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CBS BS/MS Student, Rachel Gur-Arie, has had an “amazing semester”

Center for Biology and Society (CBS) BS/MS student, Rachel Gur-Arie, won big at AAAS, earned a Fulbright, and will speak on a prestigious panel. All in the Spring 2015 semester.

Gur-Arie earned first place for her poster in the Science and Society category at the 2015 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Student Poster Symposium.

Funded by CBS and Barrett, the Honors College at ASU, Gur-Arie, presented her research alongside fourteen other ASU students at the annual AAAS meeting in San Jose, California from February 12-16, 2015.

Gur-Arie’s poster, titled “University Student Perception and Action Regarding Influenza”, explores the inconsistencies between individual action and best available knowledge about influenza.

The topic was the subject of Gur-Arie’s Honor’s thesis, which she defended in Fall 2014, and has serious public health, policy, and ethical implications, especially in light of current headlines regarding Ebola, measles, and anti-vaccine campaigns.

“The uptake of influenza vaccination is a great case study that displays how the decisions that individuals make are not always rational and consistent with best available knowledge,” Gur-Arie said. “Peer reviewed scientific literature consistently suggests that vaccines are safe and overwhelmingly effective, yet vaccination rates are extremely low.”

This is not the last time Gur-Arie will discuss the importance of addressing such inconsistencies in action.

In April 2015, Gur-Arie will present her work on an influenza panel alongside fellow graduate students from the University of Virginia at the STGlobal Conference in Washington, D.C.

Gur-Arie was also recently awarded a 2015-2016 research Fulbright Scholarship to study physician attitudes towards influenza vaccination and public health law, policy, and ethics under Dr. Nadav Davidovitch at Ben Gurion University, in Be’er Sheva, Israel. 

“Rachel has had an amazing semester, and is looking forward to a bright and wonderful future, grounded in her work in biology and society,” commented CBS Director and Gur-Arie’s advisor, Jane Maienschein.

Gur-Arie, along with other Barrett, the Honors College poster winners Yasmynn Chowdhury and Christopher Luna, will receive a cash prize, a certificate, and a one-year membership to AAAS that includes a one-year subscription to Science. They will also be recognized in a spring issue of Science and on the AAAS Annual Meeting website.