PHHS student to receive Thurgood Marshall Graduate Scholarship

Ryan Singh will continue research in dissemination and implementation science

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Health Promotion and Health Behavior PhD student Ryan Singh recently received news that he will receive the Thurgood Marshall Graduate Scholarship, which honors Thurgood Marshall, the first black American to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

His mentor and advisor, Professor Peggy Dolcini, nominated him for the award. “I am so pleased to have the opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of students who have a commitment to underserved communities and to addressing health disparities,” Peggy says. “This award will allow Ryan to devote more time to his research in the coming year.”

“I felt honored to have been chosen and grateful I was nominated,” Ryan says. “I would like to acknowledge Dr. Dolcini for nominating me. She has been a wonderful mentor and advisor, and it is through working with her that I am moving through this doctoral program with confidence.”

When Ryan found out he was selected for the award, he did what he always does first when he receives good news and called his wife. The scholarship is competitive and takes a variety of factors into consideration, including academic achievement and grade point average, publications and presentations, and demonstrated leadership. The one-year award provides a $4,000 stipend and graduate tuition remission.

“I nominated Ryan for this award because he exemplifies the qualities reflected in Thurgood Marshall’s life,” Peggy says. “In addition to his meritorious academic record, Ryan has a strong record of community service, leadership and involvement in diverse communities.”

Ryan’s research falls under the umbrella of dissemination and implementation (D&I) science, a growing area of public health that addresses gaps between research and practice. “Similarities in the effective implementation of programs span the silos of public health, and I am attempting to understand the process both holistically and the intricacies of its parts,” Ryan says.

One of his current projects involves working with a research team on a data set that examines the fidelity of an HIV prevention program across different communities. In addition, he is co-author on an abstract presented at the 2015 NIH Conference on Dissemination and Implementation Science. A manuscript, on which Ryan is a co-author, is being developed based on this work. Ryan has also designed his own research project based on the data set.

Ryan plans to graduate in 2018 and to seek out a post-doctoral position that will allow him to continue in academic research. He hopes to focus on programs that build capacities in new parents toward healthy development in children.