Student Profiles

Read about our students and why they chose the UK College of Health Sciences. 

Student Profiles

Name - Amanda Hayek
Program - Human Health Sciences - Physical Therapy Track
Class year - Senior, 2016 Graduating Class
Hometown - Dayton, Ohio

Why did you choose Human Health Sciences?

Originally I chose HHS because of the unique course structure, tailored to prepare me to become a well-rounded, holistic health care professional, preparing me not only in the science fields but also skills and competencies in the field of health care. I especially was interested because it had a specific track for Physical Therapy, the field I have been pursuing since I came to college.

How did you become interested in research?

I first got involved with research as part of a requirement for my major. However, the more I got involved, the more I realized how much I found it interesting and began to really enjoy what I was doing. I really shouldn't have found that as surprising, as it basically runs in my family with my father having a career in research.

Tell us about your work with Dr. Esther Dupont-Versteegden, Division of Physical Therapy:

I worked on four independent projects, observing the number of myonuclei, M2 macrophages, satellite cells, endothelial cells, and fibroblasts to identify which of the listed cells contributed to the DNA synthesis increases previously seen with massage. There were procedures in which I utilized included basic experimental design by gathering and analyzing data on Axiovision imaging software (Zeiss), as well as learning and applying novel experimental techniques. Through these processes, I have even developed new techniques in the laboratory, when the previous protocols failed. Lastly, I gained firsthand experience at manuscript preparation.

Why did you decide to complete the Certificate in Research in Human Health Sciences?

I decided to complete the UGR certificate because I felt it would offer a unique, hands-on education opportunity to help me not only apply what I was learning in lectures, but also provide an experience of how I could apply the information in a work setting. The more I continued the UGR certificate, the more I realized I really enjoyed research and how fundamental it is going to be to my future practice.

What are the benefits of earning the certificate for you educationally and professionally?

Earning the certificate benefits me on an educational level in the sense that it gave me opportunity to completely involve myself in research so that I could fully experience the experimental process. This not only gave me a better appreciation of how information is gathered in the science fields, but also made me more aware of the importance of evidence-based practice. The skills and knowledge I developed through the UGR program will definitely set me apart in my professional career and will hopefully make me a better health care provider.

What are you education/career plans?

Because I find the human body fascinating, especially the muscular system, and have a passion for helping people, I want to complete a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. With my involvement with the UGR program, however, I have started to consider the possibility of a PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences as well. It is my goal to work as a DPT and maybe work in a research lab to develop new and more individualized therapeutic techniques for the field. I also have a passion for health care ethics, patient advocacy, and cultural competency. Thus, it would be a dream come true if I could simultaneously work with a nonprofit to foster these things in the younger generation (mainly high school and college aged).

Student Profiles


Name: Andie Meade
Hometown: Betsy Layne, KY 
Program: Physician Assistant Studies 
Class Year: Class of 2017

Why did you choose UK College of Health Sciences?
Being a Kentucky native, I have always wanted to be a part of the University of Kentucky. The UK COHS presents its students with great opportunities. The faculty and staff involved with the COHS are extremely devoted to seeing each student succeed. 

How did you become interested in pursuing the PA profession?
I have always been interested in being a part of the health care system, but also knew that I wanted the opportunity to work in different fields if I wanted to. The PA profession is a very versatile field allowing you to work in many different specialties in health care. I was also drawn to the field because of the essential role that PAs play in the primary care setting, especially in rural areas of Kentucky. 

What is the most interesting (or surprising) thing you have learned while studying in the field?
I don’t think that I was completely aware of what a huge impact PAs could have on the health care system. Not only are they vital to their patients, but they are also very involved in public health, research and overall health education.  

What are your career plans?
As of right now, most of my interest lies in emergency medicine. No matter what field I decide to work in, I am glad that I will always have the opportunity to try working in different settings as I continue my career. Whatever field I choose to work in, I hope that I can help to improve the health care in rural areas of Kentucky. 

Are you involved in any extra-curricular or community activities?
I am currently a member of the AAPA as well as the Joseph Hamburg Student Society (JHSS). I am also involved with the two charities that the UKPA class of 2017 has chosen to support, the Ronald McDonald House and the Jordan Light Foundation.

