Gillings Dissertation Awards

Each year, up to two doctoral candidates in the Gillings School of Global Public Health are selected for the Gillings Dissertation Award for Public Health Impact.   The $5,000 award rewards scholarly excellence, impact, and innovative contributions to the field of public health.  The award furthers UNC Gillings’ mission of fostering the next generation of public health leaders.

2017 Recipients of the Gillings Dissertation Award

News release

Briana Stephenson
Briana Stephenson


Emily Mangone
Emily Mangone

(Health Policy and Management)

Prior Recipients of the Gillings Dissertation Award


Sydney Jones, PhD (Epidemiology)

Cassandra Johnson, PhD (Nutrition)


Alan Kinlaw, PhD  (Epidemiology)
Dissertation: Antibiotic prescribing during infancy and risk of treated obstructive airway diseases during early childhood: a registry-based nationwide cohort study in Denmark

Melissa Cox, PhD (Health Behavior , Advisor: Susan Ennett, PhD)
Dissertation: Examining bidirectional relationships between parental socialization behaviors and adolescent alcohol misuse across early and middle adolescence.


Brooke T. Nezami, PhD (Health Behavior, Advisor: Deborah Tate)
Dissertation: Healthy Weight Behaviors and Weight Change in Parents and Children Ages 3-5
Brooke Nezami wins 2016 Impact award.


Ya-Ru Li, PhD (Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Advisor: Jacqueline MacDonald-Gibson)
Dissertation: Assessing Exposure to and Risks of Fine Particulate Air Pollution from Multiple Sources

Carmen Piernas, PhD (Nutrition, Advisor: Barry Popkin)
Dissertation: Low Calorie-­‐and Caloric-­‐Sweeteners: Diet Quality, Food Intake and Purchase Patterns of U.S. Household Consumers


Allison Groves, PhD (Health Behavior, Advisor: Suzanne Maman)
Dissertation: Prevalence and trajectories of intimate partner violence among South African women during pregnancy and the postpartum period

Heather Paich, PhD (Nutrition, Advisor: Melinda Beck)
Dissertation: The Effects of Adiposity and Type II Diabetes on the Immune Response to Influenza Virus in Adults


Bonnie Lyon, PhD (Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Advisor: Howard Weinberg)
Dissertation: Impact of UV treatment on disinfection byproduct precursors and subsequent  byproduct formation from chlorine and chloramine
Student wins poster award.

Dori Steinberg, PhD (Nutrition, Advisor: Deborah F. Tate)
Dissertation: Effect of Daily Self-Weighing on Weight Loss in Adults


Natalie Siu-Eng The, PhD (Nutrition, Advisor: Penny Gordon-Larsen)
Dissertation: The development of young adult obesity and its role on diabetes

Stephen Richardson, PhD (Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Advisor: Michael Aitken)
Dissertation: Effects of in situ bioremediation strategies on the biodegradation and bioavailability of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in weathered manufactured gas plant soil

For questions or conmments, please contact the administrators of this award program at