Westminster Student Awarded Grant from American Association of University Women

 Candice Sandness, Public Health master's student

December 10, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY—Westminster graduate student Candice Sandness has been awarded a grant from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) to pursue academic work and lead innovative community projects to empower women and girls. She is a recipient of AAUW’s Career Development Grant. Sandness is pursuing a master’s in public health (MPH) at Westminster with the goal of becoming a healthcare lobbyist in Honolulu. She desires to revamp Medicaid and Medicare systems so that full access and quality health care are provided to our nation’s military-service veterans as well as to elderly and disabled populations who face health disparities. Sandness cares deeply about environmental impacts on healthcare. She currently volunteers as a writer with the Sierra Club of Utah—advocating through op-eds for environmental health laws and policies that safeguard our health and protect our environment.

“Candice is passionate about public health and serving and advocating for diverse populations, as well as victims of sexual assault,” said John Contreras, director of Westminster’s Master of Public Health program. “She has a strong ethical core and critical thinking skills that allow her to communicate effectively with all populations.”

Sandness contributes to empowering women and girls in many ways: She is a substitute teacher with Granite School District for both junior and high school students in subjects ranging from English, science and health; volunteers with the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) Utah, a mental health non-profit organization which exists to promote mental wellness for families and military-service veterans and co-teaches NAMI’s Family-to-Family education courses. “My writing and teaching experience have motivated me to use my skills to be a positive influence in health policy.” said Sandness. “This grant supports my goal of becoming a healthcare lobbyist.” AAUW is one of the world’s oldest leading supporters of graduate women’s education. Since 1888, it has awarded more than $115 million in fellowships, grants and awards to 13,000 recipients from more than 145 countries. For the 2019–20 academic year, AAUW awarded more than $4 million in fellowships and grants to roughly 260 scholars, research projects and programs promoting education and equity for women and girls.

Learn more about awardees in the AAUW online directory.

Media Contacts

Arikka Von

About Westminster

Westminster is a private, independent, and comprehensive college in Salt Lake City, Utah. Students experience the liberal arts blended with professional programs in an atmosphere dedicated to civic engagement. With the goal of enabling its graduates to live vibrant, just, and successful lives, Westminster provides transformational learning experiences for both undergraduate and graduate students in a truly student-centered environment. Faculty focus on teaching, learning, and developing distinctive, innovative programs, while students thrive on Westminster’s urban Sugar House campus within minutes of the Rocky Mountains.

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