Any advice for aspiring PA students?
My advice to any aspiring students is to always work hard to reach your goals and most importantly, always believe in yourself! As long as you stay positive and know that you have tried your absolute best, you will never doubt yourself as a student or as a professional.  

Student Profiles

Name: Carolyn Blissett
Hometown: Originally from Jamaica  
Undergrad major: Exercise Science
Program: Physical Therapy
Class Year: Class of 2016

Why did you choose UK CHS?
I chose the UK CHS because I was aware of its exceptional Doctor of Physical Therapy Program and because I was accepted to be a part of it! The opportunity for international service was another aspect that led to my desire to be part of this program. 

Why are you pursuing your major in PT?
My aspiration to become a physical therapist stemmed from an injury that I had as a track and field sprinter. That initial exposure to physical therapy sparked my interest in the field.  

What is the most surprising thing you have learned about yourself in college so far?
The most surprising thing that I have learned about myself is my steadfastness and strong reliance on God in order to overcome academic obstacles. 

What is the most interesting thing you have learned while studying in the PT field?
One thing that I found very interesting is understanding motivation and how it (along with other factors) ties into patients recovery. 

What are your career plans after college?
I plan to be a physical therapist with a specialty in pediatrics. After achieving that, I aspire to work in various types of settings in the U.S., serve in other countries, and mentor students with aspirations of becoming PTs. 

Are you involved in any extra-curricular activities at UK?
I am involved in the Samaritan's Touch UK Student Run Physical Therapy Clinic, where I treat patients under the supervision of Physical Therapists and serve as a Spanish interpreter. I am also involved in the Health Colleges Student Diversity Services, where I participate and volunteer at various events. 


Student Profiles

Photo by LeeAnn Helton

Name: Eddie Hamilton
Hometown: Harold, Kentucky  
Program: Medical Laboratory Science (Hazard Campus)
Class of 2015

Why did you choose the College of Health Sciences MLS program at the Center of Excellence in Rural Health in Hazard?
I chose the Hazard campus because it allowed me to commute between campus and home. Being able to take care of my family is very important to me, so being able to commute was a godsend.

How did you become interested in MLS?
I had an interest in medical laboratory science a few years before I started the program. At that time, I was unsatisfied with my career and wanted to do something that helped direct the treatment process for people.

What is your favorite part of your MLS education so far and why?
My favorite part has to be the practicums. The hands-on experience of working side by side with well-trained medical scientists is invaluable and allows me to apply what I've learned in the student lab in a real-life lab environment. 

What is the most interesting thing you have learned while studying in the MLS field?
The most interesting thing I've learned in the MLS field is how technology has streamlined medical laboratory science. Many medical lab scientists who work in blood banking once believed they would never see any automation in their department. Now, we have instrumentation capable of ABORh typing, antibody screening, antibody paneling, and running direct antiglobulin testing. It's simply fascinating!

What are your career plans after college?
I hope to gain employment at my current practicum site. After several years of working, I'd like to pursue graduate work and possibly teach.


Student Profiles


Name: Ian de Rozario Crossett
Hometown: Salt Lake City, UT
Program: Athletic Training, Class of 2016

Why did you choose the UK College of Health Sciences for your education?
I was interested in continuing my education at the highest level possible in my field and the UK Division of Athletic Training certainly embodies that goal. 

How did you become interested in becoming an athletic trainer?
The fusion of athletics and the human body first piqued my interest in health care. Injuries resulting from skiing and soccer focused my curiosity toward injury prevention and rehabilitation. Explorations into pre-nursing and emergency first response further honed my interest to the point where I wanted to pursue the ability to heal patients, rather than simply stabilize and manage them. AT provides the opportunity to do this. 

What is your favorite part of your AT education so far and why?
One aspect of my education I have looked forward to since I was an undergrad was the potential for a cadaver anatomy lab. The opportunity to directly examine and dissect a human body and apply that to my clinical practice has been a major asset to and highlight of my education. 

What is the most interesting (or surprising) thing you have learned while studying in the AT field?
I have continually been surprised at the complexity of the human body. I don’t think I realized just how many strategies the human body adopts to overcome adversity, especially when injured. Compensation strategies of multiple body systems have been a great source of intrigue. 

