ITTA BENA — Mississippi Valley State University graduate students Tajeve Wright-Young and Grace Ikenga recently participated in the 2016 Summer Obesity Research Training (SORT) program at Jackson State University.

Wright-Young and Ikenga, bioinformatics and environmental health graduate students, respectively, participated in a five-day program during the summer. The program was hosted by JSU’s Center of Excellence in Minority Health and Health Disparities (CEMHD). The intensive program focused on increasing scholars’ overall quality of research and knowledge about academic research.

The week’s activities included presentations from renowned scholars from the CEMHD, the Jackson Heart Study, JSU’s Public Policy and Administration program and an Xavier University health disparities scholar.

In addition, there were specific trainings on research skills and project development, introduction of basic statistical concepts, analytical methods and research designs. Students had the opportunity to explore the Jackson Heart Study data, protocols of requesting Heart Study data information about studies conducted using the data.

Wright-Young and Ikenga are among six MVSU graduate students who have participated in SORT programs for the last three years. MVSU faculty Dr. Rochelle Cobbs, Dr. Sherill V. C. Morris-Francis, and Kanika Collins Sharp have been scholars in the Health Disparities Research Training program since 2015.

“It is a great accomplishment for our graduate students and our faculty to be accepted to the program and good news for our university as we try to build research capacity to address public health problems facing the Mississippi Delta,” said Dr. Richard Mushi, associate professor and chair of the MVSU Department of Social Sciences. Mushi is the MVSU liaison for the CEMHD Research Training and Education Core.

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