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PhD Candidate Laura Koo Selected as a Rima E. Rudd Fellow in Health Literacy

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Laura Koo, a University of Maryland School of Public Health PhD candidate in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health, has been selected as a Rima E. Rudd Fellow. The fellowship will provide up to $30,000 to support Koo’s dissertation research in health literacy. 

The annual Rudd Dissertation Fellowship, sponsored by the University of Maryland School of Public Health’s Horowitz Center for Health Literacy, honors the work of Dr. Rima E. Rudd, one of the founders of the health literacy field in the United States. Rudd has trained and influenced thousands of students and practitioners around the world, and the fellowship was created to support the next generation of health literacy leaders. 

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. 

Koo is currently in the data collection phase for the pilot survey and future research will explore the relationships among critical health literacy, empowerment, and advocacy for other health conditions.

Koo serves as an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing and as a nurse practitioner in a preoperative evaluation center. She has previously served as a primary care provider for a retirement community and the Wellmobile Program.


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