2018-2019 Ambassadors

ZaynabAl-Abdali.pngZaynab Al-Abdali – Master of Public Health (Epidemiology)

My name is Zaynab Al-Abdali and I am a second-year Master of Public Health student. From my name you can probably tell that I have some Middle Eastern background, but what I would really love to share is the open and accepting environment I have witnessed and experienced at the College of Public Health. As an undergrad in a different college, I never really felt like I was a part of a community, but I cannot say the same for the College of Public Health. During my free time, I love to spend time with family and friends and enjoy time at the gym. My future aspirations include applying for a PhD, but for now, I would love to go into the work force as an epidemiologist and gain the experience I need to succeed in my future career goals.


ZaynabAl-Abdali.pngLucas Brooks – Master of Health Administration

My name is Lucas Brooks, and I am a second-year Master of Health Administration student.  During my time as an undergrad at Centre College, I worked at Pineville Community Hospital then interned in the Marketing and Community Benefit Departments at Ephraim McDowell Health. I also served as my fraternity’s president and as the tennis team captain garnering All Conference Tournament Team honors. During the summer between graduating from Centre and starting at UK, I interned in the Medicare Service Center for HCA Parallon. In addition to my responsibilities as a full-time student and President of the MHA Student Association, I am the Strategic Planning Intern at Appalachian Regional Healthcare. My career interests include hospital operations, finance, and improving rural public health and rural access to care. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, playing tennis, the outdoors, and being with friends and family.


ZaynabAl-Abdali.pngLarrin Collins – Master of Health Administration

My name is Larrin Collins, and I am a second-year Master of Health Administration student from West Liberty, Kentucky. As an undergraduate at Morehead State University, I held positions at St. Claire Regional Medical Center in patient financial services and patient safety. I started and coordinated MSU’s first student-led Relay for Life, while also holding executive positions in several on-campus and Greek life organizations. During my first year in the MHA program, I held an Administrative Apprenticeship at Kentucky Children’s Hospital within UK HealthCare. My summer practicum took place at UC Health in Cincinnati, Ohio, where I was the system’s first Graduate Administrative Intern. During the summer, I had the opportunity to work on operational, financial, and clinical projects across the large Academic Medical Center. My current interests include pediatrics and operations, as well as being a die-hard University of Kentucky football and basketball fan!


ZaynabAl-Abdali.pngShannon Danis – Bachelor of Public Health

My name is Shannon Danis, and I am a senior graduating from the Bachelor of Public Health program in December 2018. I am originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and plan to attend graduate school for a Master in Health Administration degree next fall. I fell in love with UK and Lexington the moment I stepped on campus. The community here is so welcoming and warm and you definitely see that in the College of Public Health. I came into the college after changing my major as an upperclassman, and my advisor really made the effort to help me reach my academic goals. During my free time, I am an avid fan of UK sports teams. Regardless of the sport or the time of year, I love spending a few hours cheering on the Cats! Outside of campus, I like to read, bake, and spend time with friends. At UK, whatever your interests may be, there are a ton of options on campus and around town to help you get involved.


ZaynabAl-Abdali.pngMolly Felty – Bachelor of Public Health

My name is Molly Felty, and I was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky. During my childhood, many of my favorite memories stemmed from attending UK football and basketball games, so coming to UK was a lifelong dream. I am currently a junior in the Bachelor of Public Health program with a pre-dental track. After completing my bachelor’s degree, I hope to attend dental school and open up my own practice one day. UK and the College of Public Health have given me so many amazing opportunities and allowed me to be involved on campus. During my free time, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, dancing, volunteering, cheering at UK games, studying at Willy T., getting involved with extracurricular activities, and listening to music.


ZaynabAl-Abdali.pngDakota Halbert – Master of Public Health (Population Health Policy & Management)

My name is Dakota Halbert, and I am Master of Public Health student from Irvine, Kentucky. Growing up in the heart of the Big Blue Nation, UK was my dream school! This dream was made a reality in 2013 when I entered UK as a Biology major. In 2014, the College of Public Health launched the state’s first and only accredited Bachelor of Public Health program. I soon switched my major and have been in Public Health ever since. As a second-year Master of Public Health student in the Health Management & Policy concentration, my interests and research have primarily focused on trauma systems and hospital quality improvement methods. I will be heading to physician assistant school following the MPH program. My future career goals are to have both clinical and administrative roles in a trauma or emergency department. UK has given me an incredible opportunity to shape my education based on my interests. My favorite thing about being a graduate student in the College of Public Health is having the opportunity to work and collaborate closely with professors all over campus and across the commonwealth.   


