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 BehindTheBlue@uky.edu 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.

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The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.