Student Researchers Receive PEAK Awards for Spring 2022

Six student researchers and Health Equity Interns were awarded PEAK Experiences Awards for spring 2022. The Institute would like to celebrate the ongoing work our undergraduate researchers are doing alongside our Faculty and Faculty Scholars. Project descriptions and more information on our students can be found below.

Base Camp Awards

Maisha Gregory, Bouvé’22
Impact of Community- And Incentive-Based Approaches on the Demand for Sickle Cell Disease New-Born Screening in Nigeria: A Pilot Study” 
Mentor: John Olawepo, Bouvé, Health Sciences 

Through a collaboration with six churches in Enugu State, Nigeria, this project will take an incentivized community-based approach to providing sickle cell disease education, screening, and follow-up care for expecting mothers and their babies. Through this, the aim is to examine what factors influence the demand for newborn screening.  

Madeline Gully, Bouvé’24
Sickle Cell Disease in Nigeria” 
Mentor: John Olawepo, Bouvé, Health Sciences

The study will be looking at factors that play into testing for Sickle Cell Disease for women and newborn screening and preventative care in Nigeria. In addition, the study will aim to see how financial incentives play a role in willingness to get screened. 

Ascent Awards

Dorian Stump, Bouvé’22
Firearm Suicide Prevention Project” 
Mentors: Suzanne Garverich, Institute for Health Equity and Social Justice Research; and Alisa Lincoln, Bouvé, Health Sciences

The purpose of this project is to analyze transcripts of interviews conducted with firearm owners in order to understand their perspectives of suicide prevention methods. The findings from this analysis will help to inform firearm suicide prevention interventions that will be successful. I will analyze transcripts and create coding memos which are a summary of each participants perspective as well as the themes and similarities and differences in perspective. I will also write about my findings which will be published along with the findings of other students in a public health focused journal. 

Julia Denlinger, Bouvé’22
Firearm Suicide Prevention” 
Mentor: Alisa Lincoln, Bouvé, Health Sciences

Over the past two years I have contributed to a project whose goal is to suggest firearm owner specific suicide prevention strategies. The first phase involved interviews with firearm owners and gathering information on their perspectives of firearm suicide and suicide prevention in general. I was able to assist in the transcription and coding process that was completed this past semester. This semester my goal is to examine what programs firearm owners would support for firearm suicide prevention. I also plan to help outline a manuscript on this topic as well as write a portion of the paper. 

Summer Kelly, Bouvé’24
Un-Masking the Origins of Maternal Mortality/Morbidity Inequities: Measurement and Determinants of Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Severe Maternal Morbidity” 
Mentor: Alisa Lincoln, Bouvé, Health Sciences

The Un-Masking the Origins of Maternal Mortality/Morbidity Inequities (UMOMMI) project examines severe maternal morbidity (SMM). SMM are unintended health outcomes women experience as a result of pregnancy labor, and/or delivery that disproportionately affects women of certain racial/ethnic minorities. SMM affects 50,000 women in the United States each year, creating substantial disability and financial burden. The goals for this project include: identifying determinants of racial/ethnic disparities in severe maternal morbidity, exploring potential actionable mechanisms of said disparities, as well as examining the impact of the choice of measure of SMM on estimates of racial disparities using large nationally representative datasets. 

Summit Awards

Rayna Haque, Bouvé’22
“Somali Parent Perspectives on Barriers to Diagnosis in Children with Developmental Disabilities”
Mentor: Carmel Salhi, Bouvé, Health Sciences

Somali refugees in Massachusetts face barriers related to their race, religion, socioeconomic status, and citizenship. This study aims to conduct one-hour interviews of parents on their experiences seeking a diagnosis for their children with developmental disabilities through the lens of these barriers. Studies have shown that early interventions can significantly improve outcomes for individuals with developmental disabilities (Fernell et al.). With the knowledge that these disorders are underdiagnosed in populations of color (Edbrooke-Childs et al.), understanding the barriers that cause late diagnoses is the first step in creating interventions to better the outcomes of these children in the long-term. 

The PEAK Awards are funded by the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, a progressively structured sequence of opportunities designed to support learners as they continue climbing to new heights of achievement in undergraduate research and creative endeavor throughout their Northeastern journeys. From the beginner surveying the landscape with a Campfire Chat or establishing a Base Camp, to those gaining experience while making the Ascent and Building Bridges, to those reaching the Summit, Blazing new Trails, and Shouting Out their successes, the PEAK Experiences Awards offer something for everyone.