Health Behavior Student News, Fall 2016

Eleven health behavior students’ achievements have been covered in the Gillings School News over the last few months. Recognitions include an innovation award that is the largest award ever received by a UNC student or student group, scholarships and outstanding work awards. Four recent graduates, members of a capstone team, and a doctoral student were recognized at  the APHA meeting.

We welcomed these new students in August, 2016.

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Doctoral student Cristina Leos received Outstanding Student Paper Award

Photo: Cristina Leos

Cristina Leos

The award, Outstanding Student Research Abstract Award, which comes with a $250 scholarship, celebrates a paper by Leos titled, “Stories of Race and Resistance: A Critical Race Theory Perspective on the Educational Experiences of Latino Immigrant Young Men in North Carolina.”

Leos wrote the paper for a UNC Gillings class on advanced qualitative research methods taught by Clare Barrington, PhD, associate professor of health behavior. Read More


2016 Capstone team won an Outstanding Student Research Abstract Award

Photo:Joy Martin, Katie Byerly, Steffani Bangel and Joel Mercado Blanco

From left: Joy Martin, Katie Byerly, Steffani Bangel and Joel Mercado Blanco

AMP! It’s theater-based education. Members of the winning Capstone team are Joy Martin (MPH), Katie Byerly (MPH), Steffani Bangel (MPH) and Joel Mercado (MPH). All 2016 graduates, they completed their Capstone project working with partner UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. Now they have received the SHES Outstanding Student Research Abstract Award. Their presentation was entitled, “’I can see the California aspect of it as opposed to Deep South, rural North Carolina:’ Assessing the Social and Educational Context to Guide Adaptation of an Arts-Informed, School-Based Sexual Education Program for High School Students in North Carolina.”  Read More

This item also was posted in the alumni news section.


Two health behavior students were awarded a record $325K to teach sex education through technology

Photo: Cristina Leos and Elizabeth Chen

Cristina Leos and Elizabeth Chen

Elizabeth Chen, MPH, and Cristina Leos, MSPH, health behavior doctoral students at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, and Vichi Jagannathan, MBA student at Yale,  won a $325,000 award from Innovation Next, a program of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. The award is the largest ever made to a student or a student group at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The team’s  proposal to Innovation Next, was called “RealTalk.” Now the team will create a phone-based app that will provide sex education for middle-school students in rural North Carolina and Texas.

Read Student Feature: Chen and Leos

Gillings Merit Scholars

photo, Blythe Rhodes

Blythe Rhodes

photo, Christine Walsh

Christine Walsh

Christine Walsh (MSPH) and Blythe Rhodes (MSPH), both doctoral students, were selected as 2016-2017 recipients of Gillings Merit Scholarships. They are two of fourteen students at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health selected as 2016-2017 recipients of Gillings Merit Scholarships. The scholarships were made possible through the $50 million Gillings gift. Read more

Jennifer Richmond was one of three Gillings students selected for scholars program

Photo: Jennifer Richmond

Jennifer Richmond

How do we create better, more equitable health for all? That’s the question that three students in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health will explore as part of the new Health Policy Research Scholars program. Jennifer Richmond is a doctoral student in the Department of Health Behavior. Read More

Photo: Michael DeFranco

Michael DeFranco

Michael DeFranco blogged about his summer practicum at IntraHealth

“Digital Health and the New World,” Michael Del Franco’s post on IntraHealth’s Vital blog tells the story of his summer practicum. “I was a digital health novice before working with the informatics team at IntraHealth.Then they introduced me to mHero.” Imagine a scenario where information—really important and meaningful information that could help millions of people—is stored in a way that makes it seemingly impossible to access.  Read the blog | Read more about the practicum.


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