Student and staff members of the University of Washington Department of Biostatistics were honored with 2023 UW School of Public Health (SPH) Awards of Excellence at a ceremony held on May 23. Visit the School’s award page for more information.
Every year, the School recognizes a student from each program in each department for their outstanding achievement. Student award winners will also be recognized as part of the department graduation ceremony to be held June 12.
Outstanding Student Awards
Avi Kenny, Outstanding PhD Student, Biostatistics
Avi Kenny, a doctoral candidate in the Department was awarded the Outstanding PhD Student Award for Biostatistics. After his studies at Brown University, Avraham (Avi) Kenny moved to Liberia to work for a healthcare nonprofit called Last Mile Health, serving as the Director of Research, Monitoring & Evaluation. He managed a team of 16 staff, was the in-country Principal Investigator on four research studies and co-designed the programmatic data systems used by Liberia's 4,000 community health workers. His research interests Statistical methods to handle treatment effect heterogeneity in stepped wedge cluster, randomized trials, Correlations of protection analysis in vaccine clinical trials, Survival analysis using machine learning tools, Evaluation of global health programs, data capture and data quality assurance in low-resource settings. Upon graduation he plans to pursue a career in global health work.
Fang Nan, Outstanding MS Student, Biostatistics
Fang Nan, a student in the Master of Science Thesis program, was awarded the Outstanding MS Student Award for Biostatistics. Fang is an exceptional MS Thesis student in the Department of Biostatistics. His current work includes developing a high-dimensionality reduction methodology for microbiome data. He is also a Research Assistant at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, working on analyzing accelerometer-measured physical activity data. He is helping to develop statistical methods for compositional physical activity data. His research interest includes high-dimensional statistics, mobile-health studies, and Bayesian shrinkage estimates. Upon graduating he will enter the University of California, San Diego to pursue his PhD in Biostatistics.
Both Keny and Nan were also nominated for the Gilbert S. Omenn Award for Academic Excellence which is given to one student by the UW School of Public Health each year. Student award winners will also be recognized as part of the department graduation ceremony to be held in June.
Outstanding Staff Awards
Maggie Tarnawa, Outstanding Staff Member Award
Maggie Tarnawa, curriculum coordinator for the Department of Biostatistics Graduate Program, received the Outstanding Administrative Staff Member Award.
After joining the Department of Biostatistics as Curriculum Coordinator in 2021, Maggie quickly became critical and integral to the department’s educational mission by supporting key activities in admissions, curriculum, and other domains. Maggie brings thoughtfulness and thoroughness to all of her work; she always meets her deadlines and helps others meet theirs; she is proactive and takes initiative to improve processes and gather, organize, and interpret critical information. Maggie is the consummate professional and a generous colleague; it is a privilege and a pleasure to work with her.
Michael Bowers, Outstanding Research Staff Member Award
Michael Bowers, a web information specialist in the Genetic Analysis Center (GAC), received the Outstanding Research Staff Member Award.
Michael brings creativity and passion to his work and incorporates principles of science communication and accessible web design in outreach efforts to the broader community. He oversees day-to-day operations of major grants, skillfully handling communications with hundreds of investigators and working with project managers to design and implement new processes and systems to support collaborative work. Michael approaches his work with curiosity and creativity, and his unflappable, cheerful and witty demeanor is a valuable part of GAC’s inclusive atmosphere.
Congratulations to all award recipients in the department.