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UAlbany School of Public Health Graduates Named CDC Fellows

June 7, 2010

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UAlbany 2010 CDC Fellows Gaia Abell and Jennfer Sears.

UAlbany 2010 CDC Fellows Gaia Abell and Jennfer Sears.

Two recent UAlbany School of Public Health graduates have been awarded the nationally competitive Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) Fellowships beginning August 2010. Out of more than 300 applicants, Gaia Abell and Jennifer Sears were two of approximately thirty fellows selected from across the nation.

Abell, who graduated with a Master of Public Health degree with a dual concentration in Social Behavior and Community Health and Epidemiology, will work in the Maternal and Child Health Division of the Louisiana Office of Public Health in New Orleans. In addition to an individualized project to be determined, she will work on a surveillance evaluation project as well as an outbreak investigation at some point during her two-year fellowship.

Sears graduated with an MPH in Epidemiology and is assigned to the Division of Disease Control at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health where she will rotate between projects related to acute communicable disease, immunization, tuberculosis, STD prevention, emergency preparedness and epidemiology.

While at the School, Abell and Sears participated in the Public Health Leaders of Tomorrow CORE Student Leadership Program – a program designed to provide mentorship, intensive leadership development and additional practice-based experience to a select group of second-year SPH master’s level students committed to public health practice.

Prior to graduation, both students were honored as 2010 Student Poster Session Departmental Winners for their research related to individual internship projects. Abell's poster summarized her work on the Schoharie County (N.Y.) Community Health Assessment 2010-2013 and Sears highlighted her work related to Enhanced Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Surveillance in two Erie County (N.Y.) Emergency Departments. Sears' research was also showcased at both the National STD Prevention Conference in Atlanta in March 2010 and the annual meeting for the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecologists Las Vegas in April 2010.

Both students were also inducted into the Delta Omega Honor Society in Public Health, along with seven of their classmates.

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