Campus News

UK Grad's Desire to Serve Others Leads Her to Public Health

Video Produced by UK Research Communications. To view captions for this video, push play and click on the CC icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.  If using a mobile device, click on the "thought bubble" in the same area.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 4, 2022) — Jacklyn Vollmer has shown tenacity and determination in making her academic dreams come true at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health. Admitted into the Bachelor of Public Health/Master of Public Health Scholars dual degree program with a concentration in epidemiology, along with a Graduate Certificate in Biostatistics (BST), Vollmer is a May 2022 University of Kentucky graduate.

Before finding her passion in public health, Vollmer had a different major and felt that something was missing. A visit to the UK Stuckert Career Center helped her realize she didn’t need to choose between her interest in data and her desire to serve others.

“I’ve always enjoyed helping people and wanted to do something in health, but I like the numbers as well,” said Vollmer. “Public health was a perfect match for me. I can use data and statistics to explore preventative measures that can stop terrible things from happening and help people live healthier lives.”

Of all her experiences as a student, Vollmer reflects fondly on her academic experiences and the people in the College of Public Health. 

“People actually cared,” said Vollmer. “From sending me job postings, becoming a TA to help with my tuition, and many people knowing my name, I found my learning experience to be very personalized.”

While balancing her academics, Vollmer gained valuable, hands-on learning experiences. She was a research assistant for the Center for Health Equity Transformation (CHET) at the UK College of Medicine and an epidemiology technical assistant at the Kentucky Department of Public Health. She also became a peer mentor for the College of Public Health to help more students learn about the value of a public health education.

“I wanted to learn as much as I could and actually apply it in real-time,” said Vollmer. “I was always impressed with the learning opportunities inside and outside of the classroom.” 

Looking forward, Vollmer wants to take her public health education and work as a health scientist or data analyst for a large government organization like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO). 

When asked what public health means to her, Vollmer said, “It’s about prevention. When people talk about health, we think of doctors. As public health specialists, we are trying to stop things from happening and avoid negative health outcomes.” 

The UK College of Public Health aims to build health champions every day that go on to improve the lives of Kentuckians and beyond through robust research, transformative learning and service.

Jacklyn Vollmer
Jacklyn Vollmer

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.