UK Appalachian Center to Showcase Student Research on Appalachia

By Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 22, 2021) — The University of Kentucky Appalachian Center will showcase the work of student researchers through its Sharing Work on Appalachia in Progress series this semester.

This series will feature presentations from graduate and undergraduate students covering topics ranging from poetry to cancer research to education to local foods. 

The presenting students are supported through the center’s James S. Brown Graduate Student Awards for Research on Appalachia and the UK Appalachian Center Eller & Billings Student Research Awards.

“We are excited to be able to help fund important interdisciplinary research conducted by students across the university,” said Kathryn Engle, associate director of the center. “These presentations will provide a platform for students to share their work with the UK Appalachian Studies community, as well as the general public." 

SWAP presentations are accessible online via Zoom. The full schedule with links can be found on the Appalachian Center calendar at https://appalachiancenter.as.uky.edu/calendar.

The spring 2021 dates and student presenters/topics are:

Tuesday, Feb. 23 https://appalachiancenter.as.uky.edu/virtual-swap-sharing-work-appalachia-progress-2

  • Dane Ritter, English: “Maybe Mountain: The Devastating Poetry of Mountaintop Removal” (James Brown award recipient).  
  • Rachael Blandau, political science: “Substantive Political Representation in Rural Kentucky” (James Brown award recipient).

Tuesday, March 2 https://appalachiancenter.as.uky.edu/virtual-swap-sharing-work-appalachia-progress-3

  • Courtney Walker, epidemiology: “Environmental Risk Factors for Gestational Hypertension in Kentucky” (Eller/Billings award recipient).  
  • Kathleen Williams, forestry and natural resources: “Survival and Cause-Specific Mortality of Elk Calves in Kentucky” (Eller/Billings award recipient).

Tuesday, March 30 https://appalachiancenter.as.uky.edu/virtual-swap-sharing-work-appalachia-progress-1

  • Sia Beasley, anthropology; “Reproducing Marginalization: Cultural Politics of Obstetric Service Closures in the Rural United States” (James Brown award recipient).  
  • Alisha Mays, anthropology; “An Appalachian Narrative of Food Justice: What Happens to Locally Produced Foodstuffs in Appalachian Eastern Kentucky” (James Brown award recipient).

Tuesday, April 13 https://appalachiancenter.as.uky.edu/virtual-swap-sharing-work-appalachia-progress-4

  • Jade Hollan, educational, school, and counseling psychology: “Kentucky Appalachians’ Intentions to Use Telemental Health” (James Brown award recipient) . 
  • Madeline Dunfee, epidemiology-biostatistics: “Conducting Social Network Analysis Among Adults with Cardiometabolic Disease in Appalachia” (James Brown award recipient).

Tuesday, April 28 https://appalachiancenter.as.uky.edu/virtual-swap-sharing-work-appalachia-progress-5

  • Carson Benn, history: “Broadcasting Region: The Midwest Program on Airborne Television Instruction and the Case for an Appalachian Network” (James Brown award recipient).  
  • Lauren Hudson, neuroscience and biology (undergraduate): “Enhancing Cancer Literacy Among Appalachian Kentucky Middle and High School Students” (Eller/Billings award  recipient).

Two James Brown award recipients, Annie Koempel (anthropology) and Rebecca Ellen Tucker (education policy studies and evaluation), presented their research last semester. Koempel's presentation was titled “Embodied Insecurities: Socio-Economic Status, Eating Patterns, and Metabolic Health." Tucker's presentation was titled “Berea College's Commitment to Appalachia Kentucky.”

In addition to SWAP, the Appalachian Center also invites UK students, faculty and staff to join its virtual “coffee hours” which take place 10-11 a.m. every other Thursday this semester. Coffee hour offers a space to exchange ideas for programs, initiatives and events; discuss regional issues; and share research in a casual, collegial atmosphere. More information including Zoom links are available at https://appalachiancenter.as.uky.edu/virtual-spring-coffee-hour.

For more information about the UK Appalachian Center and the Appalachian Studies program, visit https://appalachiancenter.as.uky.edu/.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.

 

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