Jani Radhakrishnan receives the Kathryn J. Kerr Memorial Scholarship

Radhakrishnan_Jani_2016_AdvproNiranjani “Jani” Radhakrishnan is a master’s student enrolled in the dual degree program that combines health behavior with city and regional planning.  She is s a leader, thinker and doer with an impressive record of activism.

Radhakrishnan and Marissa Martini, also a health behavior student, co-chaired the 2017 Minority Health Conference. Radhakrishnan has worked with the conference for three years, beginning as an undergraduate. She is active with inclusion issues in the department and school.

Radhakrishnan is the recipient of the  Kathryn J. Kerr Memorial Scholarship for 2016-2017, an award that recognizes a second-year health behavior master’s student who exhibits a strong sense of activism, commitment to community health promotion and who has good cross-cultural communication skills. The themes the Kerr Scholarship recognizes are woven throughout Raadhakrishnan’s school and work experience.

Radhakrishnan, who is from Knoxville, Tennessee, came to UNC as an undergraduate and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and engineering. After graduation, she stayed in Chapel Hill and worked on campus at Student Wellness and Interactive Theatre Carolina. She still works for both organizations. At Student Wellness, she is a project coordinator and designs programs to reduce high-risk alcohol and substance use among college students.

As a graduate student, Radhakrisnan completed a summer practicum with the Geographic Health Equity Alliance. Her practicum involved using geographic information systems to map tobacco and cancer-related statistics.

“I am constantly impressed with Jani’s dedication to striving for health equity and social justice,” wrote one nominator. “She is not only committed to educating herself as a responsible practitioner in these fields but also takes the concepts she learns beyond the classroom to generate change in our community and the world around her. Specifically, Jani strives to address environmental determinants of health, especially those that relate to systems of oppression and power.”

The Kathryn J. Kerr Memorial Scholarship

The Kathryn J. Kerr Memorial Scholarship was established to honor Kathy Kerr (MPH, 1984) who died in 1995. Kathy Kerr’s life and work exhibited her commitment to public health causes. She was a tireless advocate on behalf of people living with HIV/AIDS, injection drug users, and gays and lesbians and had a strong commitment to women’s health issues.

“The Department of Health Behavior appreciates the generosity of the Kerr family and other donors who support the Kerr Scholarship,” said Leslie Lytle, PhD, chair and professor of health behavior. “We are honored to have them in the department’s network and look forward to seeing them at our annual awards event.”

Year Kathy Kerr Memorial Scholarship Recipient
2016-2017 Niranjani “Jani” Radhakrishnan
2015-2016 Lindsay Bailey Thompson
2014-2015 Christy Bridges
2013-2014 Kathryn “Kat” Stein
2012-2013 Laura E. Baker
2011-2012 Turquoise Griffith Sidibe
2010-2011 Maggie Carlin
2009-2010 Justin C. Smith
2008-2009 Leah Perkinson
2007-2008 Juliette Mueller Grimmett
2006-2007 Kim Chapman
2005-2006 Amy Woodell
2004-2005 Rachel Shelton
2003-2004 Molly Lumas
2002-2003 Rose Wilcher
2001-2002 Melissa Green
2000-2001 Sarah Ackerman
1999-2000 Ben Cook
1998-1999 Ben Peacock