PhD student part of TC2 team to win top prize

Pitt Nursing PhD student Myeong-ga Cho and her collaborator from anthropology, Zixuan Yang, won the top prize for their TC2: True Co-equal x Transformative Collaboration project entitled A Mixed Method Study on Menopausal Experience Among East Asian Migrants in the United States. The win comes with a $10,000 prize.

TC2 Grand Prize Award“Winning the top prize in this Pitt Seed project was an exciting moment,” said Cho. “It felt like a validation of the hard work and dedication we had put into our research. The recognition not only boosts our morale but also reinforces the importance and potential impact of our work. It’s incredibly motivating to see our project resonate with others and to know that our efforts to bridge different academic perspectives can make a real difference.”

Cho and Yang’s project focused on understanding the menopausal experiences of East Asian immigrants in the United States. Cho used her background in nursing to focus on the biobehavioral mechanisms of health outcomes, while Yang’s anthropological insight shed light on the cultural and social contexts that shape the menopausal experience.

“This interdisciplinary approach allowed us to explore a more holistic view of health, especially menopausal transition, considering the socio-cultural influences as well as the physiological aspects,” Cho said. “Our collaboration involved continuous dialogue and integration of our methodologies to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the topic.”

Cho said this topic is important because it addresses a significant gap in current healthcare research, acknowledging and catering to the unique needs of diverse populations and the impact of immigration.

“With the guidance of the biosocial approach, we aim to provide more personalized and effective healthcare solutions that respect and incorporate women’s lived experiences and cultural backgrounds by considering both the biological and cultural dimensions of menopause.”

Myeong-ga Cho and Zixuan Yang“This project clearly demonstrates the integration of nursing science with anthropology and how these integrated perspectives can inform the science in this area,” said Dr. Catherine Bender, professor and Cho’s project mentor.

Cho said the $10,000 prize will be used to build on the foundational work they’ve already accomplished with the initial grant.

“With the initial grant, we conducted a scoping review and presented our findings through a poster, which laid a strong empirical base for further exploration,” she said. “Now, this additional grant from the TC² (True Co-equal x Transformative Collaborations) of the Pitt Seed project will enable us to extend this research. We plan to fund a pilot study aimed at exploring the psychological well-being and stress in the context of menopause among Chinese and Korean immigrants in the US, utilizing both quantitative and qualitative research methods. This next phase will not only deepen our understanding but also enrich my dissertation work by providing broader insights that can inform my analysis and findings. Moreover, it will enhance my competence in interdisciplinary research, an essential skill as my work sits at the intersection of multiple disciplines. This investment in our current research will thus catalyze my long-term academic and professional goals in the field of oncology nursing and women's health, positioning me as a skilled researcher capable of navigating complex interdisciplinary landscapes.”

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