Graduate Student Scholar in Aging

Through the generous support of Norman and Gerry Sue Arnold, the Arnold School of Public Health (ASPH) is committed to developing future leaders in aging research. Therefore, it has established this award to recognize up to two outstanding graduate students who exemplify the highest standards of scholarship focused on aging. The Graduate Scholar in Aging (GSA) was inaugurated in 2017 and continues to support graduate students.

Annually, two student scholars will be awarded $1,000 each, which can be used toward professional development activities and expenses including resources and supplies for data collection and analysis, travel, and registration at national or international conferences where research is presented on this topic, for professional workshops, or for other continuing education or training opportunities of importance to aging research. The scholars will be expected to engage in research activities with the Office for the Study of Aging during the award period.  The award funds must be used within 12 months of receipt, and all expenses must be pre-approved by the chair or graduate director of the student’s department.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Enrolled at the masters or doctoral level in the Arnold School of Public Health
  • In good academic standing
  • Engaged in research focused on aging

Application Requirements:

The Application Checklist outlines all the required materials for this funding opportunity. Applications should describe the applicant’s research and its relationship to the mission of the OSA.

Application Checklist:

  • Applicant Title Page (1-page)
    • Applicant Full & Preferred Name
    • Academic Department of Study
    • Contact Information
    • Academic Advisor Name
  • A signed endorsement letter from the applicant’s primary research advisor
  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  • Research Proposal Narrative (4-page maximum)
    • Project Title
    • Research Statement (500 word maximum)
      • This statement outlines the applicant’s research plan that includes a focus on studies the applicant will conduct that address 1-2 key questions (identified by the applicant) that have the potential to significantly impact aging research.
    • Proposed Budget & Itemized Budget that includes how the award would support the applicant’s research plan (2-page maximum)
  • One example of work conducted by the applicant on the topic of aging. This could be a publication, conference abstract, or academic paper
  • Format as 1.5 line spacing, 1” margins, and Times Roman 12 pt. font
  • Application documents should be merged into one PDF.

Application Deadline:

November 15, 2024, with recipients announced by November 30, 2024.

Application Submission & Questions: 

Applications are to be submitted by email with the subject line “OSA Graduate Scholar Application” to OSA at

Scholar Recipients



Ally Hucek

Ally Hucek is a Ph.D. student in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, and the Certificate of Graduate Study in Aging program. Her research focuses on screening for social isolation among older adults and working with primary providers to address social isolation among older adults. In addition, her research interests further include preventive screenings for cancer by working as a Graduate Assistant for the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (CPCRN). Ms. Hucek attended the University of Kentucky, where she obtained a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Public Health. She was awarded the Arnold School of Public Health Fellowship for the academic years 2021 – 2023 for her academic achievements and dedication to public health research.


Daniel Amobtiwon Amoatika

Daniel Amobtiwon Amoatika is an epidemiology doctoral student in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Following the completion of his undergraduate degree in Nursing, Daniel pursued a master’s degree in Epidemiology and Disease control. He was actively involved in outbreak investigations, especially re-occurring infections among the aged, in Ghana.  Findings from the study on HIV diagnosis in the Upper West region of Ghana further brought to light the unique challenges associated with HIV diagnoses and aging, and deepened his interest in HIV and aging research. Daniel’s current focus is to understand the coping strategies associated with higher antiretroviral adherence among older living with HIV; to better understand the relationship between race/ethnicity and gender; the antiretroviral adherence among older adults living with HIV; and how best we can improve the prognosis and life expectancy of older adults living with HIV.


Prasun Kumar Dev

Mr. Prasun Kumar Dev started his undergraduate studies in the field of computer science. His inclination towards the application of computational analysis in real-world problems inspired him to pursue a master’s degree in bioinformatics. After concluding his masters, Mr. Dev worked in the field of cancer genomics, where he further developed interest in prevention research; and now, his primary focus is to understand the molecular aspect of exercise and aging. Mr. Dev enjoys playing cricket and badminton and learning photography.


Katherine Devivo

Katherine is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Exercise Science.  She is interested in behavioral interventions targeting physical activity, sedentary behavior and weight loss. Katherine was awarded the Graduate Scholar in Aging Award in 2020 to support her research on examining the agreement between accelerometers used to measure sedentary behavior and physical activity among older adults who have had knee replacement surgery.

Samenah Nemati

Samaneh Nemati is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Communication Scienced and Disorders. She is a published author on topics of brain, cognition, genetics and behavior in healthy aging, electroencephalography (EEG) in older adults, and functional brain networks in the aging brain.


Radhika Ranganathan

Radhika Ranganathan is an MSPH student (Epidemiology). Her role in perioperative cardiac care as a physician assistant has driven her interest pursuing an advanced graduate degree at the University of South Carolina. She is interested in examining the “Variations in Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) constructs by rural-urban status in elderly population with a cardiac/cerebrovascular event”, using the nationally representative behavioral risk factor surveillance system.

Kelsey Day

Kelsey Rothera Day is a Ph.D. student in Exercise Science and a Graduate Research Assistant in the Prevention Research Center. She is a part of the T32-supported Behavioral-Biomedical Interface Program, and a current Health GIS Scholar. Her research interests include disparities in physical activity, particularly among rural and older adults, and community-based physical activity interventions. 


Nicholas Resciniti 
Chelsea Carpenter