Graduation: Spring 2021

Awards: Doctoral Scholarship from Turkish Ministry of Education

Hazal’s lifelong interest has been to understand how health and social policies influence health outcomes, particularly for people facing the end of life. This passion motivated Hazal to move halfway around the world from Turkey to Seattle, Washington to pursue her doctoral studies.

At the UW, Hazal built on her background in social policy and combined it with deep training in demography and statistics. Her dissertation focuses on how state policies related to home-based care differ, and how these differences affect end of life outcomes for economically vulnerable older adults. Hazal’s focus is to provide policymakers with evidence-based information that helps intervene at the root causes of health inequity and promote upstream policies that will eradicate the gaps that still exist for marginalized populations.

Part of Hazal’s reason to come to the UW was to work with the faculty and students at the Center of Integrative Oncology and Palliative Care Social Work. As a fellow of this Center, Hazal aims to address disparities in cancer and end of life care, both through education of diverse social work practitioners and through her research efforts. Hazal notes, “I think the most important thing I have learned from my mentors at the UW is the unique power of asking the right questions with a listening ear.”