Recent public health graduate receives national dissertation award

Alva Ferdinand, Dr.P.H., received the Outstanding Dissertation Award from AcademyHealth, the premier academic professional association for health services and health policy researchers.

alvaFrom left: Nir Menachemi and Alva FerdinandAlva Ferdinand, Dr.P.H., who earned her doctorate from the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Health Care Organization and Policy in December 2013 and immediately landed a tenure-track position at Texas A&M University, has received the AcademyHealth 2014 “Outstanding Dissertation Award.”  

The Outstanding Dissertation Award recognizes an outstanding scientific contribution from a doctoral thesis in health services research or health policy during 2013. The work must demonstrate an innovative approach or significant advancement toward understanding issues in the field, and the nominee must demonstrate exceptional promise.

Ferdinand’s dissertation examined distracted driving. She wrote a systematic review and meta-analysis of the varying distractions that affect drivers, which was published in the American Journal of Public Health. Also accepted to the journal is Ferdinand’s empirical paper on the impact of texting laws on motor-vehicle fatalities; she has written another paper on texting laws and hospitalizations.

Ferdinand received the award during the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting, June 8-10; it was presented by her mentor, UAB Professor Nir Menachemi.