Campus News

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

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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.

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Jacklyn Vollmer
Jacklyn Vollmer

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.