Kaitlyn Vogel, a senior majoring in community and public health at South Dakota State University, was selected as one of 33 students to participate in the Research Initiatives for Student Enhancement (RISE-UP) internship program this summer.
Vogel, a Springfield, Minnesota native, was one of 11 students participating from the University of South Dakota location.
“Kaitlyn is an exceptional student in the community public health program as supported by being selected for this nationally competitive internship. This competitive internship enhances her career opportunities,” said Kendra Kattelmann, director of the School of Health and Consumer Sciences.
Vogel worked with Child’s Voice at Sanford Health and attended a variety of lectures. She said the experience was very meaningful and taught her many important lessons about the field.
“This internship really drove home the importance of addressing health disparities across populations that might have less equitable access to health,” Vogel said. “It also really informed us on the nitty gritty details of what contributes to health disparity and what challenges people face in trying to achieve health equity so everybody has access to the health care that they need.”
Vogel said that the people in her agency’s area were a relatively underserved medical population. She created her project through examination of the social risk of this group and what could be done to ensure them high quality health care.
“To me, that really deepened my passion of caring for the whole human and being able to look beyond their medical issue and consider the whole person before making assumptions about their status,” Vogel said. “In the future, I can see this project driving me through my career in medicine and public health and being able to really consider every social factor contributing to the issue.”
She said the internship was an incredibly enriching and inspiring experience that empowered her and her fellow scholars to be the future of public health and work toward addressing disparities.
The RISE-UP internship is a program funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that has locations at the Kennedy Krieger Institute at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Southern California and the University of South Dakota.
Selected students are given the opportunity to work closely with an agency or organization in their area and gain experience in clinical and community health care, research and leadership.