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C O P H alumna and doctoral student Nakita Lovelady, M P H

Nakita Lovelady, MPH

COPH PhD Student is Recipient of Prestigious Award

COPH alumna and doctoral student Nakita Lovelady, MPH, has been awarded the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) State Doctoral Award. The program’s goal is to produce more minority PhD students who seek careers as faculty on college campuses.

The award offers three years of direct program support and two years of institutional support to the scholar in the form of a $20,000 annual stipend. Each recipient also is awarded up to five years of support for tuition and fees and professional development support and has expenses paid to attend the annual Compact for Faculty Diversity Institute on Teaching and Mentoring.

“It is truly an honor to be an SREB Doctoral Scholar,” Ms. Lovelady said. “This program provides an abundance of support that goes far beyond financial support. It provides students with the knowledge and skills to successfully navigate graduate study; access to a broader network of experts, scholars, and mentors that share knowledge about academic life; access to faculty opportunities from a range of universities; and continued professional development throughout the academic journey. The program’s motto is definitely true. It is ‘more than just a check and a handshake.’ I am very blessed to have the additional support from a network of people with genuine interest in my success as a student and a future faculty member.”

Ms. Lovelady is in her second year in the Health Promotion and Prevention Research PhD Program at UAMS COPH’s Department of Health Behavior and Health Education. Her dissertation will focus on understanding culturally appropriate ways to promote healthy coping strategies to manage the emotional impact of gun violence among young African-American men. She currently works on the Faith in the Delta grant, specifically with the REJOICE (Renewed and Empowered for the Journey to Overcome in Christ Everyday) project, which is an evidence-based depression intervention for African-American adults of faith, funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

Ms. Lovelady earned a master in public health degree from COPH as a generalist with emphases in epidemiology, health behavior and health education, and health policy and management.