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SPH Research and Practice Day provides students with the opportunity to showcase their work

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Student researcher with poster

Students from across the University of Maryland gathered at the School of Public Health to showcase their research during the annual SPH Public Health Research & Practice Day on Wednesday, April 4, one of several events taking place in SPH as part of National Public Health Week.

The posters and speakers showcased a wide range of academic disciplines and topics within them, with presenters sharing their findings with their fellow students, along with staff and faculty, talking about topics from a community-led intervention to improve mental health for Latinx adolescents to the impact of sewer overflows on bacterial exposures to perceptions of disordered eating in men and the impact of those perceptions on men’s health.

“The Research and Practice day gives students a safe environment to share the work they have been doing but also encourages other students to do the same,” said Dr. Sylvette La Touche-Howard, SPH assistant dean in the Office of Public Health Practice & Community Engagement and one of the judges for the event.

Students talking about research

Along with the experience of presenting their posters and judging by expert judges, students could participate in two additional events: People's Choice Posters and the Inaugural Dushanka Kleinman Lightning Round Talk Awards. Please see below for People’s Choice and Lightning Round winners. The full list of winners will be posted next week.  

For the posters, students were judged on their presentations for a variety of criteria from the aesthetic of their posters and their confidence presenting to the impact of their research. 

“It was inspiring to see the breadth and depth of research our students are conducting,” said Dr. Tracy Zeeger, one of the judges and assistant dean in the SPH Office of Public Health Practice & Community Engagement. “Most impressive was the students' ability to convey their research in plain language for non-experts. It was clear that a lot of effort and time was put into their preparation for the day.”

Chia-Shuan Chang, an international first-year behavioral and community health Ph.D. student from Taiwan presented her research on sleep patterns. Her team's study found that irregular sleep patterns over time can increase the risk of obesity. Chang appreciated the practice presenting her work in front of an audience.  

“As an international student, I haven't had that many opportunities so far,” Chang said. “This was a great chance for me to showcase what I have been doing and to establish the idea that I belong here.” 

Sophomore family science major Haleemat Adenuga shared her passion for reducing gender-based violence in Kenya and emphasized the importance of addressing this issue to create a more equitable society. Adenuga had traveled to Kenya with Public Health Beyond Borders, a student-led organization dedicated to addressing global health disparities. She participated in the event to not only gain experience presenting but also to bring awareness to this problem. 

“This was my first time doing a presentation like this,” Adenuga said, “I wanted to learn and become more confident sharing my work with others, and I thought this was a perfect opportunity.” 

To help make the day possible, volunteers donated their time to judge, the UMD Libraries donated poster printing and the event was co-sponsored by Delta Omega, the SPH Public Health Honor Society.

Two female students explaining their research

The presentations capped off an exciting week on National Public Health Week Activities. On Monday, the SPH Office of Public Health Practice & Community Engagement and the enBloom Collective hosted a panel discussion on the future state of the Crownsville Hospital Memorial Park, in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Expert panelists discussed civic engagement, advocacy, public health, health equity and community organizing as they related to the Crownsville Hospital grounds. 


As well, through the week, students led initiatives to improve public health, including collecting period products to help people in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and a diaper drive aimed to help children in need.

“We learned what we can do to advocate for the reparations needed at the Crownsville Hospital site. Hearing the stories of those directly impacted by the happenings of the Crownsville Hospital sparked a fire among our faculty, students, and other community members to become civically engaged,” Zeeger said. “Meeting with the Crownsville Panel set the tone for NPHW, and the Public Health Research & Practice Day nicely closed the week, recognizing our students are making significant contributions to public health.”

Congratulations to our SPH Public Health Research & Practice Day winners!

Inaugural Dushanka Kleinman Lightning Round Talk awardees

Talk Title: Promoting Resilience and Identity Development through Empowerment (PRIDE): Importance of Culturally Relevant Intervention

  • Student awardee: Lourdes Reyes Valenzuela and J. Kani Milongo 
  • Advisor: Dr. Rabiatu Barrie
  • Unit: Family Science

Talk Title: Examining Contributors to Maternal Health Disparities in Prince George’s County (Team Black Mamas Matter)

  • Student awardee: Esohe Owie
  • Advisor: Dr. Sylvette La Touche-Howard
  • Unit: Behavioral and Community Health

Poster Session People's Choice awardees

(Undergraduate) Poster Title: Understanding Osgood-Schlatter Disease in Adolescents

  • Student awardee: Abigail Rudolph
  • Advisor: Dr. Joanne Klossner and Dr. Larry Plotkin
  • Unit: Kinesiology

(Graduate) Poster Title: Comparing sexual messaging in adolescent media programming from two different cultures: A content analysis of 20 United States and South Korean Netflix series

  • Student awardee: Angshuman Kashyap
  • Advisor: Dr. Dina Borzekowski
  • Unit: Behavioral and Community Health
  • Categories
  • Students
  • Departments
  • Department of Family Science
  • Department of Kinesiology
  • Department of Behavioral and Community Health