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Each year in the summer, the University of Kentucky College of Public Health (CPH) provides several research fellowships for current Bachelor of Public Health (BPH) undergraduate students interested in working on a research project – providing students with up to $3,000 in funding and a faculty mentor.

Current CPH students Kangai Miriti, Katie Boroughs, and Rose Wood were selected to participate in this valuable research opportunity in the summer of 2022.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for students to gain additional research experience through a fellowship while receiving valuable faculty mentorship,” says Dr. Sarah C. Vos, director of undergraduate research and assistant professor in the Health Management and Policy department at the UK College of Public Health.

“These research projects are selected because they have a high potential to generate publications, presentations, and career-relevant experiences for our students.”

Rising senior, Kangai Miriti (pictured left), originally from Lexington, Kentucky, will be working on a social network analysis that observes partnerships between Medicaid managed care organizations and community-based organizations throughout Kentucky.

Kangai’s project uses mixed-methods to examine partnerships among Medicaid-managed care organizations (MCOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) across Kentucky. The aim of this research is to identify how MCOs and CBOs collaborate to address unmet social needs to better serve the community, analyze partnerships throughout select Kentucky communities to understand collaborative efforts and strategies, and gather initial data on the influence of MCO-CBO partnerships and health outcomes.

Kangai’s faculty mentor is Dr. Hogg-Graham, assistant professor in the Health, Management & Policy department that the UK College of Public Health.

Katie Boroughs (pictured centered) will be a senior this fall at CPH and is in the process of applying to medical school. Originally from Louisville, KY, Katie’s research will examine patterns revealed by aggregating Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNAs) from hospitals and health departments in Kentucky.

Furthermore, Katie’s research will identify and analyze commonalities and discrepancies among the variables of CHNAs across Kentucky and create useful tools for state and local leaders to prioritize allocation of population-level health resources.

Katie’s faculty mentor is Dr. Richard Ingram, associate professor in the Health Management & Policy department at the UK College of Public Health.

Senior, Rose Wood (pictured right), originally from Taylorsville, Kentucky, is researching the effects of colorectal cancer screening, specifically in Black populations and Appalachian communities.

Rose will assess effectiveness of a new version of the FIT (fecal immunochemical test) card, as well as additional qualitative analysis from key informant interviews. FIT tests are a stool-based test that looks for occult blood, which an early sign of colon cancer or polyps.

Rose’s faculty mentor is Dr. Aaron Kruse-Diehr, assistant professor in the Health Behavior & Society department at the UK College of Public Health.

These three CPH students will also be invited to present their research project at the 2023 Showcase of Undergraduate Research annual event at the University of Kentucky, which provides undergraduates the opportunity to professionally present, perform, or demonstrate their faculty-mentored research to the UK community and public.

For more information, contact Dr. Sarah C. Vos, undergraduate research coordinator and lecturer in the Health Management and Policy department at the UK College of Public Health.

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