Meet Our Scholars

Our 2021-22 MCH Graduate Scholars include a group of accomplished students inside the Arnold School of Public Health at UofSC who are achieving groundbreaking research in the maternal and health field.

Tiffany Byrd, MPH, CHES a Walterboro, South Carolina native, received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Furman University and Master of Public Health in Health Promotion, Education and Behavior from the University of South Carolina. She is currently earning her Doctorate in Philosophy at the UofSC Arnold School of Public Health and is expected to graduate in 2024. During the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 academic years, Tiffany was awarded the Mary Elizabeth Newton Fellowship. 

Tiffany is currently employed as a research assistant in the HPEB program and works as a Senior Program Manager at New Morning, a South Carolina private non-profit organization that works to increase access to contraceptive services for those in South Carolina. In 2021, Tiffany was awarded funding from the UofSC Maternal and Child Health Catalyst Program, enabling her to research birthing outcomes among African American women in SC with hopes to ameliorate maternal health disparities and influence healthcare practices. In her free time, Tiffany loves to indulge in her love of crafts by designing her own gift bags, repurposing glass bottles, and doing her own hair and nails. Tiffany now resides in Columbia, SC with her husband John.  

Ellie Cooper, M.S., CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT is from Springdale, Arkansas and moved to South Carolina in 2019 to work with Dr. Krystal Werfel in the Written Language Lab where they are studying literacy skills for children who are deaf and hard of hearing. Before her move to South Carolina, Ellie practiced as a certified Speech-Language Pathologist at Arkansas Children’s Hospital Northwest. Ellie has extensive experience working with children who are deaf and hard or hearing and is a certified listening and spoken language specialist, auditory verbal therapist. Ellie has received her Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders with the University of Arkansas in 2014 and her Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology in 2016 from Fontbonne University. Some of her notable achievements has been becoming a Distinguished Early Career Professional Certificate Recipient from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association in September 2021, as well as being a Maternal Child Health Abstract Poster Winner in April 2021. Ellie is also a present UofSC Arnold School of Public Health Fellow Recipient. 

Ellie currently researches children with hearing loss who use listening and spoken language, including literacy outcomes, language development, memory and cognitive development, maternal and caregiver involvement in intervention, family-centered practice, and professional collaboration. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the Southeast with her dog Mose and her husband of 5 years. 

Amanda Elmore, MPH, MT is from Louisville, Kentucky and moved to Columbia, South Carolina to pursue her PhD with the University of South Carolina. Before arriving, she earned her Bachelor of Health Sciences with the University of Kentucky in 2014 and Master of Public Health in 2017 at Florida State University. She is currently working towards her PhD of Epidemiology and is expected to graduate in May of 2022.  

Amanda’s passion has led her to research reproductive, perinatal, and pediatric epidemiology with a centering theme of how social determinants of health, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and trauma influence health outcomes at each stage of life for mother, baby, and the mother-infant dyad. She firmly believes that the health, safety, and well-being of families is the key to the future health and welfare of society and future generations. Some of her notable achievements has been her first author publications in Pediatrics, Academic Pediatrics, Child Abuse and Neglect, and Preventative Medicine. Amanda’s other achievements can include becoming the 2021 Maternal Catalyst Abstract Awardee with UofSC, an I-Poster Graduate Student Awardee, and a member of Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health. Amanda has a husband and an 18-month-old daughter who she loves to go to the beach and Disney. She also enjoys practicing yoga during her free time.  

Tianyue Mi, MS received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Psychology from Peking University. After receiving her master’s degree, she moved from Beijing, China in 2019 to begin her doctoral program at the University of South Carolina. Since beginning her Ph.D., Tianyue has been awarded the Center for Healthcare Quality (CHQ) Junior Scholar Fellowship for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years and became a recipient of the UofSC SPARC Graduate Research Grant in 2021.   

Tianyue’s current research focuses on the intersection of social, behavioral, and psychological factors on healthcare access, quality, and outcomes. Along with her research, Tianyue works with SC SmartState CHQ and the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior at the Arnold School of Public Health. During her free time, Tianyue enjoys playing video games such as Legend of Zelda or playing her guitar.  

Carly Moser moved from Boone, North Carolina to Columbia, South Carolina in 2013 to begin earning her Bachelors in Experimental Psychology with the University of South Carolina. Currently, she is working towards her PhD in Communication Sciences and Disorders and is expected to graduate in 2023. At UofSC, Carly’s research centers on how physiological coordination among mothers and their children with ASD relates to maternal psychological factors and social functioning in children with ASD. Presently, she works as a graduate research assistant with the SC Family Experiences Lab.

Carly has recently received a scholarship from the Maternal and Child Health Catalyst Program to study maternal and child factors related to physiological coordination among mothers and their children with ASD. When she is not busy, Carly enjoys listening to podcasts such as RadioLab and spending time with her husband and two pets, Miso and Juniper.

Dr. Mohammad Masudur Rahman, MHE, MPS from Bangladesh received his Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, Masters of Health Economics, and Masters of Population Sciences from the University of Dhaka. He is currently working towards his PhD in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior at the University of South Carolina and is on track to graduate in May of 2022. A few of Dr. Rahman’s achievements include being chosen as a Maternal Health Graduate Scholar by the Maternal and Child Health Public Health Catalyst 2020 Program. He was the recipient of Arnold Doctoral fellowship in 2017-2018. He has also been awarded the Graduate School, Dean Student, and Department Travel Grant in 2018 for various scientific conference participation. 

As a current TA and GA of the HPEB department, Dr. Rahman currently researches nutritional messages through different sources disseminated by mothers and household members within social networks. His passion for improving child health and nutrition is driving his research to lessening undernutrition in children under the age of 5 in low- and middle-income countries. In his free time, Dr. Rahman enjoys playing cricket, reading books, and spending time with his family and friends. 

Xingpei Zhao, MSPH moved to Columbia in the fall of 2018 from Hefei City of Anhui Province in China. She received her Bachelor of Medicine in Clinical Medicine with Anhui Medical University in the Summer of 2013 and her Master of Science in Public Health in Biostatistics in the Summer of 2020 from the University of South Carolina. She is currently working on her Doctor of Philosophy in Biostatistics and is expected to graduate in Spring 2024. She currently works as a research assistant and data manager at Prisma Health – Midlands Healthy Start for more than 2 years.  

Some of her notable achievements have been receiving the Arnold School of Public Health Fellowship for the academic year of 2020 through 2021 and the Outstanding Biostatistics Master’s Student Award in May 2020. Xingpei is a major fan of participating in outdoor sports with her husband, and she enjoys exploring and camping in places such as the Blue Ridge Mountains.