Graduate SchoolPaula Yuma and Karin Wachter have received Student Awards for Excellence in Graduate Education from The University of Texas at Austin Graduate School.

Yuma is the recipient of an Outstanding Dissertation Award, for her dissertation titled Perceptions of neighborhood safety: Influence of engagement in physical activity by mothers and children. Dr. Catherine Cubbin and Dr. Kirk von Sternberg are the dissertation supervisors.

“Dr. Yuma is one of the first to analyze data from the population-based, prospective Geographic Research on Wellbeing study, sponsored by the American Cancer Society,” said Cubbin. “Her dissertation is truly multidisciplinary, drawing from criminology, social work, and public health. This interdisciplinary approach is a strength of her work and illustrates the need for community-level approaches to individual-level change across disciplines.”

Wachter is the recipient of a William S. Livingston Outstanding Graduate Student Academic Employee Award. Wachter is a researcher at the School of Social Work’s Institute of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (IDVSA). Before moving to Austin, she spent 10 years working with the International Rescue Committee as a humanitarian aid worker and senior technical advisor focusing on violence against women and girls in war zones, primarily in Africa.

“Ms. Wachter has distinguished herself as a leader among her peers in a variety of ways including her scholarship, initiative, and commitment to high quality performance, innovation, and excellence as a graduate research assistant,” said IDVSA director and associate dean for research Noël Busch-Armendariz. “She has been a complete joy to work with and has made the learning in our relationship reciprocal.”