of Nutrition. 2020.

Quinn K, Miyawaki C, Croff R, Vogel MT, Belza B, Souza AM, Liu M, Edwards VJ, Belza B, Vogel M, Croff R, Liu M, Edwards V, Friedman DB. Terms and measures of cognitive aging and cognitive health: A scoping review. Research on Aging. 2020. 42(5-6), 174-185.

Wende ME, Stowe EW, Eberth JM, McLain AC, Liese AD, Breneman CB, Josey MJ, Hughey SM, Kaczynski AT. Spatial clustering patterns and regional variations for food and physical activity environments across the United States, International Journal of Environmental Health Research. 2020. DOI: 10.1080/09603123.2020.1713304.


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

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.