LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 2, 2020) — The University of Kentucky Center for Appalachian Research in Environmental Sciences (UK-CARES) in partnership with the Center of Excellence in Rural Health (CERH) proudly announces the nominees and the winner of the 2020 Community Engagement Award in Environmental Health Sciences.
Perry County Central High School teacher Craig Wilmhoff and his biology students won this year’s award. The decision was unanimous among the panel of external reviewers.
“The UK-CARES/UKCERH Community Engagement Award means a great deal to me,” said Wilmhoff. “The students have done such an amazing job on projects in air quality and on in-home radon testing.”
The award recognizes individuals or community-academic teams who demonstrate effective research or project evaluation to improve environmental health in Appalachia. The nominees had to meet at least one of the following guidelines:
- Community-engaged environmental health scientist
- Community member engaged in issues to keep the air or water healthy
- Involved in community-academic partnerships
- Demonstrate outstanding community-engaged science.
“The students should be very proud of the way they have represented Perry County and Eastern Kentucky,” said Wilmhoff.
The person who nominated Wilmhoff and his extraordinary students said, “This group is making the environmental health sciences real and accessible in their Appalachian Kentucky community while also building the pipeline for future generations of scientists.”
Wilmhoff’s fellow nominees included Dylan Baker (Appalachian Regional Healthcare, Perry County), Madison Baker (Appal-TREE: Knott County Field Director), Brittany Combs (City of Jackson, Parks & Recreation), Nina McCoy (Martin County Concerned Citizens), Sherrie Stidham (Kentucky River District Health Department) and Carly Watts (InVision Hazard).U
In 2019, the Hazard High School Tobacco-free Ambassador Program (TAP) received the inaugural Community Engagement Award from UK-CARES and UK CERH. See the story here.
UK-CARES is one of more than 20 Environmental Health Sciences Core Centers in the U.S. These Centers are intellectual hubs for environmental health research and they support community engagement as a key approach to improving public health. For more information about UK-CARES: https://ukcares.med.uky.edu/ and @ukcares1 on Twitter.
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