ZaynabAl-Abdali.pngAlly Hucek – Bachelor of Public Health

My name is Ally Hucek, and I am a junior in the Bachelor of Public Health program. I am an out-of-state student from Columbus, Ohio, and have enjoyed UK as my second home. I ultimately want to be a genetic counselor and move back to my hometown, but first I want to stay at UK a little longer for the Master of Health Administration program. I love UK so much and don’t want to leave all the fun after just four years! I fell in love with how accommodating UK was to me in anything from dorm life to classes. UK has always managed to help me be the best version of myself, and the College of Public Health was so welcoming to me as a freshman. There are so many fun things to do as a student at UK. Sometimes the best memories come from studying late at night at Willy T. with your friends. I also love game day here – from basketball, to football, to baseball, UK always manages to show school spirit.  


ZaynabAl-Abdali.pngNat Louden – Master of Health Administration

My name is Nat Louden, and I am a first-year student in the Master of Health Administration program. I graduated from UK with a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Gatton College of Business and Economics. During my time as an undergraduate student, I worked with the Health Management and Policy department at the College of Public Health, and discovered my interest in healthcare administration. As a full-time graduate student, I now continue to work in the HMP department as a research and accreditation assistant. My healthcare interests include hospital administration and quality improvement. In my free time, I enjoy reading, exercising and spending time with friends and family.


ZaynabAl-Abdali.pngPayton Malone – MD/MPH (Population Health Policy & Management)

My name is Payton Malone and I am a 3rd year MD/Master of Public Health student. I’m also President of the Student Public Health Association. It has been my dream to attend UK and I am so proud to now be a part of this community. The College of Public Health is a perfect example of why I love this place – everyone I have worked with, interacted with, or just run into in the hallway has been kind and helpful. It is a wonderful atmosphere and incredible opportunity to learn in an environment like this. On campus you will find me at the gym or the football and basketball games; there really is nothing like UK sports. When I am not on campus, I spend my time climbing, cycling, and trail running with my dog! 


ZaynabAl-Abdali.pngMaanasa Manchikanti – Bachelor of Public Health

My name is Maanasa Manchikanti and I am a junior in the Bachelor of Public Health program. I am from Paducah, Kentucky and graduated from McCracken County High School. I currently serve as Treasurer for the Student Public Health Association, as a Resident Advisor in the Lewis Honors Residential College, as a UK 101 peer instructor, member of Alpha Phi Omega, the co-ed service fraternity, and am conducting research within the College of Public Health. After my bachelor’s degree, I would like to pursue my Master of Public Health then attend medical school. In my free time, I love to spend time with friends and family and explore new coffee shops.


ZaynabAl-Abdali.pngAlex Miller – Master of Public Health (Population Health Policy & Management)

My name is Alex Miller, and I am a second-year Master of Public Health student with a concentration in Health Management and Policy. I am originally from Mt. Washington, KY and graduated with my bachelor’s degree from UK in 2016. During my year off, I served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Transylvania University. I decided to return to UK to obtain my MPH because I enjoy having the opportunity to collaborate with campus and community partners. In the future, I would like to have an administrative role in a hospital, focusing on quality and systems improvement. I also plan to pursue a nursing degree. In my free time, I enjoy spending time outside and being with my friends and family.


ZaynabAl-Abdali.pngShey Trent – Bachelor of Public Health

My name is Sheyanne (Shey) Trent, and I am a junior in the BPH program. I am also minoring in Biology, with hopes of one day becoming a physician. I am originally from Jackson, Kentucky, which is a small town in rural southeastern Kentucky. I love to be outdoors, listen to music, and spend time with friends and family. I am participating in research within the Biology department this semester and am also a coordinator for "Young at Heart", an organization through the Center for Community Outreach on campus. I have always wanted to make a great and lasting impact on the world, and the field of Public Health has prepared me to do just that. My goal is to use the skills, relationships, and knowledge that I have gained from the Bachelor of Public Health program and take them back at home as a physician – to not only improve the lives of the individuals there, but create a healthier environment to thrive in, using public health initiatives and foundations. 


ZaynabAl-Abdali.pngHunter White – Master of Health Administration

My name is Hunter White and I am a first year Maser of Health Administration student. I graduated last year with a Bachelor of Public Health, and loved the college so much I decided to stay two more years. The size of the college makes this large university feel small and comfortable. My future career goal is to hold an administrative role at a hospital and focus on quality improvement or policy. During my free time, I love being around friends and family, volunteering, and getting outdoors.