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Student Awards

Gilbert S. Omenn Award for Academic Excellence


Zoe Edelstein, Doctoral Student, Epidemiology

Zoe has progressed through both the MS and PhD program in a combined six years. She has impressive scholarly productivity, with four first author publications and five additional publications as a co-author. Her work as a graduate research assistant exemplifies her commitment to core public health values. In a project with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Zoe's detailed analysis examined the impact of different methods by which the local cancer registry classifies, or does not classify, cancer patients of Hispanic origin. Her work provided evidence based rational for changes in health care coding procedures, to reduce instances of records with "missing" Hispanic status. Most recently, Zoe worked to monitor the effectiveness of the HPV prophylactic vaccines which were introduced in the community in 2006.


Carolyn Hutter ( Master's and Doctoral), Departments of Biostatistics and Epidemiology

Carolyn is an outstanding scholar. She completed her PhD earlier this year in Epidemiology and received her MS in Biostatistics . She has maintained a remarkable 3.93 GPA over her six years at the UW and has more than 20 papers in publication. She already earned an MS in Genetics at Cornell and her thesis and dissertation make valuable and unique contributions on the use of Mendelian Randomization.


Jennifer Doherty - received her undergraduate training in Biology at the Cornell and a MS in Epidemiology form the University of Illinois. She completed a Certificate in Public Health Genetics at the UW in 2001and defended her PhD dissertation. She will present the result of her research at this month's meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. Jennifer has excelled in her academic coursework and also receive the highest grade on the doctoral preliminary examination the year she took it.


Cheryl Anderson - This year’s winner was Cheryl, a doctoral student in the interdisciplinary Nutritional Sciences Program in Epidemiology. Her research was on nutrition and genetic regulation of red blood cells and serum folate levels. She has been a Minority International Training Program Fellow in Senegal, a respected teacher and mentor, and a leader in community outreach and service.

Outstanding Student Award


Colin Colin Rehm Colin Rehm completed his PhD in Epidemiology in Winter 2014. His dissertation research examined the role of diet cost in accounting for social disparities in chronic disease risk. Prior to returning to UW to complete his PhD he worked as an epidemiologist at the Snohomish Health District. He recently began a post-doctoral position where he will be working to estimate the costs of population-based dietary interventions and will also be examining dietary factors associated with cardiovascular disease. In his free time he enjoys watching soccer and walking his two dogs.

Arianna Arianna Miles-Jay Arianna is a bright and ambitious student that has excelled in her MPH studies in the Department of Epidemiology, with a cumulative GPA of 3.91. Those that have worked with Arianna are impressed by her maturity, initiative, and with the passionate yet thoughtful way she approaches her work. Arianna enjoys sharing epidemiology with others, as evidenced by time spent speaking about epidemiology as a career with local middle school students. Her thesis work in the Infectious Disease Sciences program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is examining the epidemiology of antimicrobial resistant pathogens, which are increasingly being recognized as a leading international public health concern. Arianna's potential to contribute significantly to the field of public health has been previously recognized by SPH through her receipt of two prestigious awards: The SPH Executive Committee Research Assistantship during her first year and the Grayston Day Fellowship during her second year. She will be beginning her PhD in epidemiology in the fall, where she will continue her training as an infectious disease researcher, a role in which she will surely excel. In her free time, Arianna enjoys practicing yoga, reading a good book, and exploring all that the Pacific Northwest has to offer with her husband,


Upson Kristen Upson exemplifies the best in our students, excelling both in her studies in the Department of Epidemiology and in her commitment to the larger filed of public health. Kristen has presented the results of the research she has conducted while a student at 10 national or international conferences, and her initial analyses of the BPA project data have been accepted for presentation a this year’s Society of Epidemiologic Research Annual Conference. She spent a recent summer working in the Republic of Ireland for the National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre, where she assisted with the establishment and analysis of a national perinatal dataset that is providing valuable information for improving the health of Ireland’s pregnant women and their offspring. Kristen is a most remarkable Epidemiology graduate student, with excellent public research and leadership skills and a well-developed sense of responsibility to use these skills to benefit of the larger community, both in research and in service.