What are your career plans?
I would like to continue working as a clinically practicing athletic trainer in the college or professional setting, hopefully with extreme or alternative sports like cycling or skiing. 

Are you involved in any extra-curricular or community activities?
I love to ride my bicycle. I commute via bicycle and try to ride for fun often. When it works out with my schedule, I like to participate in the Lexington Cyclocross Race Series (think circuit racing a road bike with knobby tires along mellow trails.)


Student Profiles


Name: Kari Harvey
Current Job: Account Clerk Senior, UK HealthCare 
Program: Clinical Leadership and Management, senior

Why did you choose the UK College of Health Sciences for your education?
After a lot of research of different colleges in the area, I found the Clinical Leadership and Management degree offered by the UK College of Health Sciences. I knew I wanted to continue my education from my accounting degree into health care, and I felt like this was the perfect fit.

What has been the biggest benefit or advantage of being at CHS?
All of the classes are close together and are scheduled at times that work with my schedule. I work full-time, 40 hours a week, so I need online and evening courses, and CHS offers that. I love the teacher/student interaction and the smaller classes. It is a huge learning advantage and helps tremendously when you feel like you can contact your teacher about any issues you may be having. The advisors are also amazing. They are always right there to help you find a class to fit your schedule and to guide you on what needs to be done in order to get you to a graduation date. 

How did you become interested in pursuing CLM?
I originally began my employment with UK HealthCare in April 2011. When I transferred to the Finance Department in November 2012, I began to realize that eventually I wanted to work in management within a health care setting. After researching the various programs offered, I chose to go with Clinical Leadership and Management because I felt this specific degree offered at UK College of Health Sciences would help me in the future to reach my goals.

What is your favorite part of your CLM education so far and why?
I like the diversity taught and how the courses can in turn lead you to other areas of study you may be interested in pursuing after CLM.  Everything I have studied in the CLM program has also fallen right in line with my day to day job in the Finance Department at UK HealthCare and has helped me to grasp a better understanding of the administrative side of health care. When you are studying something you are very interested in, it makes a huge impact on your progress and moving forward to meet your goals. I am just excited and happy that I have been able to find that.

What is the most interesting (or surprising) thing you have learned while studying CLM?
I would have to say that the most interesting and surprising thing I have learned so far in the CLM program is how healthcare has an impact on different socioeconomic groups and ways this has been combated. We have a lot of privately funded, community and not-for-profit organizations right here in Lexington that I wasn’t aware existed until I learned of them in my Financial Healthcare Management course. It really is awesome to see the people in your community come together and take care of each other. 

I have also learned that there are multiple degrees that you can branch into from CLM. I am looking forward to obtaining more health care degrees to help me further my education and open up more doors for me within the health care field. 

How do you anticipate CLM will help your career?
Clinical Leadership and Management is a wonderful degree option for anyone interested in Management in the health care field. The courses overall are very well planned and laid out in order to help target the important aspects needed to succeed. I believe CLM will help me reach even more education goals, that will in turn push me to strive for more within my personal work related goals.

Student Profiles



Name - Kyla Altmann
Program - Bachelor of Science in Human Health Sciences - 2015 Graduate,
Physician Assistant Studies Class of 2018
Hometown - Ferdinand, Indiana

How did you become interested in the health care professions or becoming a PA?
I wanted to do something meaningful with my life and in my profession, which led me to the health care field. There are many different types of clinicians, but I was drawn to the Physician Assistant profession because of its flexibility and impact on health care accessibility. As a PA, I will be able to practice in a rural or urban setting and will have the option to choose what area I want to practice in.

Why did you choose Human Health Sciences at the UK College of Health Sciences?
I chose Human Health Sciences because it is a pre-professional major, meaning students are working toward attending a medical professional or graduate school.

The HHS curriculum included vigorous science courses that were prerequisites for PA school, as well as courses on ethics, research, and cultural competency in health care. I also wanted to be in UK's College of Health Sciences, which I am still part of as a PA student.

