August 26, 2015

MHRC celebrates success in the 2015 Summer Enrichment Program

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MHRC1Mona Fouad, M.D., MPH (seated center) joins all the undergraduate participants of the MHRC's 2015 Summer Enrichment Program. Each summer, the UAB Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center (MHRC) hosts the Summer Enrichment Program (SEP), a summer training program for undergraduate students interested in pursuing careers in healthcare. Through this program not only do students become more competitive in their applications to graduate and professional programs but many SEP participants begin research careers; thus, building the pipeline of researchers dedicated to advancing health equality.

The SEP was first envisioned in 2003 by Selwyn Vickers, M.D., F.A.C.S., senior vice president for Medicine and Dean of the UAB School of Medicine and expanded to a three-year program in 2006 by Mona Fouad, M.D., MPH, senior associate dean for Diversity and Inclusion and director of the Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center.  A total of 134 undergraduates have participated in the Summer Enrichment Program. 

Students commit to the program for three consecutive summers, beginning the summer after their freshmen year. Students are selected from the partnering institutions Alabama A&M University, Alabama State University, Oakwood University, Stillman College, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Tuskegee University. 

Each student has exclusive learning opportunities, including:

  • Creating a Career Roadmap to help chart their career through graduation and beyond
  • Developing a mentor-guided research project which is competitively judged 
  • Developing a richer cultural competency through the study of unconscious bias
  • Understanding how health policies, or the lack of them, affect healthcare, funding, and how people learn
  • Learning how to plan, research, and write scientific articles
  • Learning research laboratory techniques and safety practices
  • Attending test-prep workshops to prepare for the GRE or MCAT
During the first year, students prepare and present a Career Roadmap, a detailed and intentional plan to help the student reach their career goals. The Career Roadmap outlines coursework for the next three years, the extra-curricular activities they will invest their time and energy in, when they will take standardized tests and what they need to do to successfully prepare for those examinations. During the second and third years, students work on a mentor-guided research project in their field of interest. Their research findings are presented to a panel of judges during the closing award ceremonies. 

Year One Participants Build Career Roadmap 

MHRC3On June 26, 2015 students gathered at the Alumni House to present their career roadmaps. Shown standing are Henry Davis, Devin Mitchell, Kadeshia McCray, Zhene Creque, Marshall Williams, Bethany Baker, Onika Abrams and Kimberly Shaw. Seated are Kadia Cosby, Jasmine Clark, Shannon Williams, Jayde Price, Kimberly Huerta, Brea Reese and Jallah Rutledge.

MHRC4Congratulations to the winners of the Career Roadmap Competition: Kimberly Shaw from UAB (first place, winning $100), Kimberly Huerta from UAB (third place, winning $50) and Shannon Williams from Alabama State University (second place, winning $75).

Year Two Participants Begin Mentor-Guided Research Projects

MHRC5On July 10, 2015, SEP Year Two participants gathered at UAB's Edge of Chaos to present their research projects to health disparities experts, friends and family. Congratulations to Erica Archie, Brandon Collins, Chanel Veasley, Curtis Lewis, C'Asia Bermudez, Calvin Colvin, Martevia Bledsole, Regene Tell and Chantavia Amos.

Research Posters Award Winners 

MHRC6Congratulations to the winners of the Year Two poster competition Martha Bledsoe (third place) Brandon Collins (second place), Regene Tell (second place) and Calvin Colvin (first place). First Place: $100
Calvin Colvin, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Mentor: Raegan Durant, M.D., MPH
"High Trust in Physicians Is Associated with Better Medication Adherence Among Older But Not Younger Adults with Heart Failure"

Second Place: TIE $75
Brandon Collins, Alabama State University
Mentor: Gareth Dutton, Ph.D.
"Evaluating Participants' Goals in Weight Management Interventions with Peer Coach Components"

Regen Tell, Tuskegee University
Mentor: Michael Froelich, M.D., MS
"Effect of Sedation on Cognitive Performance in the Elderly"

Third Place: $50
Martevia Bledsoe, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Mentor: M. Tosi Gilford, M.D.
"Do Physician Assistant Practice Specialties Differ by Rural and Urban Areas in Alabama?"

Closing Ceremony for SEP Year Three Students

MHRC7On July 24, 2015, these ten outstanding young scholars celebrated the culmination of their Summer Enrichment Program. Shown with Selwyn M. Vickers, M.D., are Michael Cromartie, Tiara Cates, Aneesa Sood, Charvla King, Edina Kokutse, Melanie Chaves, Jocelyn Woodson, Shaquitta Dent and Eryn Peeler.

SEP Year Three Research Poster Award Winners 

MHRC8Three students achieved outstanding scores on their mentored research project. Shown here are Shaquitta Dent (third place), Jocelyn Woodson (second place) and Aneesa Sood (first place).First Place: $100
Aneesa Sood, Tuskegee University
Mentors: Mary MacDougall, PhD and Hope Amm, Ph.D.
"Matrix Metalloproteinase Expression in Primary Ameloblastomas"

Second Place: $75
Jocelyn Woodson, Oakwood University
Mentors: Jennifer Christy, PT, Ph.D.
"Psychosocial Characteristics of Adolescents with Obesity"

Third Place: $50
Shaquita Dent, Stillman College
Mentor: Alan Tita, M.D., MPH, Ph.D.
"Impact of Antenatal Informational Brochure on Informed Consent Rates for Intrapartum Studies"

The MHRC is grateful to the 19 educators and healthcare professionals who served as mentors for the  Summer Enrichment Program: 

  • Anesthesiology: Michael Froelich, M.D., and LeeAnn Riesenberg, Ph.D., RN
  • Cell, Development and Integrative Biology: Kurt Zimmerman, Ph.D.
  • Dentistry: Hope Amm, Ph.D., and Mary MacDougall, Ph.D.
  • Hematology and Oncology: Jeffrey Lebensburger, D.O.
  • Neonatology: Sparkle Williams, Ph.D.
  • OB-GYN: Alan Tita, M.D., MPH, Ph.D.
  • Occupational Therapy: Laura Vogtle, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA
  • Physical Therapy: C. Scott Bickel, PT, Ph.D., David Brown, PT, Ph.D., and Jennifer Christy, PT, Ph.D.
  • Physician Assistant Program: Monifa "Tosi" Akinloye-Guildford, M.D., Kara Carruthers, MSPAS, PA-C and Kelley Swatzel, MPH, DrPH
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Danielle Powell, M.D.
  • Preventive Medicine: Andrea Cherrington, M.D., Raegan Durant, M.D., and Gareth Dutton, Ph.D.