UVa-Wise students are latest HAI Research Fellows

Three students at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise were recently named Healthy Appalachia Institute Student Research Fellows.


The program supports undergraduate research in the subjects of natural sciences and health in Southwest Virginia. Students conduct research on a variety of subjects, including outdoor recreation and health indicators, diabetes, environmental causes for thyroid disease, motivation factors to receive breast cancer screening and cancer resources and patient navigation, among others. The students work with a faculty mentor throughout their research and present their findings at numerous conferences and symposiums nationwide.


Ran Tao, under the guidance of Professor Wally Smith, is conducting research on drinking water sources and the importance of water treatment in Central Appalachia.


Star Bresee, working with Professor Tauna Gulley, is studying the physical activity and depressive symptoms among children in Central Appalachia.


Madison Compton, mentored by Professor Margie Tucker, is conducting research in South Africa for the Healthy Appalachia Global Health Fellowship.


The purpose of the HAI Student Fellows Research program is to increase the number of qualified health professionals in the region, and former fellows are practicing in medicine and nursing as well as attending medical school at the University of Virginia, East Tennessee State University, DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine, and the University of Massachusetts, among others.