Epi Student Stories

Epidemiology students are making an impact in all areas of public health. Here are a few profiles and some of the latest news about our students.

2019 Celebration of Student Awards

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On April 27, 2019, Pitt Public Health celebrated recent graduates with awards given upon the culmination of a degree program. Delta Omega's honor society inductees were announced and outstanding thesis/essay and dissertation awards were conferred. Outstanding Student Awards were also given at both the master's and doctoral level, as well as Dean's Service Awards.   

Pitt Public Health wins at the Health Disparities Poster Competition

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Congratulations to Jessica Thompson (BCHS '21) and Stephanie Lynn Corey (EPI '19) for winning awards at this year's Health Disparities Poster Competition!   

Student Abigail Cartus shares the results of a study on Pittsburgh household characteristics and birth weights at APHA 2018

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APHA - Doctoral student Abigail Cartus (EPI) presented a poster at APHA's 2018 annual meeting titled Neighborhood-level housing characteristics and birth weight in Pittsburgh, PA, 2009-2013. In this study, Cartus, EPI professor Dara Mendez, and colleagues analyzed data on all singleton births in the city of Pittsburgh, PA from 2009-2013 in relation to neighborhood-level data from the 2010 Census.   

Turning ideas into transformative action: Pitt Public Health students selected as Future Health Leaders

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Complex health issues are easy to determine, but finding solutions can be challenging. Three Pitt Public Health students, ASHLEY SIMENSON (EPI ’19), JESSICA SALERNO (IDM ’20), and KAITLYN SAAL-RIDPATH (HPM ’20) were chosen as part of the inaugural class of Future Health Leaders to present their ideas at the Milken Institute's Future of Health Summit 2018 in Washington DC.  

FRED takes 1st place of the Kuzneski Innovation Cup

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Congratulations to the winners of the Kuzneski Innovation Cup, HPM and PHDL's MARK ROBERTS and JOHN GREFENSTETTE, JOHN CORDIER (HPM '18), and DEAN DONALD S. BURKE! 1st place went to FRED (a Framework for Reconstructing Epidemiological Dynamics), a software platform that simulates the spread of disease, mitigation strategies, & policy implications.The Kuzneski Innovation Cup is for Pitt students who are developing innovations that can positively ... 

Simenson, Salerno, Saal-Ridpath selected for future health leaders program

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PITT WIRE - Three students from Pitt Public Health were selected for the inaugural class of The Milken Institute’s Future Health Leaders Program. The students, ASHLEY SIMENSON (EPI '19), JESSICA SALERNO (IDM '20), and KAITLYN SAAL-RIDPATH (HPM '20), are among a dozen of fellows selected nationwide. The program aims to give the students exposure to health leadership to help accelerate their future work tackling complex public health challenges.... 

Pitt Public Health study identifies modifiable dementia risk factor in older adults

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SCIENCE DAILY - New research from Pitt Public Health found that arterial stiffness is a good proxy for predicting who will go on to develop dementia. Even minor signs of brain disease were not as telling. Since arterial stiffness can be reduced by antihypertensive drugs, and likely also lifestyle interventions, these findings suggest that at-risk patients may have the power to prevent or delay the onset of dementia.  

Bariatric surgery can reduce risks - but King's study finds it depends how much they can keep off after their operation

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FORBES - Bariatric surgery can reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and death in obese people. But those who gained back 20 percent of weight lost were more than one-third more likely to develop diabetes and two-thirds more likely to have high cholesterol, according to a study conducted by a research team including EPI and BIOS professors, WENDY KING, STEVEN BELLE, ABDUS WAHED, MPH student, AMANDA HINERMAN (EPI '19), and other colleagues.  

Air Quality Program MPH students present their work at ACHD

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Masters students FIONA GAO (BCHS) and JINGHUI JU (EPI) spent the summer researching morning surface temperature inversions and their impact on public health with Allegheny County Health Department’s (ACHD) Air Quality Program. They presented their work at the ACHD in August.        

Stephanie Corey participates in the Cancer Epidemiology Education in Special Populations Fellowship

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STEPHANIE COREY (EPI '19) was a part of the 2018 cohort of the Cancer Epidemiology Education in Special Populations (CEESP) Fellowship, funded by the National Cancer Institute. Stephanie executed an independent project where she analyzed HPV, cervical cancer, and anal cancer preventive measures among LGBTQ individuals in Allegheny County. At the end of the summer she presented her findings at a conference in New York City.  

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Epi Student Profiles

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Meet Alyson Harding (EPI '19) Dean's Scholar 

Meet Alyson Harding (EPI '19) Dean's Scholar

The opportunity to “blend hard science and research with service for the purpose of improving health and living conditions” is what finally drew Alyson Harding to public health. With degrees in anthropology and chemistry and experience working with Habitat for Humanity, she is interested in disaste... (09/04/2017)
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Meet Mikaela Kosich (EPI '19), Dean's Scholar 

Meet Mikaela Kosich (EPI '19), Dean's Scholar

Mikaela Kosich, graduate of Harvey Mudd College, discovered epidemiology was an option just two weeks before graduation, but it wasn’t until she returned home to Mays Landing, NJ, and observed first hand gaps in medical care and inequities in health outcomes that she decided to pursue a career in p... (09/02/2017)
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Meet Ashley Simenson (EPI '19), Dean's Scholar 

Meet Ashley Simenson (EPI '19), Dean's Scholar

Simeson's interest in public health was first sparked by the documentary The Weight of the Nation . Later she was exposed to a course on the AIDS epidemic and initial responses from public health organizations. She then applied to nine schools and found a home in Pitt's EPI program. “I want to be ... (09/01/2017)
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Andrews Studies Diabetes in Rwanda  

Andrews Studies Diabetes in Rwanda

Haylee Andrews (EPI '17) traveled to Kigali, Rwanda, over the summer to intern with Life for a Child (LFAC) under Professor Trevor Orchard.  (09/08/2016)
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Hemant Mahajan Assesses Hepatitis C Burden  

Hemant Mahajan Assesses Hepatitis C Burden

As a participant in the Allegheny County Health Department’s Pittsburgh Summer Institute (ACHD PSI), Hemant Mahajan (EPI '17) assessed the burden of Hepatitis C in Allegheny County and the increased detection of acute hepatitis C cases and associated major risk factors. (09/08/2016)
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