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While many students might consider summer a time to take it easy, USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology PhD candidate Jeff Laguna spent his taking advantage of several prestigious 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 to attend the group’s Annual Research Meeting, a string of Methods Workshops and the Disparities Interest Group Annual Meeting.

The latter honor was a fellowship to enable Laguna to attend a quantitative analysis workshop at the Center for Research Methods and Data Analysis at the University of Kansas. It offered him further training in cutting-edge methodology and data analysis while also offering additional support for his research on healthcare 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 Leonard 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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