Five outstanding students and staff from the Department of Epidemiology were recognized on Friday, May 12 at the UW Center for Urban Horticulture during the 2017 School of Public Health Excellence Awards for their dedication and service to the School. This year, an epi student won the Gilbert S. Omenn Award, the top award for academic excellence in the School. Congratulations to all award recipients!
Gilbert S. Omenn Award – Irene Njuguna
Irene is a research scientist at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya. She is principal investigator of a randomized trial on financial incentives, co-principal investigator on a study to validate saliva-based HIV testing and video-based HIV pre-test counseling, and co-investigator in several other pediatric HIV studies. She will graduate with an MPH this spring and begin her PhD studies, mentored by Dr. Grace John-Stewart, in the fall.
Outstanding Staff – DJ Miller
DJ is key to the department’s smooth operations and balanced budget. Since 2014, DJ has diplomatically tackled some of the department’s most complex issues. From advocating for a new student gathering space to mentoring staff and advising faculty on administrative details, DJ’s leadership has had a positive impact on the department.
Outstanding TA – Bridget Whitney
Whitney is a fabulous TA, students say. She was a TA for Epidemiological Data Analysis, where she roamed around the classroom, helping students troubleshoot code. Her warm and upbeat personality (even at 6 pm on a Friday), her mastery of material, and her commitment to students created an engaging and enjoyable classroom. “Hope to be such a great TA when I do it!” one student said.
Outstanding Master’s Student – Chris Phillips
Chris enrolled in the Epi program after working on basic and translational neurophysiology research at the UW. For his thesis, he collaborated with the UW Department of Rehabilitation Medicine to research outcomes of traumatic brain injury. After completing his MPH, he will be matriculating to the UW School of Medicine.
Outstanding PhD student – Sylvia Badon
Sylvia’s research focuses on how a mother’s lifestyle before and during pregnancy could influence her risk for complications as well as her child’s growth and development. Outside of research, Sylvia tutors students in epidemiology and is involved in the Society for Epidemiologic Research as education chair of the Student Postdoc Committee. She’s starting a postdoctoral fellowship at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research this summer.