Researcher of the Month: September 2020

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement Program

The Center for Undergraduate Research Presents: Researcher(s) of the Month, September 2020

During summer 2020, three students participated in an eight-week virtual internship called the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement Program—or PA CURE.

Meet the Students

Brittany Amadi

Brittany Amadi

Biology major from
Hyattsville, Maryland

Nydia Johnson

Nydia Johnson

Health science major from Philadelphia

Kyle Morris

Kyle Morris

A Temple University graduate student

About the Internship Sponsor

PA CURE was established in 2001 by Act 77 and funded by the tobacco settlement. The funds from this state program flow from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and are intended to support broad-based research, in addition to research related to tobacco use.

About the Research

Brittany, Nydia, and Kyle participated in a research project titled “Enhancing Healthy Reintegration and Recovery for High-Risk Opioid Users" where they collected and analyzed observational data in areas of Kensington and North Philadelphia as part of Temple TRUST Clinic’s efforts to combat the ongoing opioid crisis. While onboard a van that serves as a mobile treatment facility, Brittany, Nydia, and Kyle were able to get a first-hand look at how physicians meet the needs of patients suffering from opioid use disorders.

Impact on the Students

The interns said that the experience made a significant impact on them.

  • Nydia Johnson: “Having the opportunity to participate in the virtual PA CURE program has helped me gain insight on the opioid epidemic that plagues our country, and the individuals and neighborhoods affected by it was a huge eye-opener for me.”
  • Brittany Amadi: “It was very humbling to be able to go out to Kensington Philadelphia to see how many people struggle daily with opioid use disorders and the various obstacles they face while on the road to recovery. This was truly an unforgettable experience.”
  • Kyle Morris: “I was pleased to have been able to get a glimpse into the world of substance abuse prevention [and] was honored to serve with a team of people on the right side of history.”

Future Plans

What comes next for these three student researchers? Brittany, Nydia, and Kyle each have big plans.

  • Upon graduation in May 2021, Nydia plans to attend graduate school to pursue a doctorate in occupational therapy.
  • In fall 2022, Brittany plans to attend medical school with an interest in either becoming an obstetrician/gynecologist or an emergency medicine physician.
  • Upon graduation with his doctorate in Executive Educational Leadership in May 2022, Kyle plans to continue leading the non-profit organization, The ECO Foundation, where their mission is to creatively educate people through art & entertainment while connecting them with opportunities to better themselves and their communities.