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PhD candidate wins two national awards

Jeff Laguna said that what he learned this summer has made a difference in his research at the USC Davis School of Gerontology.

While many students might consider summer a time to take it easy, USC Davis School of Gerontology PhD candidate Jeff Laguna spent his break taking advantage of several enrichment opportunities.

Over the summer, Laguna received two high-profile awards, the first from the AcademyHealth/Aetna Foundation and the second from The Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology (SMEP).

“It’s a wonderful honor to receive recognition and support from SMEP and AcademyHealth,” Laguna said. “Both opportunities provided by these organizations are uniquely different, yet each further contributes to my development as an academic and as a health services researcher.”

For the first award, Laguna was chosen to be one of 15 national AcademyHealth/Aetna Foundation Minority Scholars who traveled to Orlando, Fla., to attend the group’s annual research meeting, a string of methods workshops and the annual meeting of the Disparities Interest Group.

The latter honor was a fellowship that enabled Laguna to attend a quantitative analysis workshop at the Center for Research Methods and Data Analysis at the University of Kansas. It offered him additional training in methodology and data analysis while also offering support for his research on health care disparities and hospice/palliative care.

“I’m excited to apply the skills, experiences and connections gained from these opportunities to my studies at the USC Davis School of Gerontology,” he said. “What I learned this summer has already made a big difference in my research, development and perspective, and for that, I am truly grateful.”

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