Research at home and abroad shared during conference


TUSKEGEE, Ala. (April 15, 2013) — The Health Disparities Institute for Research and Education, which concluded Sunday, hosted student and faculty research presentations focused on “The Economic Impact of Health Disparities in the Alabama Black Belt,”during its 2nd Annual Health Disparities Symposium.

Student presenter, Royan Reddie, asks the audience to raise their hands if they have known someone affected by breast cancer. Nearly everyone present raised their hands, including Reddie.  

Carmen Fells speaks to the audience about the value of a study abroad experience.  
The symposium included several sessions on health policies and economics. Friday, K-12 students competed in a poster competition and summarized their research.In addition, several faculty members and Tuskegee students presented their research during a luncheon in the ballroom of the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center. Many of the presentations focused on diseases that affect blacks in disproportionate numbers such as lupus and breast cancer.

Junior biology student, Royan Reddie from Jamaica, is interested in why black women are more likely to die from an aggressive form of breast cancer than white women. He was able to gather some information about the deadly illness during a study abroad trip to Ghana. He participated in a study of 100 women and gathered insight about how black women in America could be helped.

“Cancer cells are normally genetically related. African-American and African women are very similar in genetics and make-up,” Reddie said. “I went to Ghana and hoped to find some answers to what can we do and how can we go forward in terms of treatment.”

With the help of Global Incite, Reddie and eight other students got a chance to experience another culture as well as give back. Founded by Class of 2005 Tuskegee alumna, Carmen Fells, Global Incite promotes awareness while inciting positive progression through world travel with a purpose. The organization works to facilitate trips for several universities and has done two trips with Tuskegee students. Students can earn academic credit and alumni often help sponsor the trips costs.

“There are students who learn so much more than they ever gain in a semester in the classroom,” Fells said.

For more information about Global Incite, go to: or call 202-494-4497.

Luncheon audience.

© 2013 Tuskegee University

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