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Student award funds HIV/AIDS research

September 20, 2012

Student award funds HIV/AIDS research
Ellena Andoniou, graduate student and award recipient, assesses the impact of Western Heads East, which is part of the University's response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic in East Africa.

As a child, Ellena Andoniou, PhD’13, aspired to be part of a movement of “change.” Now the graduate student is doing just that by combining her two passions – health and geography.

Ellena’s research – funded in part through the endowed France and André Desmarais Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) – assesses the health, social and economic impact of the Western Heads East (WHE) project in Kenya, which is part of the University’s response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic in East Africa.

Currently, her scholarship helps fund adjunct research into improper condom use in Nyanza Province – home to Kenya’s highest rate of HIV/AIDS. “The research will hopefully bring to light the practices that are leading to such high rates of infection, and potentially inform policy reform in the community,” says the PhD student in health geography.

Ellena knows her OGS funding has advanced her work in Kenya, by giving her the opportunity to branch out and expand her research. “My work would not have been possible without the scholarship because research activities can be costly,” she adds.

This article appeared in the 2012 edition of Endowment Report
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