Ph.D. candidate receives ADDY Award


Genevieve Aguolu comic

Anu Sharma

Obianuju Genevieve Aguolu, who is a Ph.D. candidate in public health epidemiology, received the American Advertising Award for her comic book “HPV: An Important Conversation to Have.”

The comic book is geared toward educating college students about the Human Papillomavirus, which is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections among young adults 14-29, in America, Agulou said.

Aguolu said the HPV vaccine isn’t commonly received as other vaccines such as the meningitis vaccine. She said because the vaccine is newer, not many people are aware of it, or are misinformed. This relates with the purpose of the comic book, to educate college students on HPV and get more information on it. She explained how new the vaccine is.

“There is a vaccine for it which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2006. The vaccine was first approved for girls but in 2009 it became approved for boys,” she said.

The comic book was her dissertation and she had help from her doctoral community: Tara Smith, Vinay Cheruvu, Laurie Wagner, Lynette Phillips, who all have doctorates in public health. The book was designed submitted by Glyphix Design Studio in Kent, where students and faculty aided in designing the comic book.

The ADDY Awards were held Friday, Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m., where Aguolu accepted her award. The event was hosted by the Akron chapter of the American Advertising Federation.

Aguolu said there was a lack of representation in the graphic medicine field. Additionally, she said that not a lot of people are aware of the Glyphix Design Studio near the Kent campus. The studio is part of the the visual design communication department, where students complete internships. She mentioned the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, would be coming out with an informative animated movie about HIV and AIDS.

Aguolu said she is still working on research for her dissertation, but expects the comic book to come out by the end of this year.

Anu Sharma is the health reporter. Contact her at [email protected].