Fall 2011

Student News

Around the School

Safdar named president of the Pakistan Nutrition and Dietetic Society

Nilofer SafdarNilofer Safdar, a doctoral candidate in the Public Health – Nutrition option program, has been elected president of the Pakistan Nutrition and Dietetic Society (PNDS). Ms. Safdar was chosen this past June for a two-year term extending until 2013.

At present PNDS is Pakistan’s most active professional society that focuses on the advancement of human nutrition sciences and professions in Pakistan. The society is comprised of more than 300 regular members including dietitians, nutritionists and other health care professionals. The emphasis of the society has been on the development of strategy in all areas of nutrition including public awareness on healthy diets, clinical education and training of dietitians in accordance with international standards, data collection and research in the field of nutrition, and the establishment of funds for future needs. PNDS is an active member of the Asian Federation of Dietetic Association (AFDA) and the International Congress of Dietetics (ICD). (For more information on the PNDS, visit their website at

“In Pakistan we are working under meager conditions and we receive little support from the government and health authorities,” Safdar said. “Our society’s mission is to improve the nutrition status of the population of Pakistan by giving recognition to this important field of education.”

A founding member of the PNDS, Ms. Safdar has been associated with the society in different capacities since its inception in 2003. She was the Manager of Clinical Nutrition at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan and established the first Nutrition and Food Service department in the country at the hospital. In the past she has also worked as a consultant nutritionist at The Kidney Centre, Post Graduate Institute, in Karachi.

Ms. Safdar is currently matriculating to UMass Amherst on an International Fulbright Fellowship.

Public Health student John Park awarded Gallagher Koster Health Careers Scholarship

John ParkJohn Park, an undergraduate in the Public Health Sciences program, has been awarded a 2011 Gallagher Koster Health Careers Scholarship in the amount of $5,000. Mr. Park was one of five recipients chosen for this national scholarship, which is awarded annually by Gallagher Koster, a provider of student health insurance.

The Gallagher Koster Health Careers Scholarship Program was established to provide outstanding, financially-needy undergraduate students with the financial assistance they need to pursue their health-related career. Recipients are selected by the Scholarship Program Board of Directors based on their demonstration of the program standards, which include a strong motivation to pursue a healthcare career, academic excellence, a dedication to community service, and a need for financial support of their education.

This fall, Mr. Park will enter his senior year at UMass Amherst.

SPHHS announces Dean's PhD Fellowships for Nobles, Wickham

Carrie NoblesCatherine WickhamThe School of Public Health and Health Sciences is pleased to announce that Carrie Nobles (left) and Catherine Wickham (right) will receive the Dean’s PhD Fellowship awards. The awards are designed to help support the fellows during their first two years of doctoral studies.

Ms. Nobles will be pursuing her PhD in Epidemiology. Previously, she earned her MPH in Health Policy and Management at UMass Amherst. Her primary area of interest is the investigation of behavioral health interventions and their impact on chronic disease, specifically in how both the application of the intervention and related health outcomes can be most accurately measured.

“Since earning my MPH degree, I have been fortunate to be involved in the application of various research methods from survey design and implementation to querying electronic medical records. I’m excited to further develop my knowledge and skills at UMass Amherst as I work towards a career in public health research,” stated Ms. Nobles.

Ms. Wickham enters the PhD program in Public Health-Nutrition option. She is particularly interested in how social media, computer, and Smartphone technology may be used to engage the public in nutrition education.

“The outstanding reputation of the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at UMass Amherst coupled with the excellent faculty and the broad-reaching community programs made my decision to attend very easy,” said Ms. Wickham. “The ability to work and collaborate in this rich multi-disciplinary environment incorporating public health and nutrition issues and resources will make this journey even more dynamic.”

Both fellowship recipients will begin their studies in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences this fall.

McLaughlin selected to present at 139th Annual APHA Meeting and Exposition

Vicki McLaughlinThe Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health has announced that Vicki McLaughlin, doctoral student in Epidemiology, has been selected to present at the 139th American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting and Exposition to be held in Washington, DC. Ms. McLaughlin joins the group of 19 students chosen to participate in the 14th Annual Student Poster Session, which will be held from 10:30-11:30 a.m. on Monday, October 31st, in the Washington Convention Center.

Student poster session winners are chosen from a large pool of applicants from local chapters of Delta Omega from CEPH-accredited schools and programs of public health. The poster session is designed to showcase the excellent scholarship and research of students in accredited schools and programs of public health, and is intended to encourage and recognize the public health leaders of tomorrow.

Ms. McLaughlin’s poster is titled “Metabolic Syndrome and Breast Cancer Risk in the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures.” Earlier this spring, her poster entry was chosen as the Delta Omega Rho Chapter winner at the School of Public Health and Health Sciences 14th Annual Research Day competition.

