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Student Awards and Achievements

Currently, there are 33 students working toward the Ph.D. in international family and community studies. Generally, half of the students in each class are from the U.S. and half are international. Our U.S. students represent Georgia, Illinois, Ohio, Maryland, Minnessotta, North Carolina, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Our international students are from Albania, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Kenya, Kosovo, Uganda and Ukraine. See profiles of our students and graduates.

Student Achievements


Rachel Lang-Balde

Lang-Balde R., Amerson R. (2018). Culture and Birth Outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa: A Review of Literature. Journal of Transcultural Nursing.

Ida Hadoto

Moore de Peralta, A., Holaday, B., Hadoto, I., (2017). Cues to Cervical Cancer Screening Among U.S. Hispanic Women. Journal of Hispanic Health Care International.

Matt Flege

Flege, Thompson (2016). "Empathy and Extracurricular Involvement in Emerging Adulthood- Findings from a Longitudinal Study of Undergraduate College Males," Journal of College Student Development

Lauren Pinkston

Strand, Mark A., Pinkston, Lauren M., Chen, Alice I., Richardson, Jarrett W,. (2015) Mental Health of Cross-Cultural Healthcare Missionaries. Journal of Psychology and Theology. Volume: 43. Issue: 4

Brad Hornback

Publication of a book chapter, Absorb and control:  How North Korea responds to economic sanctions in Economic Sanctions vs. Soft Power:  Lessons learned from North Korea, Myanmar, and the Middle East, by Nikolay Anguelov and published by Palgrave Macmillan.

Janelle Williams

Janelle served as the lead author for the publication "Changing the Odds: The Race for Results in Atlanta." The report highlighted the city’s north-south divide using data showing that where children and families live — often synonymous with their racial or ethnic background — can determine their prospects for success in life. The report details the various elements — some rooted in public policies and practices established decades ago — that have led to the significant differences in outcomes and opportunity among city residents. These structural barriers result in sharp differences in the educational and economic opportunities available to Atlantans of color and to children and families on the city’s north and south sides. The report offers preliminary recommendations to address the barriers to opportunity. The report can be accessed via the following link:

Lyudmyla Tsykalova

2015 $10,000 Scholarship recepient from Philanthropic Educational Organization, International (P.E.O international), an organization that supports educational opportunities for international women students.

Valeza Ukaj

Ukaj,V. (2015). A empirical study of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in a post-conflict country: The Kosovo case. the Balkan Social Science Review

Award for participating as a presenter in the first Summer University in the Balkans in cooperation with Université Paris Ouest - Nanterre La Defense, Univeristé franco-allemande Deutsch-Französische Hochschule, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, and the University of Prishtina. Septermber 2014

The paper is entitled: “Engaging non-state actors towards building a post-war stable state - the Kosovo case”.

Available at:

Co-author of translating into Albanian language the Book: Compliance and the enforcement of EU Law - Marise Cremona, Oxford University Press, 2010  

Certificate of completing an “Intensive EU Trade Policy Course and basic-level Introductory Training on International Trade Policy”; Issued by the European Union Office in Kosovo May 2012

Certificate for completing the training “Negotiation Processes for Membership in EU”, Issued by the Government of the Republic of Kosovo, Ministry of Public Administration, Kosovo Institute for Public Administration February 2012.

LLM Master Thesis – “Legal Obstacles facing Kosovo towards its integration to the EU (An analysis of the legal obstacles facing Kosovo on the road to accession to the EU)”, Catholic University of Leuven; ISBN: 978-3659492556 September 2011.

Certificate for successfully completing the practical course on the subject of Human Rights Advocacy and practice of G. Mattioli-Zeltner, Katholic University of Leuven June 2011

The International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion on Kosovo's Declaration of Independence and the changes brought after it, Legal Paper, Catholic University of Leuven  January 2011

Amanda McDougald-Scott

Kripalani S, Goggins K, Nwosu S, Schildcrout J, Mixon AS, McNaughton C, McDougald Scott AM, Wallston KA. Medication Non-Adherence before Hospitalization for Acute Cardiac Events. Journal of Health Communication

Presidential Scholars Award for the AcademyHealth Institute on Advocacy and Public Policy

National Health Outreach presentation – May 2015

HEHD Research Forum presentations April 2014 and 2015

AACH presentation October 2014

Annals of Behavioral Medicine submission – under review

Institute of Medicine publication August 2014

Quality of Life publication August 2014

AcademyHealth conference presentation submission – under review

Global Health: Science and Practice - under review

Paper requested by another university and a Congressman, shared: Biomedical Informatics and Globalization: Current and Future Developments 


Holden, R. M., McDougald Scott, A. M., Hoonakker, L. T., Hundt, A. S., & Carayon, P.  (2015).  Data collection challenges in community settings:  Insights from two field studies of patients with chronic disease.  Quality of Life Research, 24, 1043-1055.

