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College of Social Work

PhD Student Wins Summer Fellowship

 PhD student Yarin Cohen is the recipient of the 2024 Connor Summer Fellows Award. Cohen will collaborate with College of Social Work professor Robert Hock on a qualitative study investigating patterns of support in later life for parents of autistic adults during the upcoming summer. 

The Connor Summer Fellows program, supported by a generous donation from MSW graduate Sidnah Connor, aims to advance research and scholarship in the critical areas of aging and older adults. Cohen’s research investigation exemplifies the College of Social Work's commitment to high level scholarship that improves the lives of older South Carolinians.  

According to PhD program director Maryah Fram, the Connor Summer Fellows presents an exceptional opportunity for students and faculty to work together to develop new knowledge related to aging. This year the Summer Fellow award will support research on autism, intellectual disability, aging and the needs and experiences of caregivers.    

"The Connor Summer Fellowship will allow us to further our dedication to developing new knowledge that enhances the wellbeing of parents across the lifespan of their caregiving, and to widen the lens of focus on autism and disability from childhood on to adulthood," says Fram. "Through this award we hope to cultivate exceptional scholars poised for leadership and innovation in aging research." 

Dean Teri Browne of the College of Social Work emphasizes the potential impact of this research on autism and older South Carolina residents. 

"We hope that the research and funding provided through the summer fellowship will greatly benefit the lives of people with autism across our state," says Browne. “Yaren Cohen is an outstanding PhD student who will further this scholarship.” 

For more information about the Connor Summer Fellows program and USC College of Social Work initiatives, please visit here.   

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