Osoti Dr. Alfred Osoti has excelled as a student, a researcher and public health advocate during his training. His MPH thesis work is an ambitious project conducted in Western Keya where HIV prevalence reaches 20% in some antenatal clinics. His study is a clinical trial that involved randomizing pregnant women to home-based or clinic-based partner HIV testing. Dr. Osoti is a stellar candidate with a background and career trajectory that position him well to make a significant impact on HIV care and delivery in sub-Saharan Africa, particular for women and children.


Balkus Jennifer Balkus, Doctoral Student, Epidemiology has masterfully combined her interests in global health, women's health, and STDs into training and research in Africa. She brings excellent writing, cultural sensibility, critical thinking, and a talent for analyzing and presenting data to her work. She is committed to a career in global public health.

Odeny Thomas Odeny, Master's Student, Epidemiology is determined to slow the spread of HIV in his native Kenya, as well as raise the standards of health research and training in that country. He has shown a great ability to transfer knowledge gained at UW to Kenya, where he has set up and co-taught distance learning classes and established a Journal Club for physicians at his workplace there.


Katon Jodie Katon, Doctoral Student, Epidemiology Jodie excels in her doctoral work at the University of Washington at an impressive pace. She has completed her PhD coursework requirements and is actively working on her dissertation and preparing for her General Examination. Last year she won the prestigious Samuel and Althea Stroum Endowed Graduate Fellowship for Diabetes Research. Jodie is a focused, dedicated student who works at a high level of professionalism. She is diligent, effective, and thoughtful, and she works well with her peers, staff, and faculty.

Jodie approaches her own dissertation research, particularly the complex data collection work at two remote sites, in an orderly, yet flexible way. Her drive, creativity, and ability to manage a complex project are most impressive.
Gelaye Bizu Gelaye, Master's Student, Epidemiology Bizu has completed the requirements for the MPH degree in epidemiology, and he has been accepted into the PhD degree program. His extensive organizational skills, attention to detail, technology savvy, intense intellectual curiosity, and a work ethic honed by his intense commitment to make the best of each opportunity sets Bizu apart from many. Bizu has 25 published or in press papers (six as lead author and eleven where he co-mentored MIRT fellows).

He served as committee member for the UW IRB for three years and is currently serving on the UW Global Health Resource Center Advisory Board and the Michael Randall Ealy Social Justice Foundation. Few match the tenacity, persistence, creativity, research capabilities, and administrative skills possessed by Bizu Gelaye.


Frretts Amanda Fretts (PhD Candidate) is an exceptional bright student who received her undergraduate degree from Amherst. She is of Native American heritage and grew up on a reservation near the Arctic Circle. Her research focuses on lifestyle factors, such as nutrition and physical activity, and incident type II diabetes in Native Americans. Mandy published her master's thesis in the American Journal of Epidemiology and was interviewed by Indian Country which has the largest distribution among Native Americans in the US. Her doctoral research extends this work.

Those who work with Mandy are impressed by her maturity, insight, and commitment to academic growth. She combines her scientific knowledge with the ability to complete projects and interact with people at all levels.


Frretts Amanda Phipps (PhD Candidate)is an exceptional student with a stellar academic record. She has a nearly perfect GPA and scored a perfect 100% on the doctoral preliminary exam. She has undertaken a complex and difficult dissertation project, and her work is expected to make a significant and important contribution to our understanding of the molecular aspects of breast cancer. Amanda has a publication record seldom seen in graduate students.
She has already published 11 peer-reviewed papers, five as first author, in some of the best journals in the field;. she has published four first-author book chapters; and she plans to produce at least five more first-author papers from her dissertation. Amanda has also distinguished herself as a teacher, excelling at being a TA for the core methods courses


Livaudais Jennifer Livaudais (PhD Candidate) has an impressive record of academic and professional accomplishments, excelling in the classroom and in her research. She has published three manuscripts as first author, has co-author three more, and makes exceptional presentations. Jennifer is committed to improving the health of Latino populations, focusing her work on breast cancer. She has been expanding her research to examine reductive risk factors and lifestyle behaviors among women between
alcohol intake and breast cancer, using data from a large case-control study of Mexican women. Her ability to integrate qualitative and quantitative methods in analyzing epidemiologic data is considered excellent.


