The Horowitz Center for Health Literacy sponsors the Rudd Dissertation Fellowship to foster innovative doctoral-level health literacy research relevant to public health priorities and contexts. Dr. Rudd is one of the founders of the health literacy field in the U.S., and she has trained and influenced thousands of students and practitioners around the world. This fellowship honors her contributions and supports the next generation of health literacy leaders.

In the past, up to $30,000 has been available for the fellowship, and the amount awarded depended on student need and budget. The funds must be applied to tuition, fees, or research expenses. Within 3 years of award, students must spend the funds and defend the dissertation.  

2020-2021 Rudd Fellow: Laura Koo

Ms. Koo’s research will examine the associations among parental communicative and critical health literacy, empowerment and advocacy behaviors in the context of food allergy management in elementary schools using a nationwide sample of parents of school-age children. Koo will measure health literacy with an adapted version of Ishikawa, Takeuchi and Yano’s Functional, Communicative, and Critical Health Literacy Scale. 




Prior Rudd Fellows


2018-2019: Catherine Maybury and Heather Platter

Ms. Maybury's dissertation is a national survey of third- and fourth- year dental students to understand their perspectives on what is taught in U.S. dental schools relating to communication techniques shown to improve patient understanding and three regimens that are effective in preventing dental caries (tooth decay). 

Ms. Platter's dissertation is a mixed methods study examining provider communication techniques and knowledge of lung cancer screening guidelines. Her study will also explore barriers to lung cancer screening among older adult long-term smokers at high risk for developing lung cancer. Using a grounded theory methodology, a final theoretical model will be created, which can be applied and tested in future screening interventions.

2013-2014: Kathleen Ruben

Ms. Ruben's dissertation examined the health literacy of decision-making partners for individuals with dementia in the Arkansas Independent Choices program and the potential impact of low health literacy on this vulnerable population.