April 23, 2014

School of Public Health graduate students Rianna Murray, Sarah Pomerantz and Graciela Jaschek were awarded travel grants for research presented at this year's University of Maryland Graduate Research Interaction Day (GRID) on April 9. Rianna Murray, an MPH student in Environmental Health, won a first-place award in the Addressing Environmental Modeling session for her poster "The Anacostia River, Recreation, and Health: Is there an Association between Limited-Contact Recreation and Adverse Health Outcomes?" Rianna's work examines the possible adverse health outcomes associated with limited-contact recreational exposure to the Anacostia River.

Another first-place award went to Sarah Pomerantz, an MPH student in Behavioral and Community Health, for her oral presentation "Text Message Innovation for Promoting Family Physical Activity among Parents and Their Preschoolers," delivered in the Human Behavior and the Cognitive Mind session. Sarah presented findings from a Future of Information-Deutsch Seed Grant project conducted with team members Erica Doxzen and Irina Iles, under guidance from faculty mentor Dr. Linda Aldoory, Director of the Herschel S. Horowitz Center for Health Literacy. The team created a library of interactive, tailored text messages based on formative community-based research as well as social cognitive theory, user-centered design strategies, and health literacy and cultural competency best practices.

Graciela Jaschek, a PhD student in Epidemiology, won a second-place award for her oral presentation in the Health session, entitled "On Partnerships, Community Engagement and Community Organizing: A Case Study in Peru." GRID provides an on-campus conference-style venue in which graduate students from all academic backgrounds can share their research, obtain valuable faculty and peer feedback, and hone their conference presentation skills within the comfort of their own campus environment.

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Sarah Pomerantz, Graciela Jaschek