What were the main benefits of the HHS program?
The HHS program allowed me to meet the PAS faculty and staff long before I applied to the program. This was beneficial because it further solidified my choice to attend the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences Physician Assistant Studies program. Through HHS, I was able to complete all prerequisites within the HHS curriculum and graduate a semester early. This allowed me to apply to the PAS program a year early and transition from undergraduate to graduate immediately. This will ultimately allow me to see patients as a practicing Physician Assistant an entire year earlier than I had originally anticipated.

Is there one key experience that you will carry with you over your career?
One key experience that came from being an HHS student was the health service project and fellowship in New Orleans, Louisiana. This was a service learning and clinical experience in which HHS students, along with Dr. Karen Skaff and Dr. Somu Chatterjee, collaborated with New Orleans' largest Head Start program in the Ninth Ward to provide health services and information to 100 underserved children ages 3-5. This experience gave me the opportunity to use what I had learned in my HHS courses, gain clinical experience, get to know my classmates and professors, and explore a new city. This was truly a service project I will never forget!

What advice would you give to other students considering the HHS program?
I would recommend Human Health Sciences to any student considering a career in the health field. Not only did
HHS prepare me academically, it got me involved. I discovered volunteer opportunities in the hospital and Markey Cancer Center, service projects within the community, and gained friendships with my classmates that extended outside the classroom.

What are your career plans?
Currently, my plans are to graduate in 2018 and start my career as a practicing Physician Assistant back home in Southern Indiana. I am very passionate about pediatrics and would like to work in this area at some point in my career; however, I have not yet experienced every area of medicine and am waiting for my clinical rotations to decide what area I like best. I would like to provide care to an underserved population in whichever field I work in.

Photo Caption: HHS class on their community outreach trip to New Orleans (Pictured: Ashlie Aviles, Sarah Hicks, Alex Schalk, Kyla Altmann, Megan Thomas, Dr. Somu Chatterjee)

Student Profiles

Photo by Cameron Ainslie

Name: Lauren Knasel (& Harvest Moon)
Hometown: Fort Wright, Kentucky  
Program: Human Health Sciences

Why did you choose the UK College of Health Sciences for your education?
I chose the UK College of Health Sciences because they welcomed me with open arms. There were so many opportunities within the College of Health Sciences, that I just couldn’t say no!

What has been the biggest benefit or advantage of being at CHS?
The biggest advantage of being at CHS is the size of the college. Especially within my program, HHS, my cohort is about 40 people. Everyone knows my name within CHS and it feels like my second home. I am so grateful to be at CHS because the advisors, faculty, and staff go out of their way to help me succeed.

Why/how did you become interested in pursuing HHS?
I met Wayne Centers at a UK See Blue Preview Night in Northern Kentucky. I knew I wanted to become a physical therapist, but with the mass amounts of majors and programs, I didn’t know what to choose. After I spoke with Mr. Centers and he told me all the things HHS had to offer, I was completely sold. I knew that this would be home for the next four years. HHS offers not only a strong scientific foundation, but also a strong health care background. I knew this major would be the one to help shape me into a successful physical therapist one day.

What is your favorite part of your HHS education so far and why?
My favorite part about HHS is the interprofessional experience. We are a small cohort made up of many different tracks. We are all interacting with each other in and out of class. When we are discussing crucial health care topics in class, we have so many different perspectives to bring to the conversation. One day, I am confident that the education that I have received from HHS will mold me into a successful health care provider. I wouldn’t trade the education I have received through this major for anything. I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else!

What is the most interesting (or surprising) thing you have learned while studying HHS?
I have learned so many interesting and valuable things from my HHS classes that I don’t think I could pinpoint just one. In one of my classes, we had the opportunity to travel to New Orleans to teach underprivileged children still suffering from the wreckage of Hurricane Katrina about physical wellness, nutrition, and dental health. It was surprising to learn how many people are still dealing with the damage of Hurricane Katrina. It was amazing that we could travel down there and make such a big difference in these children’s lives. I couldn’t have had that experience through any other major or college.

What are your plans after graduation?
As of right now, I am in the process of applying for physical therapy school. So, after graduation I will hopefully be accepted into a PT school where I will continue my education to receive my DPT.

