Student accolades and honors

The School of Public Health recognizes awards and achievements made by students during the spring semester.



Dean’s Day 2023


  • Harika Dyer (MPH EPI ’23), “Correlates of COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake in Black Adults in Allegheny County, PA.”
  • Nathan Raabe (PhD EPI ’24) “Genomic Epidemiologic Investigation of a Hospital Outbreak of NDM-5-Producing Gram-Negative Enterobacterales Infections.”

Second place

  • Shravan Leonard-Murali, MD (MS EPI ‘23) “Uveal Melanoma Immunogenomics Predict Immunotherapy Susceptibility and Resistance.”
  • Arpita Tripathi (PhD, BCHS ‘25) “’Mix Some Damn Juice’; A Discourse Analysis of a ‘Do-It-Yourself’ (DIY) E-Cigarette Community on Reddit.”

Third place

  • Rina Mahoney (MPH HUGEN ’23) “Assessment of Barriers to Family Medicine Practitioners Implementing Population-Based Carrier Screening in Primary Care.”
  • Ziling Mao (PhD EPI ‘25) “Associations between the Total Energy Intake and Eating Window with All-Cause and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality in U.S. Adults.”

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award

  • Aparna Ramani (MPH HPM ’23) “HDPulse: A Resource for Understanding Disparities in Mental Health Outcomes.”
  • Anna Lewis, MSW (PhD HPM ’25) “Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Permanent Supportive Housing Placement.”

Catherine Cartier Ulrich Memorial Award
(For service to the underserved)

  • Adrianna I. Acevedo-Fontanez (PhD EPI ’23) “Reallocation of Sedentary Time with Light Physical Activity is Associated with Higher Sleep Efficiency in African Caribbeans.”

Rosenkranz Award
(For greatest public health significance)

  • Samantha Rosenberg (MPH BCHS ‘24) “Representation of Minorities in Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD) Clinical Trials: An Overview of Reviews.”

Center for Public Health Practice Award
(For translation and application of research to public health policy and practice)

  • Dara Czernikowski (MPH IDM ‘23) “Filtering Out the Bad: Measuring Health Care Worker Practice Compliance in a Pediatric Dialysis Setting.”

Biostatistics Research Day

Best poster

  • Jiaqian Liu (MS ‘23) “Prediction of Asthma Exacerbations in Children Using Mixed-Effect Random Forests on EHR Data.”
  • Manqi Cai (PhD ‘23) “MODE: Multi-Omics Cellular Deconvolution with Single-Cell RNA Seq and DNAM References.”
  • Penghui Huang (PhD ‘26) “Accurate Estimation of Rare Cell Type Fractions from Tissue Omics Data via Hierarchical Deconvolution.”

Best oral presentation

  • Na Bo (PhD ‘25) “Estimating Heterogenous Survival Treatment Effect under Counterfactual Framework.”

Three-Minute Thesis Competition

Students are challenged ahead of their Doctor of Philosophy dissertation defense to effectively present their research in three or fewer minutes to a non-specialist audience. This year’s public health winners were:

First place

  • Zachary Clemens (PhD EOH ‘24) “Exposing Arsenic’s Muscle Morbidities: Disruption of Extracellular Vesicle Traffic.”

Second place

  • Jake Kastroll (PhD HUGEN ‘25) “Novel Genetic Approach Uncovers GDF-15 Signals Locally in the Liver Via Interaction with the Matrix Metalloprotease MMP14.”

Third place

  • Gerard Portela (PhD EPI ‘24) “How Low Can You Go? Defining Blood Transfusion Thresholds for Heart Attack Patients.”

Other Honors

Dylan Tuttle (PhD IDM ‘25) has been appointed student liaison co-chair of the American Public Health Association’s HIV/AIDS Section. Tuttle recently presented his research on COVID-19 mRNA vaccine-related immunity in individuals with HIV at an executive committee meeting of the National Institutes of Health-managed Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study/Women’s Interagency HIV Study–Combined Cohort Study.

Diana Bellino (MPH IDM ‘23) is the 2023 recipient of Pitt Public Health’s Russell Rule Rycheck Award for a Promising Master of Public Health Student, which provides $500 for professional development. Rycheck, who died in 2021, served in the Department of Epidemiology for 42 years and was known for his dedication as a mentor and teacher.

-Michele Baum