The Ford Institute for Human Security has awarded the Simon Reich Human Security Writing Award for the best student paper on a human security topic to Tara Devezin (MID ’16). Devezin’s paper focused on improving women’s health in the East African countries of Malawi and Uganda. She identified specific measures that Jhpiego, a nonprofit affiliate of Johns Hopkins University, could undertake to improve women’s health and well-being. Devezin suggested a strategy to reduce cervical cancer rates in low resource districts in Malawi by expanding screening services. In Uganda, she demonstrated the probable benefits of increasing access to family planning information among adolescents by using mobile phones. Both proposals speak to the human security emphasis on building healthy, resilient communities.
Dr. Shanti Gamper-Rabindran, who nominated the paper, praised Devezin’s research and community work at GSPIA over the past two years. “It is always impossible to choose one paper among the many excellent papers among my students, but Tara has written solidly researched, clearly communicated policy recommendations,” she said. “Additionally, her social commitment and her community work with those less fortunate than her is truly remarkable.”
“Until receiving the email that I had won the award, I wasn't sure that I even stood a chance of winning,” Devizin said. “Having Dr. Gamper-Rabindran push me to go above and beyond my comfort zone allowed me to excel in an area I might not have otherwise pursued. Winning this award has enabled me to work harder, explore new ventures and be confident in my ability to provide effective solutions to addressing global health issues within developing countries.”
This is the first time the Ford Institute has given what is to become the Institute’s annual award, named in honor of the founding director of the Ford Institute, Dr. Simon Reich. The award is intended to promote high-quality research and writing among GSPIA students in the field of human security.