Honors Program

MHS Honors is a selective, two-semester program of individual undergraduate research, supervised by faculty advisors. Honors candidates propose, research, and write a thesis that contributes to an existing scholarly literature in the chosen field of study. To satisfy MHS’s requirements, the thesis must examine some aspect of health and health care in its social and cultural contexts.

Completed applications are due by March 15th of the applicant’s junior year.

Program Requirements:

  • 3.3 cumulative grade point average.
  • 3.3 cumulative grade point average in Medicine, Health, and Society.
  • 6 hours in the fall and spring semesters of the senior year in MHS 297-298/4998-499
  • An honors thesis to be submitted no later than two weeks before the end of classes in the spring of the senior year.
  • Successful completion of an oral examination focusing on the topic of the thesis.

Application process:

  • Completed applications should be submitted electronically to MHS@Vanderbilt.edu by March 15th of the applicant’s junior year.  A completed application includes the MHS honors program form, thesis proposal and a letter of recommendation from the faculty member who has agreed to be your thesis advisor. The letter of recommendation should be emailed separately by the faculty member. Application available here.
  • We will review your application and make a decision within two weeks. Students who are accepted into the honors track will enroll in MHS 297/4998 (3 hours) in the fall semester of their senior year, and MHS 298/4999 (3 hours) in the spring semester.

Additional information is available from the Director of Medicine, Health, and Society.

Students accepted to the 2015-2016 MHS Honors Program:

Isabella Blair Ahrens, Mindfullness Mediation: Its Past, Present, and Future Implications for Medicine.
Advisor: Gurjeet Birdee, MD, MPH

Anna Grace Hill, Financial Impact of Affordable Care Act on Publically Traded Hospital Management Organizations.
Advisor: Martha Jones, PhD

Tara Keil, Addressing the Health Disparity Gap for Adults with Developmental Disabilities.
Advisor: Elisabeth Dykens, PhD

Vibhuti Krishna, Mind-body Practice in Undergraduates: User involvement in undergraduate mental healthcare setting
Advisor: JuLeigh Petty, PhD

Colleen McNally, Children and Adolescents with Sickle Cell Disease: An Analysis of Behavioral Problems and Possible Correlates.
Advisor: Bruce Compass, PhD

Devin Morris, Politics of Opioid Use and HIV/AIDS Prevalence in the Deep South
Advisor: JuLeigh Petty, PhD

Sarah Fine, A Comparative View of Adolescent Autism in the United States and Israel.
Advisor: Courtney Muse, PhD

Catherine Ross, Implications in Academic Learning from Field Hockey Concussions in High School Girls: A Systematic Review.
Advisor: Melissa McPheeters, PhD, MPH

Past Honors Student Theses:

Ali Byrne, Early Screening of Autism: The Role of Language Barriers in the Pediatrician-Patient Relationship.
Advisor: Blythe Corbett, PhD

Jacqueline Craine, Gender inequalities of mental health in an Arab Islamic context
Advisor: Dominique Behague, PhD

Elizabeth Gardner Gilbert, PTSD and Military Sexual Assault.
Advisor: Kenneth MacLeish, PhD

Max Ofori, Mental health and gun violence.
Advisor: Jonathan Metzl, MD PhD

Hannah Packman, Analysis of the fast food and tobacco industries.
Advisor: Jamie Pope, MS, RD, LDN

Courtney Fleming (2013) Focus Group Methodology: Through the Lens of a Type 2 Diabetes and Technology Study.
Advisor: Trent Rosenbloom, MD

Brittney Johnson (2013) The Digital Mystique.
Advisor: Jonathan Metzl, MD, PhD

Alyssa Moore (2013) The Skinny on Obesogens: From Stigma to Understanding.
Advisor: Beth Conklin, PhD

Kacie Steinbrecher (2013) Framework for Childhood Obesity Intervention Programs for the Low-Income Hispanic Population: A Multifactorial Approach in a Primary-Care Setting.
Advisor: Lori Catanzaro, PhD

Mark Wells (2013) Medical Ethics in International Medicine: A Pilot Research Project on French-Speaking Africa.
Advisors: Elizabeth Heitman, PhD and JuLeigh Petty, PhD

Sima Hisham Baalbaki, The Impact of the Elimination of Property Tax Exemption for Not-for-Profit  Hospitals. (2011)
Advisor: Larry Van Horn, MPH, MBA, PhD

Katie Girardi, Advance Directives and Treatment Decisions for Patients Suffering From Severe Dementia: Ethical Implications. (2011)
Advisor: Russell McIntire, PhD

Katherine E. Guess, Do Level 1 Trauma Centers Address All Forms of Trauma (2011)
Advisor:  Barbara Clinton, MSW

Deepa Joshi, Characterization of Perinatal Substance Abuse in Campbell County, Tennessee and Support Strategies for Paraprofessional. (2011)
Advisor:  Barbara Clinton, MSW

Thomas Frederick Byrd IVResolving Healthcare Disparities in Breast Cancer Treatment and Outcomes: A Multifactorial Approach. (2010)
Advisor: Kevin T. Seale PhD

Katelyn Elizabeth WoodardThe Relationships Between Numeracy, Self-Efficacy, and Medication Adherence. (2010)
Advisor: Chandra Y. Osborn PhD, MPH, VUMC

Kelley CoffmanHealth Risks and Nuclear Materials (2009)
Advisor: Jonathan Gilligan, PhD, A&S

Sarah DeeryEffect of Literacy and Numeracy on Renal Function in Patients with Diabetes (2008)
Advisor: Russell Rothman, MD, VUMC

Adam Carlisle, Clinical Research of Portion Estimation (2007)
Advisor: Russell Rothman, MD, VUMC

Erin DuncanRole of the Interpreter in the Hospital (2007)
Advisor: Elizabeth Heitman, PhD, VUMC

Disha KumarRace & Gender Concordance between Patient and Physician (2007)
Advisor: David Schlundt, PhD, A&S

Beth McKinnonPatient-Physician Relationship in the Latino Population (2007)
Advisor: Elizabeth Heitman, PhD, VUMC

Brett SklawThe Narrow Approach of Acute Medicine: Diabetes as a Public Health Problem, 1930-1960 (2005)
Advisor: Arleen Tuchman, PhD, A&S