Yuzo Arima (PhD Candidate) graduated cum laude from Columbia and earned an MPH in epidemiology here in 2005. As a doctoral student he has an impressive record, excelling in the classroom, winning several awards and fellowships, authoring numerous publications, and making presentations at national and international scientific meetings. One of his dissertation projects required extensive research into the design, implementation,a and analysis of behavioral surveys. Yuzo is a gifted teacher who excites students by engaging them and making epidemiology relevant to their lives. He has excelled as a Research Assistant with the APRC Emergency Infections network and is considered an emerging leader and scholar who has what it takes to become a world-renowned epidemiologist.


Elanor Sidman (PhD Candidate), is not only an exceptional student academically, she is and excellent example of a "scholar-citizen". She is committed to research that expands scientific knowledge while having clear implications for public policy and societal action. Elanor played an important role in the School's re-accreditation process and the effort to review and establish MPH competencies.


Jennifer Marino (PhD Candidate) used her strong background in the biological sciences and nursing in an ambitious dissertation project in Epidemiology that builds on an existing population-based case control study of endometriosis and its possible association with night-shift work and specific genotypes.


Lucia Hindorff, MPH (PhD Candidate) - Considered a "superstar" by her nominators, lucia has a superb record of achievement, including a number of awards ad fellowships. Her research focuses on the genetic aspects of cardiovascular disease, bridging the fields of molecular genetics and cardiovascular disease Epidemiology. Lucia has already published eight papers and has another nearly ready for submission. Her success as a TA for the challenging, required core methodology courses in Epidemiology stems from her firm grasp of the material, her enthusiasm, and her ability to communicate effectively as a teacher. Lucia is considered "an exceptionally accomplished, hard working, and innovative young investigator who will undoubtedly make significant contributions in the future".


Mike Jackson, MPH (PhD candidate) - is working as a Research Assistant at Group Health Cooperative, where he has been engaged in work on pneumococcal vaccine safety and efficacy, developing methods of surveillance for radiographically-confirmed pneumonia, and making significant contributions to the work of the group.

Mike has excellent quantitative skills, works independently while also being an outstanding tam member, and has a strong research background. He has conducted a number of analyses of national datasets and contributed to a successful grant application the CDC, and he has presented his work at a national meeting. Already published, Mike is one of the most capable master's students we have had at the University".


Alyson Littman - has worked a a Research Assistant at the Cancer Prevention Program a the FHCRC and was selected as a Trainee on their Cancer prevention Training Grant. She is an enthusiastic and successful teacher and productive researcher. Alyson is involved in a number of research projects, several of which have resulted in published papers of manuscripts under review. Her dissertation project is a serologic study of Chlamydia pneumoniae infection and lung cancer. The remarkable breadth of Alyson's accomplishments led to her being described as "one of those very special graduate students who will undoubtedly make a significant contributions in the future."


Shelley Tworoger - is an accomplished student whose undergraduate work in biochemistry and experience at FHCRC led her to graduate studies in epidemiology. She was selected as a pre-doctoral trainee on the Environmental and Molecular Epidemiology Training Grant, became lead TA for the Department last year, and completed an ambitious master's thesis. For her dissertation project, Shelley designed a study of sleep quality and quantity that is likely to provide important new information. Shelley is publishing, presenting at national meetings, and due to her experience and s strengths, promises to develop into a successful independent investigator with a productive research career.