What is your advice to other students who are interested in HHS?
I highly recommend applying for HHS! Not only are you receiving a strong scientific foundation, you are gaining health care exposure that you wouldn’t get anywhere else. You will be taught about ethics, cultural competency, health care systems, patient safety, and so much more. In other majors, you will not get exposure to these topics until you are accepted into your professional program. HHS offers an amazing atmosphere amongst peers and faculty. Since everyone has the similar end goal of being a health care provider, you will spend a lot of time with your HHS classmates and they will become your second family. There is no place I would rather be! 

Student Profiles


Photo by LeeAnn Helton

Name: Matt Williams
Hometown: Hazard, Kentucky  
Program: Physical Therapy (Hazard Campus)
Class of 2016


Why did you choose the UK College of Health Sciences for your education?
The University of Kentucky is one of the most prestigious institutions in the United States. I wanted to grow as a student, as a clinician, and as an individual, and I believe the UK College of Health Sciences has one of the best reputations for providing such opportunities.   

Why/how did you become interested in pursuing PT?
One of my favorite quotes is "God gives us the gift of life, and what we do with our lives is our gift back to Him." Physical therapy is one of the most rewarding careers in which clinicians are put in a position to utilize their gifts to make a positive impact on someone's life. This is something that has always been compelling to me. Medicine can add years to a person's life, but rehab can add life to those years.    

What is your favorite part of your PT education so far and why?
The clinical experience is my favorite part of our physical therapy curriculum because it breaks up the monotony of the classroom. This enriched environment allows us to put our knowledge to practice through interactions with real patients which serves as an essential bridge to entry-level clinical practice.   

What is the most interesting (or surprising) thing you have learned while studying in the PT field?
The most interesting/surprising thing I have learned while studying physical therapy is how diverse and ever-evolving the profession is. Prior to applying to the program, my knowledge was limited to sports rehabilitation, stroke rehabilitation, and pediatrics. I have now been exposed to a number of other aspects of the profession and various ways we can be advocates for our patients.    

What are your career plans?
At this point, I am primarily interested in the industrial rehabilitation setting. I intend to work somewhere in Kentucky, and I hope to eventually become certified as an Ergonomics Assessment Specialist as well as a Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (McKenzie) provider.  

Are you involved in any extra-curricular or community activities?
Although the vast majority of my time is spent studying, I try to be actively involved in collecting donations for a local homeless shelter in our community especially during the holiday season.  I also enjoy participating in any PT-related volunteer activities such as health fairs and summer health camps. 

Student Profiles

Name: Payton Schmidt
Program: CSD Undergraduate

Why did you choose the UK College of Health Sciences for your education?
I came to the University of Kentucky knowing that I wanted to become a speech-language pathologist and the College of Health Sciences offered the program. 

Why/how did you become interested in pursuing CSD?
In high school, I worked with many students in the special education program, and I got to know the speech-language pathologist that worked with them. After seeing the inspirational impact she had on the students, I knew that speech-language pathology was something I wanted to pursue!

What is your favorite part of your CSD education so far and why?
The professors are definitely my favorite part of the CSD program so far! Not only are our professors extremely knowledgeable and experienced, but they also know how to give us a good laugh in class! I think my classmates would agree.

What is the most interesting (or surprising) thing you have learned while studying in the CSD field?
I got an opportunity to work on UK’s TAALC grant which works to give people who are nonverbal a way to communicate with others. While working on the grant, I was shocked to learn how many different devices there are that people use to communicate with that can’t speak on their own! I’m honored to be a part of something that works so hard to make life a little easier for others.

What are your career plans?
I hope to continue my CSD education in University of Kentucky’s CHS graduate program and one day become a successful Speech-language Pathologist!

Are you involved in any extra-curricular or community activities?
This year I’m getting to participating in UK’s Dance Blue 24 hour dance marathon in support of children with cancer and I couldn’t be more excited!

Student Profiles

Rachel (left) with  Maggie Delaney, PT Student at Northern Arizona University.

Name: Rachel Franey
Hometown: Owensboro, Kentucky
Physical Therapy, Class of 2015

Why did you choose the UK College of Health Sciences for your education?
While researching Physical Therapy programs, I was fortunate enough to set up an individual tour with one of the professors at UK. I knew that UK had a great reputation as a top educational program, but I was able to see first hand how amazing their faculty and new facilities are.

