U Honors SPH Students’ Interdisciplinary Work

sph | April 8, 2015

The University of Minnesota awarded three School of Public Health doctoral students with its Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship for the 2015-16 school year. The award honors doctoral students doing interdisciplinary research and working with faculty at one of the University’s research centers or institutes.

Eric Jutkowitz, Laura Attanasio and Abhirup Datta
Eric Jutkowitz, Laura Attanasio and Abhirup Datta

A University-wide faculty committee selected 15 students across the University and awarded each a $23,000 stipend, tuition and subsidized health insurance for the academic year.

Laura Attanasio, a PhD student in the Health Services Research, Policy and Administration program, partnered with the Minnesota Population Center on her work titled, “The Patient-Provider Relationship and Use of Labor Induction and Cesarean Delivery,” which looks at maternity patient care. Her SPH advisers were Donna McAlpine and Katy Kozhimannil and her mentor was Rob Warren, a sociology professor and training director at the Minnesota Population Center. “My research has been in how to make maternity care better, and [putting that question in] a social context adds a new element on why patient care is so important,” says Attanasio.

Abhirup Datta is a PhD student in Biostatistics who worked with the Institute on the Environment on “Geostatistical Models for Large Scale Climate Science and Forestry Analysis,” which examines how terrestrial ecosystems adapt to climate change. “Before this project, I was working mainly on theoretical research with no application,” says Datta. ”Now I can apply my research and solve complex problems.” His adviser was SPH’s Sudipto Banerjee and his mentor was Arindam Banerjee, a professor in computer science and engineering.

Eric Jutkowitz, a PhD student in the Health Services Research, Policy and Administration program, worked with Karen Kuntz and Robert Kane from SPH and partnered with the Center on Aging. His work titled, “Economic Model of Dementia: Projecting Costs and the Value of Non-pharmacologic Therapy to Guide Policy Making,” examines the value of dementia caregiver interventions. His mentors were Kane and Joseph Gaugler of the School of Nursing. “The whole aging field is multidisciplinary and this project allowed me to bridge the gap between academic research and practice,” Jutkowitz says.

See a full list of winners and learn more about the award.  –Post by Sarah Howard

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