Campus News

Behind the Blue: UK Alum & Current Miss USA Elle Smith Discusses Cervical Cancer Prevention and Education

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 28, 2022) — When University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information alum Elle Smith was crowned Miss USA in November, her life changed in an instant.

With her name catapulted into the national spotlight, Smith quickly learned the power of the Miss USA title and platform, and the importance of capitalizing on every open door.

During her year of reign as Miss USA, Smith will work with the National Cervical Cancer Coalition to educate women about cervical cancer prevention and treatment in an effort to empower women to seek preventative care.

She ultimately chose this platform in honor of her late grandmother, who passed away from the disease in 2015.

As Smith prepares for her year of advocacy ahead, she spoke with experts from the UK Markey Cancer Center about the importance of education and awareness surrounding cervical cancer, including preventative screenings and immunization.

On this episode of Behind the Blue, Smith is joined by Rachel Miller, M.D., a Markey gynecologic oncologist; and Pamela Hull, Ph.D., the associate director of Population Science and Community Impact with Markey.

"Behind the Blue" is available on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and Spotify. Become a subscriber to receive new episodes of “Behind the Blue” each week. UK’s latest medical breakthroughs, research, artists and writers will be featured, along with the most important news impacting the university.

For questions or comments about this or any other episode of "Behind the Blue," email or tweet your question with #BehindTheBlue. Transcripts for this or other episodes of Behind the Blue can be downloaded from the show’s blog page.

To discover what’s wildly possible at the University of Kentucky, click here.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.