Why/how did you become interested in pursuing the PT profession?
I first became interested in PT at a very young age, while watching my two cousins with Spinal Muscular Atrophy complete home and aquatic physical therapy. Coming from a close family, I was often present for their therapy and was always amazed by their courage and determination. Watching my cousins endure this disease and go through their therapy inspired me to follow this career path, in the hopes that I may aid others in improving their quality of life.           

What is your favorite part of your PT education so far and why?
UKPT has a wonderful group of professors who are great instructors in class and lab, but they also provide a support system for those stressful times during school. Whether it be an office visit for guidance on an upcoming test or a chat in the hallway to update them on what was going on in our lives, the professors genuinely care about every student’s success.

UK also has a number clinical rotations to choose from, allowing students to stay close to home or travel. They have also set up specialty clinical opportunities and study abroad clinicals.

Can you tell me about your experience in Hong Kong?
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Department of Rehabilitation Sciences hosted a week long Summer Overseas Exchange Program, inviting PT and OT students from around the world to view their current research in rehabilitation. Four continents and eight countries were represented among the 30 students who attended the program. The research presentations were divided into 4 topics: East Meets Western Medicine, Neuroscience, Sports and Orthopedics, and Geriatrics. In the morning we would have multiple presentations on that day’s topic, followed by an afternoon of lab visits and demonstrations.  

I found the East Meets Western Medicine the most interesting, as it was such a different approach to rehabilitation. Research focused on integrating Western Medicine with traditional Eastern beliefs and practices such as Tai Chi and Qigong. They have completed many studies on the positive effects of these practices on depression, balance and proprioception, core stability, and overall improvement on quality of life.

The professors would mingle with the students during breaks and were very friendly and open in discussing their current and upcoming research. It was a great networking opportunity between the abroad students, PolyU students, and PolyU professors. Many of us are hoping to have a reunion at the World Confederation for Physical Therapy in South Africa in 2017.

The student ambassadors from PolyU would meet us at the dorms (where the international student stayed) and they often led us on tours around Hong Kong for breakfast and dinner, showing us the local places (and often interpreting for us with our very limited Cantonese!).

What is the most interesting (or surprising) thing you have learned while abroad?
Although there were some differences between PT practices among countries, our approach to therapy was very similar. It was interesting to learn about the cultural differences, which influenced treatment interventions in each country. For example, using Chinese calligraphy to incorporate balance and core stability, or the differences between our city and store lay outs when using the virtual reality systems.

Any advice for aspiring PT students?
Try to get as much observation time in the clinic as possible. There are so many great PTs out there who would love to share their knowledge with you. Also, don’t forget that some of your best teachers will be your patients.

Go into school with an open mind about what area you hope to practice. I began PT school with the idea of treating pediatric patients, specifically with neurological disorders. Now that I have completed school, I find myself drawn more to geriatrics and orthopedics.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to sign up for challenging internships, clinicals out of state, or abroad opportunities. I’ve done many clinicals out of state, participated in the UK Shoulder to Shoulder Global Ecuador service, and was selected for this exchange program and each experience has added a new level to my understanding of global healthcare and PT practice.

Student Profiles

Ryan Hunton

Name: Ryan Hunton
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky  
Program: Physician Assistant Studies
Class of 2017


Why did you choose the UK College of Health Sciences for your education?
The college has access to and partnerships with several hospitals in the region. Also, there is a great tradition in health care at UK. UK has one of the oldest PA programs in the nation, and the COHS is celebrating its 50th year anniversary! The COHS offers opportunities and experience in medical education that one cannot find elsewhere. 

Why/how did you become interested in becoming a PA?
In 2010, I discovered my interest in pursuing a career in health care. As I read about the PA profession and the curriculum of PA school, I became certain that this was a career which would satisfy my personal love of learning and willingness to serve. The prospect of becoming a PA inspired me and continues to inspire me. 

What is your favorite part of your PA education so far and why?
PA education is dynamic. As students, we are in the unique position of receiving an education which evolves before our eyes, and many of us will soon be able to participate as educators. I look forward to attending the PAEA Education Forum in Washington, D.C., next month and learning more about the future of PA education.