Preet Dhillon - who has received her PhD from the Department of Epidemiology, excelled academically and performed very complex dissertation research on the efficacy of PSA screening in reducing mortality from prostate cancer. Her study design led to similar studies in several other health plans— making her “a national figure before completing her PhD.”

Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award


Wagner Anjuli Wagner, PhD student at the University of Washington in the Department of Epidemiology. Her interests within global health include maternal and child health, HIV, neglected tropical diseases, and implementation science.


Katon Jeff Stanaway, Epidemiology Jeff shows dedication to his students by going above and beyond the requirements of his position, assisting students in any way possible. He is not only a talented epidemiologist, but is able to communicate his understanding to students through real-world, concrete examples. Given the time constrains of attending classes, holding office hours, grading assignments and responding to additional quiries, Jeff's unfailing postive attitude is always very impressive.


Upson Kristen Upson, is described by her students as an outstanding and caring TA for both Epidemiology and Biostatistics courses. She is enthusiastic about the materials and helping her students learn, and she has excellent teaching and communication skills. Kristen is someone who prepares carefully and thoroughly for discussion sections and also provides thoughtful, clear responses to questions and helps make confusing concepts more understandable. She is patient and respectful.
Her students appreciate Kristen's willingness to provide extra assistance outside normal office hours and to be available for on-on-one assistance as needed. Her office hours are attended by many who don't need extra help but find her teaching style and explanations to be a valuable complement to the regular course lecture.


Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, served as TA for Epi 512/513 this year, a difficult class to assist because students come from so many disciplines. Ali answered questions with patience, good humor, and a remarkable ability to help students grasp complex principles by thinking through the concepts step by step. Ali provided the students with tools to answer their own questions, which enhanced their understanding of the material.


Carolyn Hutter - Faculty and students alike singled out Carolyn for her superior performance as a TA. She is exceptionally helpful in planning an coordinating courses as well as other TAs. She handled all the logistical aspects of one course, including creating and linking readings to the Web page, working with guest speakers, contacting students about requirements, etc. Even more important, Carolyn contributed to the substantive content of the course - leading discussion sections, advising student son term paper topics, and generally making significant improvements on her own initiative. One student said, "Carolyn's passion for teaching and for epidemiology is contagious. She has done an excellent job connecting with her students and always finds a way to explain complex concepts.

Distinguished Alumni Award


H. Ward Hinds received his MPH in epidemiology in 1975. He recently retired as Health Officer of the Snohomish Health District, a post he held since 1986. In that role, he set a high standard for serving the public's health in Snohomish County and responded to numerous public health challenges. Epidemiology professor emeritus Jim Gale noted in his nomination statement that "Ward Hinds has been a distinguished, effective public health practitioner for over 30 years. Ward's willingness and energy to take leadership positions on a broad array of specific issues often above and beyond his local responsibilities is inspiring." Dr. HInds has been a leader on groups such as the Region 3HIV Prevention Planning Council, the Washington State Steering Committee on Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response, and the Washington State Public Health Improvement Plan Steering Committee. He ia also an active member in the Alumni Advisory Board and has taught as a clinical professor in Epidemiology and Health Services.

Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation

The Seattle chapter of the ARCS Foundation has given the UW nearly $5 million for graduate education in the
natural sciences, mathematics and engineering.  It is the University's largest annual donor. Recipients must be outstanding first year PhD students.

Nicole E. Basta
Dodie Arnold

Timothy Menza
Lori Sakoda

Alison Drake

Amy J. Poel
Kerryn Reding

Magnuson Scholar
The prestigious Magnuson Scholarship is awarded each year to one student in each of the six University of Washington Health Sciences schools. Selection criteria are academic performance and the student’s potential for contribution to research in the health sciences. The late Senator Warren G. Magnuson, in whose name the program was established, was committed to improving the nation’s health through biomedical research and was instrumental in establishing the National Institutes of Health, Medicare, and Medicaid during his long career in the U.S. Senate. 

