Rachel Werk

Rachel Werk
Mentor: Dr. Julia Graber
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
"Cancer is one of the most common forms of illness throughout the world. Half of all men and a third of all women will develop cancer in their lifetime. Unfortunately, many of these cancers can not be prevented. However, there actually are many that can. Actions taken and habits adopted during late adolescence and early adulthood are chiefly responsible for lifetime risk of these cancers. In order to live in a world with less tumors and more birthdays, it is imperative that we take steps early on in life to combat this horrible illness. I hope that my research will be able to highlight the importance of cancer awareness and prevention as well as provide insight into ways to better prevent cancers."


Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience; English



Research Interests

  • Health Promotion and Awareness
  • Psycho-Oncology
  • Neuroscience

Academic Awards

  • UF University Scholars Program
  • Presidential Service Award in Health and Community Building
  • Wentworth Travel Scholarship
  • Every Child Makes a Difference Award


  • UF Koach
  • UF Relay for Life Committee
  • UF Women's Club Water Polo Team


  • Footprints Buddy and Support Program
  • Swab2Save Bone Marrow Donor Registration Drive
  • UF Hillel Alternative Spring Break Trip

Hobbies and Interests

  • Water Polo
  • Painting and Drawing
  • Traveling

Research Description

Knowledge and Perceptions about Health Behaviors and Prevention
Few studies have reported the comparative knowledge of certain cancers among college undergraduate students. Although some studies report students’ primary prevention activities (e.g. use of sunscreen), the relationship between knowledge and reported action related to prevention of these key cancers has not been explored. Filling this knowledge gap is critical to mobilize college students to take steps to improve their own understanding of cancer prevention, screening and survival. I propose to investigate the role of knowledge, perceived importance of risk prevention and confidence in engaging in prevention behaviors, in taking specific steps to prevent cancer.