UK HealthCare

‘UK at the Half’: Learn About the Markey STRONG Program

Students from this year's Markey STRONG Scholars Program photographed July 30, 2021.
Students from this year's Markey STRONG Scholars Program photographed July 30, 2021.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 23, 2021) — For this “UK at the Half,” Kathleen O’Connor, Ph.D., researcher and associate director of cancer education and mentoring at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, and current UK senior and program participant, Daniela Nakinoja, discuss the value of the Markey STRONG Scholars program to foster diversity in cancer research.

The Markey STRONG Scholars program was created by the UK Markey Cancer Center in 2021. The 10-week program aims to provide career and professional development for college sophomores, juniors and seniors who are interested in cancer research and who come from historically underserved or underrepresented ethnic and racial backgrounds.

Program participants gain valuable experiences that will help them further their future medical careers, with personalized, one-on-one research experiences with cancer mentors and near-peer mentors, interactive cancer research lectures from Markey faculty and trainees, clinical shadowing experiences with Markey oncology specialists, and networking and career development activities with Markey faculty and trainees.

“UK at the Half” airs during halftime of each UK football and basketball game broadcast on the radio and is hosted by UK Public Relations and Marketing. To hear the “UK at the Half” interview, click the play button above.

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.