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Public Health Students Win Big at 46th Annual WKU Student Research Conference

everal students from the Department of Public Health in the College of Health and Human Services seized the opportunity to present their research at the 46th Annual WKU Student Research Conference. While we are proud of all the students that participated, we would like to recognize two public health students who were among the winners for their sessions.

Congratulations to MPH student Jessica Stallings, whose presentation, “Childbirth Experiences of Doula-Assisted Births,” won the graduate oral Health, Human Services, and Humanities session. Stallings and MPH student Tamara Thomas, are co-investigators on a large, national childbirth experience survey with 3330 participants. Stalling’s presentation examined differences in birth satisfaction, perceived control, traumatic birth events, and post-birth traumatic stress symptomology between women who used doulas and those who did not.  Stallings and Thomas also recently co-presented a session, “Birthing their Voices,” at the WKU Gender and Communication Conference, and will each be presenting posters at the 68th Annual Kentucky Public Health Association Conference on April 13th.  Stallings currently serves at the vice president of the WKU student chapter of the Kentucky Public Health Association.  The pair were mentored by Dr. Marilyn Gardner.


Tamara Thomas and Jessica Stallings

Congratulations also to India Martinez, a Gatton Academy graduate and Public Health admission-seeking student, who developed a research question focused around the mental well-being of very young children who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  India determined that, after accounting for multiple other developmental disorders and conditions, children between the 2-3 years old who had been diagnosed with ASD were 21% more likely to demonstrate depressive symptoms than 2-3 year old children who were not diagnosed with ASD. India’s poster was adjudged the best for the Health and Human Services undergraduate session. She, too, will be presenting at the Kentucky Public Health Association Conference on April 13th.  Martinez was mentored by Dr. Colin Farrell.


 India Martinez

Contact Zona Ascensio for more information:

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 Last Modified 5/2/17