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.

Samargandy and El Khoudary find that running can help aging women at increased risk of heart disease

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RUNNER’S WORLD – New research adds to growing evidence that the menopause transition is a critical stage for the acceleration of cardiovascular disease risk, according to lead author and epidemiology doctoral student Saad Samargandy. Senior author and associate epidemiology professor Samar El Khoudary says these shifts may be related to hormonal changes affecting arteries and veins that carry blood throughout the body, but exercise can be crucia... 

EPI's Meg Carr awarded Goldstein scholarship for work on Hepatitis C surveillance

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MPH student Margaret Carr (EPI ‘20) has been awarded the 2019 Bernard D. Goldstein Student Award in Environmental Health Disparities and Public Health Practice in recognition of her project, "Hepatitis C Surveillance at Allegheny County Health Department". In the award citation, CPHP Director Wendy Braund cites, “Your work with ACHD is an outstanding example of the actively involved Pitt Public Health student-taking your learning from the classr... 

Students present interdisciplinary content in community session on health justice

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On a wet Wednesday night, December 4, Pitt Public Health student advocates Sarah Sanders (BCHS ’22), Sarah Bigelow (BCHS ’20), Paris Ekeke (EPI ’20), and Amy Raslevich (HPM ’22) joined peers from the schools of law and nursing for a Health Justice Night at Pitt's Community Empowerment Center in Homewood. The evening was powered by PechaKucha, aimed to spark community level engagement and inter-professional collaboration by offering a unique look... 

Zhang wins Arlene Caggiula Student Award in Nutrition

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Xiao Zhang (EPI '23) won this award for outstanding epidemiology students conducting nutrient-related research. Zhang was honored for her contribution to exploring the effect of high-dose marine omega-3 fatty acids on atherosclerosis. This work was published in the journal Nutrients in November 2019 with Zhang as senior author.   

Epidemiology students share internships and practica during “Epi-in-Action” symposium

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Reporting on recent internships and practica, epidemiology students reported on summer research and practice experiences in our region and around the world. The O’Hara Student Center ballroom buzzed as faculty and staff learned about field initiatives, practical applications, and lessons learned.  

Mohammed Bu Saad, Early Head Start Intern

"Working as an intern gave me an opportunity to meet different groups of people, and it made me realize that the knowledge that we get in classes can be enhanced and polished by having a field experience in relevant areas. Also, the results that we got from our projects, Parental Needs Assessment, emphasized the importance of listening to people's opinions and concerns and that we should not think for a second that we understand everything about... 

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.   

Award recipients for 2019's CPHP Translation and Cartier Ulrich Award

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In conjunction with Dean's Day, Margaret Carr (EPI '22) was awarded the Center for Public Health Practice Award for Translation and Application of Research to Public Health Policy and Practice. In addition, Emily Fitzpatrick (EPI '19) and Abisola Olaniyan (BCHS '21) were awarded with the Catherine Cartier Ulrich Memorial Award for Service to the Underserved.   

Dean's Day 2019 Doctoral Category Winners

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Congratulations to first place winner Jessica Thompson (BCHS ‘20). Second  place was awarded to Sarah Minion (EPI ‘19) and third  to Abisola Olaniyan (BCHS ‘21).  

Dean's Day 2019 Master's Category Winners

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Congratulations to Dean's Day winners in the master's category. Receiving first place is  Beth Hoffman (BCHS ‘23). Second place was awarded to  Kevin Stoner (HPM ‘19). Third place was given to K evin Sullivan (EPI ‘19).  

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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 during global health field internship 

Andrews studies diabetes in Rwanda during global health field internship

Epidemiology master's student Haylee Andrews 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), epidemiology student Hemant Mahajan 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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