January 15, 2015

Erica Roberts, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health, received the 2014 Dr. Mabel S. Spencer Award for Excellence in Graduate Achievement. Recognized for her research on culturally-driven ways to improve the success and sustainability of public health programs for Native Americans, the award provides an annual stipend of at least $15,000 and candidacy tuition remission.

Ms. Roberts’ dissertation, “A Sequential Mixed Methods Approach to Identifying and Understanding Indigenous Ways of Evaluating Physical Activity programs,” reflects her long-standing personal and professional interest in reducing health disparities among Native Americans. Ms. Roberts, who is Native American, has worked on a research study on urban American Indian female youth’s views on health and physical culture, as well as on tribal public evaluation. The UMD Graduate School selected her as a featured profile in its newsletter.

Ms. Roberts, who received her undergraduate degree in community health from UMD in ’06, expects to complete her doctorate in December 2015. She received her MHS from John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Kerry Green, associate professor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health, serves as her advisor. In addition to her dissertation, she is an intern at the National Cancer Institute in the Office of Planning and Assessment. 

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Erica Roberts, Kerry Green