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2023 Awards

The Arnold School's Office of Access and Collective Engagement is pleased to announce the 2023 DEI Awards. 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. 

Ty Collier

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

Edward “Ty” Collier is a graduate of the Doctor of Physical Therapy ('11) and B.S. in Exercise Science ('08) programs, as well as the Moore School's Professional MBA ('18), who is heavily involved in both practice and community engagement related to advancing DEI. Currently the Director of Therapy Operations at Encompass Health, Collier has served as Chair for the Health Diversity Action Council on Equity and Inclusion for the National Association of Health Service Executives– South Carolina and DEI Chair for Prisma Health Tuomey. He is the senior leader of the Employee Advisory Group that oversees Encompass Health Columbia’s DEI program.

Myriam Torres

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

Myriam Torres is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the Assistant Dean for Public Health Practice for the Arnold School. As Director of the Consortium for Latino Health Studies and through her work with PASOs, Torres has led interdisciplinary research and outreach efforts that focus on the experiences and health issues of Latino/as in South Carolina and the Southeast. Ten years ago, she worked with USC’s Educational Abroad Office to develop the Global Health in Costa Rica Program, and, more recently, she helped establish USC’s first Hispanic/Latino Faculty Caucus.

Carrie Hendrix

Staff Award for Excellence in Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Carrie Hendrix is the business manager for the Montgomery Speech, Language & Hearing Clinic in the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders. She works to meet the needs of a diverse community of clients and serves as co-chair for the department's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. Trained as a Safe Zone Ally, Hendrix actively works to support diversity, including those with disabilities and from economically disadvantaged and/or minoritized (e.g., cultural, ethnic, linguistic) backgrounds. She also advocates for students with disabilities and connects them with campus resources. 

Max Akonde

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

Max Akonde is a candidate in the Ph.D. in Epidemiology program who came to USC to learn how to address health, racial and economic disparities related to cancer. He has been involved in research into the causes and survival of ovarian cancer in African America women and methods for addressing health challenges in low- and middle-income countries. His leadership roles with USC's Graduate Student Association have led to DEI advancements across the university and with the state legislature. He began teaching students in Myanmar following the 2021 political conflict and continues his own DEI education through training.  

Huda Falous

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

Huda Falous is a public health major who is committed to advocacy, community engagement, research and practice. As a USC Mental Health Ambassador, she works to reduce stigma on campus and gives presentations about mental health and available resources. Falous is also an Office of Multicultural Student Affairs Peer Educator –  presenting on LGBTQ+ inclusivity, diversity and inclusive language and other topics. While serving on the Congressional Advisory Board, she helped write a report on DEI, hazing and sexual assault as well as community colleges' accessibility and affordability for minorities in rural areas. 


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