IU SPH-B (School of Public Health-Bloomington) is pleased to announce Dr. Danny Valdez, Assistant Professor in Applied Health Science, was the recipient of the 2023 Judy K. Black Early Career Research Award by the American Academy of Health Behavior (AAHB).
According to the AAHB website, this award “recognizes early-career health behavior research that is innovative and rigorous and that makes an important contribution to science or practice.” To be eligible, applicants must be an AAHB Affiliate or Full member in good standing for two years, and in the early stage of their career, identified as “within five years of post-doctoral or other terminal degree.” All applicants must submit an abstract for presentation at the AAHB annual meeting, which took place earlier this year. As a major award recipient, Dr. Valdez was invited to present his body of work during the annual meeting’s opening event. His talk was titled, “Digital footprints, data mining, and mass communication: Examining how Natural Language Processing (NLP) and social media data implicate mental health and health behavior”.
"I am deeply honored to receive the Judy K. Black early career researcher award,” says Dr. Valdez, in his reaction to receiving this honor. “I hope to embody the award's legacy through continued research excellence and passion for those around me."
Valdez joined SPH-B in 2019 after earning his Ph.D. at Texas A&M University and completing a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Arkansas. His research interests lie at the intersection of data science and health behavior. As a health behaviorist, he is interested in how informational overload and infodemics affect attitudes, norms, and perceived control about trending and applied health behaviors. As a data scientist, he leverages natural language processing, artificial intelligence, and deep learning tools to analyze social media (and other structured forms of human-generated language data) as models for human cognition, affect, and wellbeing.