The purpose of this program is to recognize graduate students with outstanding potential for research in the health sciences.  The Program began in 1993 and is funded from a $2 million endowment from the Warren G. Magnuson Institute for Biomedical Research and Health Professions Training. 


Christine Khosropour Recipient of the School of Public Health 2014-15 Magnuson Scholar and will receive $30,000 to support her education. Her research field is STD and HIV prevention


Astrid Suchy-Dicey has been selected a Magnuson Scholar for the 2012-13 year. She is a doctoral student in Epidemiology and joined the Cardiovascular Health Research Unit as part of the NHLBI-funded training program in Cardiovascular Epidemiology. She is interested in population genetics, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Her thesis project focused on atherosclerosis and candidate gene variability; she extends these interests with her dissertation work on type 2 diabetes, medication use, and gene expression.


Amanda M. Fretts, MPH has been selected a Magnuson Scholar for the 2009-10 year. She is a doctoral student in the Department of Epidemiology and a pre-doctoral trainee at the Cardiovascular Health Research Unit. She is interested in American Indian health, physical activity, nutrition and diabetes research


Richard Jensen was awarded the Magnuson Scholar Award. He is an optometrist and currently spends time as a pre-doctoral fellow at the CHRU and as a RA working in the Robert Williams Lab.


Nicole Basta Nicole Basta was selected to attend The 60th Annual Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, which will take place from June 27th to July 2nd, 2010. The meeting brings together promising young researchers from around the world and Nobel Laureates from the fields of physiology or medicine, physics and chemistry.



Nicolas Madsen

Nicolas Madsen, MD, was one of 6 chosen out of over 300 submissions to present at the Seventh Annual Outstanding Investigator Award. This award was presented at the Cardiology 2010 conference in Orlando, Fl (Feb 13, 2010).


His presentation was on the association between maternal obesity and congenital heart defects. They found a positive association that an obese mother had a 22% increased likelihood of having a child with a congenital heart defect

Other Awards


Thomas Francis, Jr., Global Health Fellowship

Stephanie Kovacs, MPH, PhDc – Epidemiology, School of Public Health

Stephanie worked for two years as a research fellow with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Tanzania focusing primarily on prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV and maternal and child health. Her research interests focus on infectious disease and phamacovigillance surveillance specifically in low and middle income countries. Her dissertation combines these interests to study the safety of antimalarial drugs in pregnancy. Stephanie will be traveling to Liverpool, United Kingdom to collaborate with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and the Malaria in Pregnancy Consortium (MiPc). During her stay in Liverpool, she will be working intensely with the data management team of the MiPc to combine data from eight randomized clinical trials and a multi-site cohort study in order to assess the safety of antimalarial drugs.

Global Opportunities (GO) Health Fellowship

Daisy Krakowiak, PhDc – Epidemiology, School of Public Health

Daisy Krakowiak earned her MPH and a graduate certificate in Global Health from the University of Utah in 2010. She is working with her mentor, Dr. Carey Farquhar, on a randomized clinical trial of home-based education and HIV testing of partners of pregnant women in Western Kenya (The HOPE Study). In this trial, community health workers perform home visits with pregnant couples and cover educational topics such as HIV prevention and treatment, the importance of facility delivery, exclusive breastfeeding, and postpartum family planning, as well as conduct couple HIV counseling and testing. Daisy is developing a qualitative interview to learn what aspects of the home-based health education and HIV testing intervention were effective from a user perspective. This information will help in improving the intervention for potential nationwide roll-out if the intervention is found to be acceptable, effective and cost-effective. She is excited and thankful for this hands-on opportunity to further her passion and research experience in global health.

