"I applied to the Scholars program because it was strongly encouraged by my college. I was already doing an honors thesis for health science and I applied to this program to further my understanding and knowledge of research methods and applications. I have always been interested in the clinical side of medicine and I hope through this program to learn more about the research aspect. My goals for this academic year are to develop a better understanding of research, learn more about my interests in research and master my thesis paper and presentation."
I was recently accepted into the combined degree program to begin my Master's degree in Public Health while I finish up my Bachelor's in Health Science. I am fascinated by the social and behavioral aspects of public health. I am interested in addictive behaviors in which I am doing my current research on tobacco products. At this point I have an array of interests but a couple are childhood obesity and international health.
Academic and Other Awards
- University Scholars Program Scholarship (2011-2012)
- Florida Academic Scholar
- Florida Bright Futures
- Bachelor's of Health Science Honors
- Anderson Scholar of High Distinction
- Public Health Student Association
- Public Health Association Intramural Sports
- American Public Health Association
Volunteer work associated with Public Health Student Association with examples being: cooking at the Ronald McDonald house and backpack and food drives. I also have volunteered as a youth soccer coach.
Hobbies and Interests
- Playing sports, outdoors, reading, exercising, and spending time with my family and friends.
Perceived Tobacco Use as a Predictor of Actual Tobacco Use in College Students
My research project focuses on the use of tobacco products in college students.I want to see if there is an association between stated use and perceived use of the tobacco products: cigarettes and hookah. My proposed thesis is that college students who over-estimate their peers’ use of tobacco products (cigarettes and hookah) will be more likely to be users themselves. This involves the mediating factors of social context and peer pressure which implies the main idea that if the majority of a college student’s friends are engaging in the use of these tobacco products that they too will most likely engage in the behavior at some point. The American College Health Association- National College Health Assessment is a database of survey information collected from college students nationwide including information on students’ behaviors, attitudes, and health practices. I plan to compile, assess, and analyze the data on college students’ reported use, perceived use, and attitudes of tobacco products. This is where I will estimate my thesis that over-estimating use is predictive of a person’s own use. Using the data collected from the NCHA-II, I plan on running statistical analysis of the data by means of chi-squared tests of association and t-tests to examine if there is a relationship between the substance use behaviors and perceptions of the substance use behaviors. From this I will develop a model using multiple regressions to predict tobacco use, including demographics, social factors and perceptions. These variables include, but are not limited to: gender, race, age, class status, grade point average, residence, and involvement in Greek life. Results from studies like this can lead to a better understanding of why college students partake in such activities and can help develop more effective intervention and education practices.