Mirela Arqimandriti

Research Study:"Monitoring of primary health care service in Albania" - December 2014

Ana Uka

Uka, A. & Ecirli, A. (2012). A Review on the Spiritual Values of the Education System in Turkish Colleges: A Case of Albania. Beder Journal of Humanities 1(1), 23-33

Uka, A. (2012). Motivational factors of graduate students pursuing a master’s degree. Beder Journal of Educational Sciences, 1(1), 15-23

Uka, A. (2013). Study skills among high school students: An exploratory study of private high schools in Albania. Journal of Educational and Social Research, 3(7), 17-23

Uka, A. Study skills among high school students: An exploratory study of private high schools in Albania. The 3rd International Conference on Human and Social Sciences (ICHSS). September 20-22, 2013. La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy. Conference Proceedings Book ISBN 978-88-34655-95-5 Volume No. 3

Uka, A. The Impact of crises on developing a spiritual identity from a humanistic approach. The 2nd International Conference on Humanities: “Crises and Spirituality” (ICH). May 17-19, 2013 “Hena e Plote” – Beder University, Tirana, Albania. Abstracts book

Uka, A. “Domestic violence and its effect on parenting in the transition societies: A case of Albania”, Paper presented at the 6th International Interdisciplinary Conference of Albanian Institute of Sociology (AIS). November 26-28, 2012. Vlora, Albania. Conference Proceedings Book – ISBN 9789928 - 4100 - 4 – 7

Uka, A. (2013). Study skills among high school students: An exploratory study of private high schools in Albania. Journal of Educational and Social Research, 3(7), 17-23

Uka, A. An Investigation of Albanian Orphans’ Accommodation and Education Issues from a Legal Perspective. 4th International Conference on European Studies “Social, Economic and Political Transition of the Balkans” (ICES). November 8-9, 2013. Epoka University. Tirana, Albania. Conference Proceedings Book ISBN 978-9928-135-09-4

Uka, A. Community Participation in Humanitarian Work: Analysis, Critique and Suggestions. The 8th International Conference of the Albanian Institute of Sociology (AIS). November 22-23, 2013. Durres, Albania. Conference Proceedings Book ISBN 978-9928-4152-4-0 NoAIS Durres 2013-17209

Oksuz, S., Ugur, H., & Uka, A. Online Academic Counseling in Higher Education. 2nd International Conference on Educational Sciences “Information and Communication Technologies in Education”. March 29 - 30, 2013. “Hena e Plote” - Beder University. Tirana, Albania. Conference Proceedings Book

Uka, A. (2013). Femijet dhe teknologjia: Si te rrisim femije te shendetshem ne nje bote digjitale. Sociale, Revista Objektiv 3, 19-21

Uka, A. (2013). Building Community Capacity for the Support of the Orphans’ Education: A Case of Albania. Beder Journal of Educational Sciences 3(1), 67-79

Uka, A. (2014). Motivational Factors on Learning: A Case of Students in Albania. Beder Journal of Educational Sciences 4(1), 361-371

Uka, A. (2014). The impact of risk behaviors on violence among high school students. Journal of Educational and Social Research 4(2), 257-261

Uka, A. (2014). Student satisfaction as an indicator of quality in higher education. Journal of Educational and Instructional Studies in the World 4(3), 6-10

Uka, A. Investigating the relationship between child’s academic achievement and delinquency. Evidence from a nationally representative sample. Paper presented at the 1st Balkans-American Research and Evaluation Conference “Strengthening Families and Communities”, June 19-21, 2014. University of Tirana. Tirana, Albania. Conference Proceedings Book

Delina Fico

“Is there a women’s movement in Albania?”, in Legacy and Change: Albanian Transformation from Multidisciplinary Perspectives, Robert Pichler (ed.), in the series Studies on South East Europe, Prof. Dr. Karl Kaser (ed.), vol. 15, 2014, University of Graz, Austria  

Merita Mece

Meçe. M (2015) Accessible justice system for all: The case of Roma minority in Albania, Working Paper 84, European Center of Minority Issues (ECMI), Flensburg, Germanypp. 1-26; (

Traci Hefner

Haruv Institute's International PhD Fellowship on Child Maltreatment in 2013.

Research Internship for UN Women in Beijing, China from May through August, 2014.

Awards for outstanding Ph.D students

Past Kimbrough and Melton Parents Award Winners are:

Matt Flege-2017

Jasmine Hedge - 2013

Liepa Vasare - 2012

Tracy Waters - 2011

Arelis Moore - 2010

Jill McLeigh - 2009