Department of Biostatistics Ranked Best Graduate Statistics Program

The Department of Biostatistics was favorably ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best graduate statistical programs. The rating was set on a scale of one to five, with one representing a marginal rating and five representing an outstanding rating. This rating was based on a survey by academic peer institutions. Questionnaires were sent to department heads and directors of graduate studies. In order for a program to qualify for a score, programs needed a minimum of 10 ratings and had to have awarded a minimum of five doctoral degrees for the years 2011-2015. Of the more than 100 statistical programs that were ranked, the Department of Biostatistics program ranked 55th with a score of 2.9. Read more

Lee Elected ASA Fellow

Dr. Ji-Hyun Lee, incoming Professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Director of the UF Health Cancer Center Division of Quantitative Sciences, recently received news from the American Statistical Association that she has been elected an ASA Fellow. ASA Fellows are nominated by their ASA-member peers and must have outstanding contributions to statistical science through publications, positions held with their employer, ASA activities, memberships and accomplishments and other professional activities. Being an ASA Fellow is a high honor as only one-third of one percent of the total association memberships are elected as Fellows.

Lee will be honored at a ceremony held at the Joint Statistical Meetings in Vancouver, Canada this summer.


Clinical and Health Psychology

CHP Doctoral Student Wins Society of Health Psychology Research Award

Congratulations to third year CHP doctoral student, Jennifer Warnick, whose proposed dissertation study was selected for a Society of Health Psychology (APA Division 38) Graduate Student Research Award. Warnick was one of five student research award winners for 2018. Her study will examine environmental and familial factors relating to pediatric obesity in young children. Warnick graduated from Northwestern University and completed two years of postbaccalaureate training before joining the pediatric psychology team in the Fall 2015.

CHP Alumnus and Postdoctoral Fellow Elected Co-Chair of APA Special Interest Group in Diabetes

Dr. Sarah Westen was elected co-chair of the American Psychological Association (APA, Division 54) Special Interest Group in Diabetes for the 2018-2020 term. Westen is a pediatric psychology postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology through the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and Bringing Science Home Initiative. She is a 2018-2019 JDRF National Fellowship in Psychology recipient (one in five nationwide), a 2018 Children with Diabetes Friends for Life® Fellow, and the 2018 recipient of the American Psychological Association’s Drotar-Crawford Postdoctoral Fellowship Research Grant in Pediatric Psychology.

As Co-Chair of the APA Special Interest Group, Westen will promote an integrated team approach to the medical and behavioral management of pediatric diabetes, increase collaborative opportunities between pediatric psychologists who conduct research and provide clinical care to patients with diabetes and their families, and use evidence-based approaches to assess and treat the biopsychosocial factors associated with morbidity in diabetes.


Dean's Office

PHHP Research Day/Public Health Day 2018

The College of Public Health and Health Professions hosted its 31st annual Research Day in conjunction with Public Health Day on April 6, featuring 176 poster and oral presentations by undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and associates.

Oral presentations were given by master’s in public health candidates who presented on their culminating projects and the top health professions and top public health graduate students. Mona Fouad, MD, MPH, the senior associate dean of diversity and inclusion and a professor and director of the division of preventive medicine at University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, provided the keynote address, “Building Capacity in Health Disparities Research.”


Environmental and Global Health

EGH Celebrates National Environmental Health Day

On Wednesday, April 4, the Department of Environmental and Global Health celebrated Environmental Health Day. This day is recognized nationwide as part of National Public Health Week. Students in the department collaborated with the Public Health Student Association (PHSA) to organize a tabling event in the college’s courtyard. Students could learn ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle and test their knowledge of environmental health facts. Representatives from Gainesville Regional Utilities and Solid Waste and Resource Recovery also attended the event.

Wood Publishes Article in Food & Nutrition Research

Dr. Liz Wood recently published an article titled “Household decision-making around food in rural Tajikistan: a cross-sectional study to help extension workers in the field” in Food & Nutrition Research. She co-wrote the article with Katharine McNamara, Nargiza Ludgate, and Agata Kowalewska. The article presents findings from the project Integrating Gender and Nutrition within Agricultural Extension Services (INGENAES), under the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems, funded by USAID.

Wood began working on the project in 2016 and completed field work in Tajikistan with MPH students in 2017. In Tajikistan, Wood and other team members sought ways to address misconceptions about nutrition through qualitative interviews. She hopes that this type of research will continue to receive recognition in peer reviewed journals in the future.



Wang Accepted to UF’s Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellows Program

Research Assistant Scientist in Epidemiology, Yan Wang, PhD, was unanimously accepted to the UF’s Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellows program. Housed within the Warrington College of Business Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center, the program celebrates scholars who think and act in entrepreneurial ways. It is open to all full-time UF faculty members in all academic areas. Applications to join the organization are accepted on a rolling basis and up to five new fellows are accepted each year. In order to be accepted, faculty must propose an initiative that reflects the relationship between their academic area and entrepreneurship. Dr. Wang’s accepted proposal is to develop a set of real-time assessment tools for medical marijuana users to track their health outcomes. Fellows in this program are appointed for up to three years, although the appointment is renewable. The department is incredibly proud to see Dr. Wang be accepted to such a remarkable program.

Epidemiology Rocks Graduate Student Appreciation Week

This year’s Graduate Student Appreciation Week (GSAW) in the Department of Epidemiology had different activities throughout the week of April 2-6. Monday featured an all-day treasure hunt with gold “doubloons” scattered around the department for students to find. Tuesday was game day including favorites like checkers and a bean-bag toss. Wednesday was the ice cream social where faculty assisted with making some delicious treats. Thursday included a baking competition with a variety of cookie and cheesecake treats. During the week everyone was encouraged to take their best photos and send them to Research Assistant Professor Krishna Vaddiparti PhD, MPE, MSW, for judging. The winner of the photo contest was Vicki Osborne and the winner of the bake-off was the mocha cheesecake made by Abigail Hummel. It was an enjoyable week for all.