Bradley Wagenaar, PhDc – Epidemiology, School of Public Health

Bradley came to UW after finishing Master’s level training at Emory, with a focus on the epidemiology of depression and suicide in rural Haiti. He is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer from Northern Cameroon. He is currently working with Health Alliance International to support strengthening integrated primary health care in Mozambique. He will use the GO fello wship to support dissertation activities to assess the availability of psychotropic medications, to conduct chart reviews to determine current diagnosis and treatment patterns for mental disorders, and to survey health-facility staff around perceptions, knowledge, and current practices for common mental disorders in Sofala Province, Mozambique.

Grayston Day Fellowship ($10,000)

Kim Kummer, Epidemiology, MPH candidate

SPH Endowed Fellowship ($5,000)

Michael Arndt, Epidemiology, PhD candidate


Mark Arianna Miles
Grayston Day Fellowship ($5,000)

Mark Bradley Wagenaar
SPH Endowed Fellowship ($5,000)

Mark Jennifer Mark, MPH
PhD Student of Epidemiology was the recipient of a summer 2013 Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship. Additionally, Jennifer also received a 2013-2014 Boren Awards Fellowship for graduate students to add a modern language component to graduate education studies (more)


Young Investigator Award

Renee Heffron

Graduate School Distinguished Dissertation Award

Renee Heffron

UW Retirement Association's Graduate Fellowship

Silvis Alison Silvis Rustagi (PhD candidate, Epi) received a Graduate Fellowship Award from the UW Retirement Association. She will conduct research on cervical cancer screening among older women.


APHA 2011 Nguyen Memorial Award for Leadership

Laurino Doctoral student Mercy Laurino (Epi) won the APHA 2011 Nguyen Memorial Award for Leadership. Mercy, who is also a genetic counselor, worked with a team in the Philippines to develop that country's first training program for genetic counselors.

Early Independence Award by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Basta Nicole Basta, PhD was named as one of only ten winners of the Early Independence Award by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This five-year grant will support her research evaluating a new vaccine for bacterial meningitis in Mali.



Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholar

Danny Colombara, PhD -- Epidemiology PhD student, has been selected in a national competition as a Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholar for 2011-2012 at the Cancer Institute and Hospital of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CICAMS) in Beijing, China. His Supervisory Committee Chair is Professor Lisa Manhart, Ph.D. from the University of Washington Epidemiology Department. The Program Director is Jennifer Smith, M.P.H., Ph.D., and the U.S. partner institution is the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This award is for a period of one year, with funding beginning July 1, 2011. His research interest is in the epidemiology of infections and cancer.


Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholar

Kristen Heitzinger, PhD was selected as a Fogarty International Clinical Research Scholar and will be spending the 2011-2012 academic year conducting epidemiologic research in Peru. Her Peruvian collaborating institutions are the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos Investigacion Medica, and the Ministry of Health National STD and HIV Strategy Offices, located in Lima. Her U.S. Fogarty mentor will be Joe Zunt, a faculty member at the UW SPH, and her Peruvian mentor will be Dr. Silvia Montano, who is based in Lima.


Archana Shrestha Received Fulbright student scholarship award for year 2010 to 2012

Jodie Katon recieved the Samuel and Althea Stroum Fellowship, dates: Sept 2010-Sept 2011

Sara Nelson Young Investigator Award, 17th Conference on Retroviruses & Opportunistic Infections, 2010


Danny Colombara and Carla Mercado (both PhD candidates) have received a 2008-09 Diversity Fellowship from the Graduate Opportunities & Minority Achievement Program (GO-MAP)


Wendy Langeberg, student in Epidemiology, PhD Candidate was award the University of Washington Retirement Association Fellowship for Research on Aging for the 2007-08 academic year.


Jennifer Marino, PhD student in Epidemiology, has been awarded both a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship and a Johnson & Johnson Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship.


Kawango Agot (MPH, Epidemiology, 2001) won a five-year NIH Fogarty research grant for new foreign investigators on widow inheritance and HIV infection in Kenya. She is also project director of the first randomized controlled trial of male circumcision and HIV infection.




Updated on May 17, 2012