Recent graduates Ainsworth, Zan receive American Kinesiology Association Undergraduate Scholar Awards

Trent AinsworthShiyi ZanTrent P. Ainsworth (left) and Shiyi Zan (right), both of whom graduated this spring with Bachelor of Science degrees in Kinesiology, were named recipients of the 2011 American Kinesiology Association Undergraduate Scholar Awards. The AKA Scholar Awards recognize, at the national level, the academic and leadership accomplishments of undergraduate students in AKA member departments. This annual award honors a select number of students from member departments, recommended by department faculty, whose academic and leadership records are distinctive. The award is intended to recognize and promote academic excellence, to further the professional competence and dedication of academically accomplished students, and to promote kinesiology and its related fields.

Trent P. Ainsworth also received a 21st Century Leaders Award from the university. The award recognizes graduating seniors who have demonstrated exemplary standards of achievement, initiative and social awareness.

Mr. Ainsworth plans to attend medical school next year at the University of New England: College of Osteopathic Medicine. Ms. Zan is currently working in Boston as a Research Associate in Orthopedic Surgery for Mark Brezinski MD, PhD, and Associate Professor of Harvard Medical School and Director of the Optical Coherence Tomography Lab at Brigham & Women's Hospital.

Communication Disorders graduate students hold aphasia fundraising walk

Graduate students from the Department of Communication Disorders, in association with the UMass Police Department, held their Second Annual Walk and Roll for Aphasia on Saturday, April 9th. The 2.6 mile walk took place on the Amherst Town Commons. In addition to raising awareness of stroke and aphasia, the walk raised funds for the department's aphasia research, outreach, and support services.

Aphasia is a language disorder brought about by brain damage, most often following a stroke.  It can impair the ability to use or understand spoken or written language. Aphasia is not a disorder of intelligence. It can greatly limit a person's participation in social, vocational, or recreational activities. In spite of the millions of people affected by stroke and aphasia, public awareness remains relatively low.

For more information on how you can help the department support these efforts in the future, please contact

SPHHS announces William F. Field Alumni Scholars for 2011

The School of Public Health and Health Sciences is pleased to announce the School's recipients of the William F. Field Alumni Scholars for 2011.

          • Megan Cronin, Communication Disorders
            Elizabeth Lundy, Nutrition
            Kandace Montgomery, Public Health Sciences
            Lindsey O’Regan, Nutrition
            Hannah Stoops, Kinesiology

For a complete list of recipients of the UMass Amherst Alumni Association's 2011 Scholarships and Awards Recipients, click here.

Public Health student Jessica He awarded Gilman Scholarship

Jessica HeJessica He, an undergraduate in the Public Health Sciences program, has been awarded a 2011 Gilman Scholarship. The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is a congressionally funded program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, which supports non-traditional study abroad. The awards are given based on a student’s financial need and the quality of the essays submitted with the application. The selection committee gives priority to students of diverse backgrounds who choose non-Western study abroad destinations.

Ms. He’s award supported her studies this summer in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where her coursework included classes in economics and human rights.

“Words cannot describe my excitement when I discovered that I had been chosen to be a 2011 Gilman’s Scholarship recipient,” Ms. He said. “The experiences and educational opportunities in Thailand are endless.”

This fall, Ms. He will coordinate a number of study abroad information sessions to promote the Gilman Scholarship and encourage international education. She plans on conducting these events in collaboration with the Public Health Club and with the assistance of the International Programs Office, faculty from the Public Health department, and other students who had the pleasure of studying abroad.

Kinesiology student Rebecca Thibault receives Scanlon Award for Outstanding Student Employee

Rebecca ThibaultRebecca Thibault, who graduated in May with a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology, received one of the ten 2010-2011 Gerald F. Scanlon Award for Outstanding Student Employee given by the university this past spring.

The Gerald F. Scanlon Award recognizes and honors students who have demonstrated outstanding performance by contributing their time and/or skills to help UMass Amherst achieve its goals and objectives. The award was presented to her on May 4, 2011 in conjunction with the Chancellor's Citation Awards.

Ms. Thibault joined the Department of Kinesiology staff as an assistant undergraduate advisor this fall.

Public Health student Michael Grant receives Senior Leadership Award

Michael GrantMichael Grant, a recent graduate of the Public Health Sciences program, was awarded the Senior Leadership Award by the UMass Amherst Alumni Association. The Senior Leadership Award recognizes graduating seniors who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and service to the UMass Amherst community. Award recipients have distinguished themselves through important contributions to student organizations and campus jobs, through academic excellence, and through public and community service.

Grant, who last summer was accepted into the highly competitive Johns Hopkins Basic Science Institute Summer Internship Program and invited to participate in the Bloomberg Diversity Summer Internship Program, plans to enroll in the Harvard School of Public Health this fall. There, he will pursue his M.S. degree in Environmental Health.


In This Issue

School News

Dean's Welcome
Fall Alumni Events
Kinesiology-CYBEX Partnership
Military in Online Program
Flooding Creates Health Problems
National Public Health Week
In Memoriam: Pauline Hollister

Faculty News

In the Spotlight: Barry Braun
Conferences & Appearances
Honors & Awards
Grant News


Student News

Student Profile: Eden Ketema
HCOP Summer Scholars Program
Around the School

Alumni News

Alumni Profile: Suzanne Ducharme
Alumni News Briefs

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