Health Services Research, Management and Policy

Beau de Rochars and Mainous Publish Commentary in Family Medicine

The commentary, “Global Health: A View From the School of Medicine of L'Université d’état d’Haiti,” also features Dr. Jean Claude Cadet, the Dean of Haiti's medical school. The piece focuses on how medical and global health missions, as well as the health care workforce affect Haiti’s daily struggle to provide access to health care for its citizens. The considerations outlined should also be relevant to other low-income countries as well. Read more

Health Services Research PhD Students Defend Dissertations

Ivana Vaughn (right) defended her dissertation, “Examining Longitudinal Healthcare Utilization and Outcomes in Pre-Frail Older Adults,” on March 27. Cristina Popescu (left) defended her dissertation, “Factors Associated with Child and Maternal Mortality in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region: A Panel Study,” on April 9. The department congratulates Dr. Vaughn and Dr. Popescu.


Occupational Therapy

PhD Student in Disability Studies Places Second for Levitt Award

The Institute for Learning Retirement partnered with the University of Florida at Oak Hammock Retirement Community to hold the 8th Annual Student Research on Aging Exposition in March. Undergraduate and graduate students as well as postdoctoral fellows were invited to present their research on adult development and aging. This event consisted of three rounds of judging, including abstract submission, poster presentation, and oral presentation. Shabnam Medhizadah, a second year Rehabilitation Science PhD student, participated and presented her research on the “Construction and Validation of the 32-item Fitness-to-Drive Screening Measure.” Medhizadah won second place for the Levitt Award. Medhizadah’s mentors on this project are Dr. Sherrilene Classen, her primary mentor, and Dr. Andrew Johnson a co-mentor from the University of Western Ontario.


Physical Therapy

Bishop and Alappattu Receive APTA Awards

Dr. Mark Bishop was selected as a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association (FAPTA). FAPTA is the highest honor awarded by the APTA and is given to physical therapists who have demonstrated unwavering efforts to advance the physical therapy profession. Dr. Meryl Alappattu was the recipient of the APTA Lucy Blair Service Award. The award is given to physical therapists whose contributions to the APTA are of exceptional quality.

Dunleavy to Represent American Council of Academic Physical Therapy at Global Forum

Dr. Kim Dunleavy was selected by the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy to represent the group at the Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education. The Global Forum is an ongoing, convening activity of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that brings together stakeholders from multiple nations and professions to network, discuss and illuminate issues within health professional education.


Public Health

MPH Spring Social

On April 12, the PHHP Master of Public Health Program celebrated with graduating and current students at the Spring Social. Guests enjoyed a catered dinner from Mi Apa Latin Café and a lovely decorated sheet cake. The program included speeches from department chairs and concentration coordinators who delivered thoughtful words of wisdom to students. Dr. Lusine Yaghjyan was presented with the Public Health Award for Faculty Excellence. Other highlights included student presentations of various Faculty Superlative Awards and recognition of the outgoing Public Health Student Association (PHSA) executive board members. It was a wonderful evening and a time for the MPH Program to celebrate graduates and a successful academic year.


Rehabilitation Science

RSD Student Discusses Research with NIH Director

Michael Sunshine, Rehabilitation Science PhD student, had a chance to meet National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Dr. Francis Collins at a lecture held at the UF Harrell Medical Education Building on April 2. Dr. Collins came to the University to have a town-hall style lecture with UF Health President Dr. David Guzick to address UF Health students, faculty, and staff. After the lecture, Sunshine was able to meet Dr. Collins and briefly discuss his own research.

RSD Student Appreciation Week Celebration

In recognition of Graduate Student Appreciation Week held the first week in April, the program created 32 personalized folders for each Rehabilitation Science PhD student, and hung them in the Physical Therapy hallway in the HPNP building. Throughout the week, students, faculty and staff were able to write notes of endearment and pop them into the students’ folders. On April 5, the students were given their folders to read their notes at the Student Appreciation Breakfast — it was a success. The program is proud of all of the talented students.


Social and Behavioral Sciences

Gordon Receives UF Open Access Publishing Fund Award

SBS PhD student Eliza Gordon received an award for $1,708 from the University of Florida Open Access Publishing Fund to publish her qualifying exam paper entitled "What is the Evidence for Food Addiction?  A Systematic Review" with co-authors Aviva Ariel-Donges, MS, MPH, Viviana Bauman, BS, and Lisa Merlo, PhD, in the international journal NutrientsRead more


Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

Hearoes for Hearing

Hearoes for Hearing is a 5K Run/Walk started in 2005 that is hosted by the University of Florida's chapter of the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association (NSSLHA). This year the race was held on Saturday, April 21 at the Commuter Lot off of Gale Lemerand Drive and more than $12,000 was raised to support the Cochlear Implant Fund at the UF Health Speech and Hearing Center. These funds will help purchase new testing materials, therapy materials, and loaner devices for both pediatric and adult patients. The student-run event featured entertainment from DJ Double A, speakers with cochlear implants, face painting for kids, and many more surprises.

Audiology Students Volunteer

Special Olympics Florida held a regional competition in Gainesville on April 7 with Healthy Athletes stations which included hearing screenings. Mary Swantek, Elena Hoogland, Caitlin Smith, and Lauren Husney from the Doctor of Audiology program volunteered their Saturday to screen 30 athletes from a four-county area. Having been involved in the state-wide games for a number of years, our students were very excited to engage with athletes locally, identifying hearing concerns in a group at risk for hearing loss, and making referrals for follow-up care.