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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

UTHealth: Doctoral Student Awarded Margaret McNamara Grant

Ms. Elizabeth Onyenefu Obekpa, a doctoral student in the Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health, has been awarded a one-year, $15,000 grant from the Margaret McNamara Education Grants (MMEG). MMEG supports women from developing countries in their pursuit of higher education.

The grant will fund Ms. Obekpa’s health promotion and global health studies and her dissertation work to adapt the It’s Your Game… Keep it Real (IYG) program to her home country of Nigeria.

(IYG) is a classroom- and computer-based program for middle school youth, designed to prevent teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV. The program was developed by the University of Texas Prevention Research Center in cooperation with the Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research at UTHealth School of Public Health.

Ms. Obekpa also works on a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) program that aims to increase access to and improve the quality of community behavioral health services for sexual and gender minorities with serious mental illness or substance use disorders, and individuals with co-occurring disorders.

“My career goal is to develop a sexual risk reduction and risk avoidance education program that can be implemented in all Nigerian schools to prevent unplanned pregnancies and HIV among adolescents,” Ms. Obekpa says.