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Community Engagement Internships

Translational science is the process of turning scientific discoveries into practical applications that improve human health.  The Program in Community Engagement facilitates collaboration among community members, community health care providers, and researchers in translational science.  One of our goals is to build, sustain, and expand the interest and capacity of community members to collaborate in translational science.

The Wake Forest School of Medicine Clinical and Translational Science Institute provides 10% (paid effort) funding to support eligible investigators' time partnering and working with a community-based organization. Goals of this internship are to familiarize researchers with how community organizations function, the obstacles they encounter, and how community-engaged research can best be implemented.  

Be a Community Engagement Intern: 

  • A Wake Forest School of Medicine researcher will spend 10% of his/her time (½ day per week) working with a community based organization.
  • A goal of this internship is to familiarize researchers with how community organizations function, the obstacles they encounter, and how community-engaged research can best be implemented.

Host a Community Engagement Intern:  

  • A community organization will serve as mentor to a Wake Forest School of Medicine researcher, who will spend 10% of his/her time (as negotiated between intern and mentor) working with that organization for 12 months.
  • A goal of the internship will be to familiarize the intern with how community based organizations function, the obstacles they encounter, and how community-engaged research can best be implemented.

2017-2018 Interns

 

Elizabeth Jensen, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology & Prevention in the Division of Public Health Sciences. Dr. Jensen’s research focuses primarily on early-life environmental exposures that promote development of future diseases, as well as mechanisms of disease among children and adolescents. As an intern with the Program in Community Engagement, Dr. Jensen plans to partner with the Forsyth County Health Department Lead Safety program, the City of Winston-Salem, and various community organizations to gain a better understanding of Forsyth County’s lead testing program, identify opportunities to mitigate exposure to lead in early life (in utero and early childhood), and implement an initiative to characterize lead exposure risk in historically marginalized neighborhoods. 

Mark Wolfson, PhD, is a Professor of Social Sciences & Health Policy in the Division of Public Health Sciences and Director of the Center for Research on Substance Use and Addiction. Dr. Wolfson is an expert in the field of substance abuse, including abuse and misuse of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and prescription drugs. His research career has focused heavily on the implementation and impact of substance use policy and prevention programs to promote population health. As an intern with the Program in Community Engagement, Dr. Wolfson will partner with Insight Human Services, a front-line agency providing substance abuse prevention, intervention, and treatment services, and will focus on the epidemic of overdose stemming from opioid abuse in Western North Carolina.

2016-2017 Interns

 

Wendy Dixon, is from Love Out Loud and The Brownsboro Community Partnership.  Justin Moore PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine is mentoring Wendy.  

 

2015-2016 Interns

 

Lynn Rhoades, M.Div. Co-Founder & Executive Director, Authoring Action. Lynn is currently an academic intern. Through her internship, she is learning about research and program evaluation. This new understanding of the research process serves as the basis for continuing to improve and promote the work of Authoring Action. It is through such partnerships as this that the Program in Community Engagement can build the capacity of community organizations to collaborate in translational science.  Lynn is working with Stephanie Daniel PhD, Professor in the department of Family and Community Medicine.

Linton

Julie M. Linton, M.D. Assistant Professor, Pediatrics, Wake Forest School of Medicine. Dr. Linton is the current community intern.  She is working with local community organizations to create an immigrant child health network.  The work will bring together existing services and coordinate their approach to apply to the particular needs of immigrant children.

2013-2014 Interns


Elizabeth SchiemannDirector of Operations, El Buen Pastor Latino Community Services. Elizabeth is currently serving as a community intern. Through her internship, she is learning about the research process and sharing that knowledge with her organization. This new understanding of the research process serves as the foundation for the Family Literacy Initiative at El Buen Pastor. It is through such partnerships as this that the Program in Community Engagement can build the capacity of community organizations to collaborate in translational science.

2012-2013 Interns


LaChelle Waller, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine Research, will work with several Winston-Salem Forsyth County elementary schools in the implementation of the Science Fair Workshop, a project to assist parents of elementary-aged students to help their children participate in local science fairs. Dr. Waller was instrumental in developing this program last year and will use this externship to refine the program and write about it in a professional journal article.

Denise Houston, PhD, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Section on Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine in the Sticht Center on Aging, will work with several community-based organizations for older adults that provide nutrition and health services. This externship will focus on creating relationships with organizations such as these in order to deliver nutritional programs and translate other research that has proven effective in clinical/academic settings.

Christina Hugenschmidt, PhD, Instructor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Section on Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, will work with the Alzheimer’s Association of Western North Carolina. Her externship will focus on the dissemination of research findings to this community-based organization and its constituents. Dr. Hugenschmidt hopes to learn how to organize and give informational public outreach lectures that are culturally relevant to groups within a particular community.

Sara Quandt, PhD, Professor of Epidemiology and Prevention in the Division of Public Health Sciences, is working with several community organizations. This externship will focus on understanding the food environment of northwest North Carolina, particularly Forsyth County. The food environment includes the sources of foods and distribution of access to these food sources, as well as the social, cultural, and political forces that underlie these. Understanding the food environment is needed to improve dietary intake for primary and secondary prevention of chronic diseases and their risk factors.