What is the most interesting (or surprising) thing you have learned while studying in the PA field?
The opportunity to work with a human cadaver in Gross Anatomy was such an awesome experience. It changed the way that I think about the human body. When we talk about disease or lesions in various parts of the body, instead of thinking of diagrams or illustrations, I instinctively think about the actual nerves, vessels, and organs.

What are your career plans?
I plan to serve as a PA in the Kentucky National Guard. This will lead me to Ft. Sam Houston, Texas, for training shortly after school. I would like to work in Louisville and help address some of the health disparities in the city. I will likely start off in Family Medicine, but I may end up in other specialties. I would also like to write and teach. 

Are you involved in any extra-curricular or community activities?
I currently serve as a Platoon Leader in the 1163rd Area Support Medical Company in Shelbyville. I am a COHS Student Ambassador. I am the Southeast Regional Director for the AAPA Student Academy and serve on the Board of Directors. I occasionally write for the blog on PA Student Essentials.

Student Profiles

Name: Shakiyla Davis
Hometown: New Jersey  
Program: Clinical Leadership and Management
Expected Graduation: Summer 2017

Why did you choose UK CHS?
The College of Health Sciences is one of the only colleges that solely focuses on the understanding of the health care environment and emphasizes underrepresented health care professionals. In order to gain exposure to and knowledge of the health community, I decided this college would be best. 

How did you become interested in pursuing CLM?
I felt the clinical leadership and management program would allow me to indirectly treat patients and assist the health care community through financing, planning, and continual quality improvement.

What is your favorite part of your CLM education so far and why?
As of right now I really enjoy Epidemiology & Biostatistics. In this class, we learn how to effectively read and understand medical literature. I enjoy finally being able to understand medical journal articles and studies. This class will cater to the understanding of previous health care implementations and whether or not they’ve worked in the health facilities they were used in. 

What is the most interesting (or surprising) thing you have learned while studying in the CLM field?
I knew before that these professionals were involved with planning in the healthcare facilities, but I had no idea of how intense the planning processes were. Healthcare administrators may spend years on the same quality improvement project before finalizing the change they hope to make. 

What are your career plans?
I’m hoping to work as a director or manager in clinical departments that aren’t well known in the hospital in order to appreciate the health professionals that work within those departments and to help others understand the importance of those departments. 

Are you involved in any extra-curricular or community activities?
Currently I am a volunteer travel agent assistant. In this position I assist older adults and their families with traveling by walking them through the process and assisting with travel arrangements, documents, payments, and knowledge of traveling. 

Student Profiles

Name: Sharrell Barnes
Hometown: Williamson, WV  
Program: Communication Sciences and Disorders (Graduate Program)
Class Year: Class of 2016

Why did you choose UK CHS?
I was at first impressed by the reputation the program had in relation to other programs I visited. Also, the research division of the program is unsurpassed. Once I had the opportunity to visit the campus and talk with the professors, such as Dr. Deem, I made the decision to complete my master’s program at UK. 

How did you become interested in becoming an SLP?
Experiencing firsthand the positive impact our profession has on individuals convinced me that, in the program, one person can truly make a difference. In the SLP program, many different roles are available, with one of the most effective roles being able to provide an avenue of communication for individuals who may not otherwise be able to communicate.

What is your favorite part of your CSD education so far and why?
Thus far, my favorite experience is the time spent in direct contact with patients. By implementing the treatments and approaches learned in class, I can appreciate the impact our profession has on individuals. I also realize that I made the right decision in pursuing this vocation.

What is the most interesting (or surprising) thing you have learned while studying in the CSD field?
Surprisingly, the CSD field consists of a multitude of interesting areas in which to concentrate. The workings of speech mechanism and dysphagia are probably the most interesting areas I have studied and I have become intrigued with the possibilities in these areas.

What are your career plans after grad school?
I plan to work in a hospital setting. Also, the opportunity to participate in a travel therapy program fascinates me. However, I still have a year to explore other roles in which my degree will be useful.

Are you involved in any extra-curricular or community activities?
Even though the CSD program keeps me very busy, I still find time to sing, which is my passion. Singing on the praise team at my church keeps me focused. I also help with the Children’s Program at church.