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2022 Awards

The Arnold School's Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is pleased to announce the inaugural DEI awards in 2022. These awards are designed to recognize alumni, faculty, staff and students (graduate and undergraduate) who have made exceptional contributions to advancing DEI through research, practice, community engagement, teaching and/or advocacy in the public health profession and/or health science fields. 

Quentin McCollum

Alumni Award for Excellence in Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in Research or Practice

Quentin McCollum (B.S. in Exercise Science, 2016; MPH in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior) is the program manager for the South Carolina SmartState SeniorSMART Center. As a graduate student, McCollum worked on DEI projects to advance breast and cervical cancer screenings for women of color and identify emergency preparedness needs for Native Americans in South Carolina. In his role with SeniorSMART, he coordinates the Carolina Center on Alzheimer’s Disease and Minority Research, the South Carolina-Advancing Diversity in Aging Research, and the National Conference on High-Impact Alzheimer’s Disease Registry Research.

Monique Brown

Faculty Award for Excellence in Contributions to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in Research or Practice

Monique Brown is an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics whose work examines trauma, HIV and aging to promote health equity and improve health outcomes in HIV and aging populations, particularly the most disadvantaged groups. Her service commitments focus on DEI, including membership in national-level committees and workgroups. Brown adopts a DEI lens for her teaching and mentorship activities as well – working closely with students from underrepresented groups (e.g., racial/ethnic minorities, first generation, and students from lower-income backgrounds).

Chloe Rodriguez Ramos

Staff Award for Excellence in Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Chloe Rodriguez Ramos is a 2021 graduate of the MPH in Epidemiology program and the program coordinator for the Laboratory of Vector-borne and Zoonotic Diseases. As a research assistant with the Institute for Families in Society during her master’s program, Ramos worked with low-income, immigrant and minority women who relied on Medicaid for pregnancy, childbirth and post-partum care. In her current role, she connects with minority and rural residents to address health disparities affecting vulnerable populations through the All-In SC project.

Andrea Vargas

Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in Research or Practice

Andrea Vargas is a student in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders’ (COMD) Master of Science (Residential) in Speech-Language Pathology and a graduate research assistant in the Literacy Development Among Diverse Learners Lab. She applies her experiences as a Latina woman to support children from marginalized linguistic backgrounds (e.g., Spanish-English speaking children, speakers of African American English dialect) and their families through both research and clinical work. Vargas travels to local elementary schools to conduct bilingual assessments with children to help provide recommendations for teachers and families. She also mentors undergraduate students and will focus her thesis on bilingual children.

Rajat Das Gupta

Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in Research or Practice

Rajat Das Gupta is a third-year student in the Ph.D. in Epidemiology program who researches DEI issues in the United States and globally. His work has examined racial/ethnic disparities in prevalence and trends of obesity and cancer as well as the link between economic/education disparities and geographical inequalities and chronic conditions (e.g., obesity, diabetes, hypertension). Gupta works with international communities as president of the Bangladesh Student Association and raised awareness about COVID vaccines for racial minorities as co-secretary of general health for the Graduate Student Association.

Amanda Dearborn

Undergraduate Student Award in Excellence in Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Amanda Dearborn graduates in May with a B.S. in Public Health and a minor in Spanish. Through her numerous outreach and service efforts, she has achieved Graduation with Leadership Distinction in Professional and Civic Engagement. These activities include fundraising for her sorority and volunteering at the Good Samaritan Clinic, Ronald McDonald House, and Prisma Health Hospital Pediatric Infectious Disease Clinic. The Capstone Fellow has traveled to rural Guatemala two times to offer a healthcare clinic – using her language skills and public health knowledge to lead and inspire other students.

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