Celebrating Ten Years of Impact: OSD Alumni
Lindsey Filiatreau ('11)Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar
Lindsey Filiatreau (’11)
Lindsey Filiatreau, of Bardstown, Kentucky, recently moved to South Africa where she is researching HIV, but the path that led her there has not always been clear. With interests in healthcare, the arts and science, she did not feel sold on one career path.
“The thought of having one path I would set out upon as an 18-year-old leaving rural Kentucky for the first time completely terrified me,” Lindsey said. “I realized that not only was it okay that my interests evolved over time but that looking back and spending time reflecting on these changes truly did paint a clear picture as to what my life journey looked like.”
Lindsey studied biology and chemistry at WKU and used undergraduate research as a way to explore her interests. She worked with Dr. Michael Stokes in the biology department to study the effectiveness of rain catchment systems in Kenya.
Additionally, Lindsey said the process of applying for nationally competitive scholarships allowed her to reflect on her evolving and disparate interests. As a graduating senior, she received a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship that funded a master’s degree in public health at the University of Ghana, Legon.
“I studied alongside a classroom full of Ghanaian healthcare providers, most of whom had been serving as public health professionals in West Africa for many years,” Lindsey said. “I gained perspective on the pitfalls that countless foreign aid agencies fall victim to and understand more clearly the importance of creating locally sustainable programs and practices.”
Lindsey’s experience in the classroom was complemented by numerous research projects. She analyzed data on traffic accidents and hospital admissions as well as HIV testing and counseling uptake in the Cape Coast Metropolitan Area. Her work in Ghana ultimately led her to a research career in HIV prevention and care. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in epidemiology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
“I hope to aid in minimizing the healthcare disparities experienced by people living with HIV/AIDS through my current and future work,” she said.
Lindsey was recently selected as an NIH Fogarty Global Health Fellow, which is funding dissertation work in South Africa. She is working alongside researchers to gain further insight on multi-level factors that continue to impede HIV treatment and care initiation among highly vulnerable HIV positive adolescents in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa.