UNC Highway Safety Research Center selects 2012 scholarship recipient

(CHAPEL HILL, N.C.) — The University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC) announced today the recipient of the 2012 Megan Cornog Memorial Highway Safety Scholarship, Laura Peoples.

Peoples, a graduate student at UNC-Greensboro, is pursuing a master's degree in public health education, with an emphasis on community health education. After graduating, Peoples says she plans to work towards improving bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in North Carolina.

"Public health educators and transportation safety researchers are essential in establishing and improving built environments that are conducive to safe multi-modal road use, thereby preventing motor vehicle –related deaths and injuries," said Peoples. "I'd like to see our roadways become safer for everyone."

In addition to her studies, Peoples is an advocate for the Coalition of National Health Education Organizers and a graduate research assistant for the Prevalence of Bicycling and Walking Prior to a Major Natural Experiment in Greensboro project. Peoples expects to graduate in May 2013.

The purpose of the annual Megan Cornog Memorial Highway Safety Scholarship is to foster the education and professional development of graduate students with an interest in transportation safety-related areas, including, but not limited to, engineering, driver behavior, planning, public health and environment. Candidates are evaluated based on an essay, as well as academic performance, career goals, extracurricular and professional activities and work experience.

The scholarship is named in memory of a former HSRC staff member, Megan Cornog, who died Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010 at her home in Carrboro, N.C. after a courageous battle with cancer. After earning her master's degree from UNC-Chapel Hill in May 2009, Megan began her career working as a project coordinator for HSRC, focusing on pedestrian and bicycle issues.

Since establishing the scholarship in 2006, HSRC has awarded seven scholarships to graduate students in the UNC system.


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Caroline Dickson

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