Students Participate In PA CURE: Community Health Research Initiatives Training Program

Students Participate In PA CURE: Community Health Research Initiatives Training Program

three students

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, Pa. – Three students recently spent eight weeks traveling Philadelphia onboard a van that serves as a mobile drug treatment facility to get a first-hand look at how physicians meet the needs of patients suffering from opioid use disorders.

“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, said Brittany Amadi, a biology major from Hyattsville, Maryland. “This was truly an unforgettable experience.”

Amadi, along with Nydia Johnson and Kyle Morris, completed an eight-week virtual internship called the Temple University-Lincoln University Minority Training Program funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Health  Pennsylvania Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement Program, or PA CURE.

As part of the research project “Enhancing Healthy Reintegration and Recovery for High-Risk Opioid Users,” they collected and analyzed observational data in areas of Kensington and North Philadelphia as part of Temple University’s and Temple University’s TRUST Clinic’s efforts to combat the ongoing opioid crisis.

Research internships such as PA CURE support students’ success by helping them develop the knowledge, attitudes and competencies needed to be competitive in a global economy and to have a positive impact on their families, their communities, the nation, and the world.

Learn more about the PA CURE program.

“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,” said Johnson, a health sciences major from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Temple University and Lincoln University received the four-year PA CURE Minority Training Program grant to provide mentorship and related high-impact learning and research opportunities to Lincoln undergraduate and graduate students.

The training program supports an educational program and summer research internship for three racially/ethnically under-represented students (two undergraduate and one master’s student) per year, for a total of twelve students over the course of the project.

The program will consist of intensive mentoring, didactics related to the conduct of research and the scientific topic of substance use disorder, and immersion in research methods through participation in PA CURE research conducted at Temple University.

“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,” said Morris, a Master’s degree of Educational Leadership, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The PA CURE grant and developed partnership between Lincoln University and Temple University are reflective of the goal to create opportunities for students to apply what they are learning in the classroom while experiencing the world.

Dr. Steven Belenko, a criminal justice professor at Temple University, and Dr. Karen Baskerville, a neuroscience professor in the Biology Department at Lincoln University leads the initiative. “Nydia, Brittany, and Kyle were engaged in their research projects and showed much flexibility in transitioning the research internship from hands-on to virtual,” said Baskerville. 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.

Students can contact Dr. Baskerville for more information about the PA CURE Temple University-Lincoln University Minority Training Program.

For research-related opportunities and guidance, please contact Dr. Michael Lynch at the Center for Undergraduate Research. Students can also learn more about internship opportunities by contacting the Office of Internship Services.

--Terrance J. Young, M.Div.