One of the stated goals of the NIGMS RISE mechanism is to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups who pursue doctoral education in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. We are fortunate here at NCCU to have an excellent Department of Psychology (and other social sciences departments) who collaborate closely with the basic science departments. Psychology and Public Health Education faculty are key members, for example, of projects within a NCI U54 cancer research program to examine behavioral and community-based approaches to increasing cancer screening among local minority groups.
The position of the NCCU RISE internal advisory board has been that the behavioral sciences are intertwined with critical issues where basic sciences directly influence the human condition. What good is understanding dietary causes of diabetes, cancer, and/or obesity, if people don't or can't use this information to reduce their disease risk? And how do our interactions with one another influence our health?
Today, we bring you one of our RISE scholars from the Department of Psychology, Samantha Cacace. Sam is a completing her first year in the Master's Program in Psychology after getting hooked on the field over at our constituent member institution, NC State University in Raleigh (about 20 miles away). We've asked Samantha to tell us about her path to this discipline and elaborate on her first professional meeting presentation earlier this month.