December 1, 2014

A scholarship for the study of injury epidemiology

When Ruth Shults, PhD, and her husband Charlie Bradley decided to endow a scholarship for the study of injury epidemiology, there was more than one beloved alma mater from which they could choose. Because of Ruth’s positive experience as a doctoral student, they selected UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.

“What really impresses us about the Gillings School is not only its strong history as one of the top academic schools of public health, but also its zeal for and leadership in public health practice. It’s that combination of being top in academics and public health practice that you don’t often see in schools of public health,” she said.

Shults, a senior epidemiologist on the Transportation Safety Team at the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is a 1999 epidemiology graduate. She worked on her doctorate in public health at UNC as a mid-career professional through the U.S. Public Health Service’s long-term training program and has devoted much of her career to prevention of motor vehicle crashes by teens.

Continuing to reduce teens’ injury burden is critical to improving their health and survival, Shults says, given that injuries kill more young people in the U.S. than all diseases combined.

Shults and Bradley want to encourage doctoral students to consider career options in injury epidemiology and prevention.  The scholarship provides funds to cover travel and living expenses for dissertation work related to injury prevention, with particular interest in students whose dissertation topics are in conjunction with the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center or the UNC Highway Safety Research Center.

—Elizabeth Witherspoon

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Carolina Public Health is a publication of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health. To view previous issues, please visit