Research

Behavioral Science Awards White Coats for Black Lives Fellowships

2022 White Coats for Black Lives Fellows (clockwise from left) Rashmi Bharadwaj, Maya Cleveland, Lillian Maxwell, Darayon Moore and Maggie Stull.
2022 White Coats for Black Lives Fellows (clockwise from left): Rashmi Bharadwaj, Maya Cleveland, Lillian Maxwell, Darayon Moore and Maggie Stull.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2022) — University of Kentucky College of Medicine students Rashmi Bharadwaj, Maya Cleveland, Lillian Maxwell, Darayon Moore and Maggie Stull have been awarded Department of Behavioral Science White Coats for Black Lives Fellowships.

The fellowships, initiated by Anita Fernander, Ph.D., former associate professor in the Department of Behavioral Science and supported by the department’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council, were developed to enhance medical students’ understanding of health disparities, political and social inequalities and health care inequities experienced by Black Americans.

The fellowship was developed because the Department of Behavioral Science recognized political and social inequalities that have not only created significant health disparities among Black Americans but have led to health care inequalities experienced by Black people due to historical explicit bias and contemporary implicit bias across the health care system. It is hoped that the experience will enhance medical school training, increase the understanding of how behavioral science research can help to address health disparities and enable students to be better prepared to care for underserved Black patient populations.

Over the course of 18 months, each fellow will work with a Behavioral Science faculty mentor on a research or community-engaged project that addresses the health of Black Americans. Fellows receive a stipend and will present their projects to the campus community in the spring of 2024.

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.