Health Science Senior Integrated Projects

Permanent URI for this collection

This collection includes Senior Integrated Projects (SIPs, formerly known as Senior Individualized Projects) completed with a Health Science concentration. Most of these SIPs are formally done through the Chemistry, Biology, or Physics departments. Abstracts are generally available to the public, but PDF files are available only to current Kalamazoo College students, faculty, and staff. If you are not a current K College student, faculty, or staff member, email us at to request access to this material.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 449
  • Item
    Building the Blocks of Kalamazoo through Asset Based Community Development
    (2023-02-09) Smith, Olivia; Geist, Alison, 1953-
    As a Kalamazoo native, I have seen that resources for education, the neighborhood, and the built environment have the potential to alter community aspirations and the social determinants of health. I have participated intensively in a robust community change initiative called Building Blocks of Kalamazoo. In this Senior Integrated Project, I draw upon my experiences as a summer intern with Building Blocks and combine them with a literature review from Kim Cummings, the founder of Building Blocks. I will explore how a neighborhood intervention organization, Building Blocks of Kalamazoo, may influence public and community health on a small scale (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). I use the Dahlgren-Whitehead model to explain how Building Blocks uses Asset Based Community Development approaches (Kretzmann & McKnight, 1993) to address modifiable social determinants of health. The promotion of the agency of community members to strengthen social networks and enhance built environments in the neighborhood street block level, therefore, improving the community of Kalamazoo.
  • Item
    The Positive Effect of Father Involvement on Black Infant Mortality
    (2018-03-01) Meldrum, Clayton; Geist, Alison, 1953-
    At the heart of the infant mortality crisis is Black infant mortality specifically, which is recorded at epidemic levels in communities across the United States. In Kalamazoo, Michigan's thirteenth largest city by population, the risk of Black infant mortality is quadruple that of their white neighbors. Infants of color are by far the most vulnerable group when observing infant mortality in the US, and thus should be the central focus in efforts towards addressing the high average infant mortality rates observed. The racial disparity that is particularly prevalent in infant mortality leads to public health discourse which must encompass more than just clinical measures. Instead, people working in public health use a larger scope in approaching this issue, such as the diagram of social determinants of health (SDOH) included in the Healthy People 2020 plan (see Figure l below). This includes addressing social components factoring into the epidemic rates of infant mortality, specifically for babies of color. Four of the five main SDOH presented below, including neighborhood/environment, economic stability, health care, and social/community context, will be discussed throughout this paper.
  • Item
    Barriers and Solutions to HIV Testing Among College Students
    (2017-03-01) Bragg, Sarah J.; Geist, Alison, 1953-
    Of the estimated 50,000 new HIV infections in 2014, 7,868 of the diagnoses were among individuals between the ages of 20 and 24. Despite engagement in high sexual risk behaviors, such as inconsistent condom use, multiple sexual partners, and alcohol/drug use prior to sexual contact, college students have a low perceived risk of contracting HIV. The purpose of this literature review is to identify the barriers to HIV testing among this population and to identify solutions to address these barriers. This research will contribute towards the work of developing and implementing HIV prevention interventions for college-aged youth in an effort to decrease the incidence of HIV, which is the first goal in the 2020 National HIV/AIDS Strategy. Multiple databases and key words were used to search the literature. Barriers to HIV testing included low perceived risk; confidentiality concerns; stigma; and cost. Solutions included implementing student-run initiatives; offering free or affordable tests; doing outreach; and using rapid and bloodless tests. There is a need to further explore HIV trends and testing among college campuses. Education for both students and healthcare providers is needed to reduce HIV -related stigma, assist in embracing universal testing, and ensure testing accessibility. In an effort to support the findings in the literature, the Health Belief Model, the Social Cognitive Theory, and the Social Norms Theory were explored as possible explanations for the barriers and solutions to testing. A previous study found a difference between risk behaviors, testing history, and consistent condom use between students that attended a community college compared to public university students. Given the structural, social, and financial differences between public universities and private colleges, the relevance of these findings were compared to a private college in the Midwestern United States using previously collected data. Despite the findings in previous literature, gender and race/ethnicity had no effect on testing history. There was also no relationship between gender, race/ethnicity, consistent condom usage, or-condom use self-efficacy with testing frequency. A larger scale study assessing multiple private colleges is necessary to support or oppose these differences between private and public- institutions.
  • Item
    HIV/ AIDS and the Socioeconomic Environment: The Significance of understanding lived experiences of people living with HIV/AIDS to treatmerit and prevention in Rural Uganda
    (2016-03-01) Nalugya, Olivia; Geist, Alison, 1953-
    Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and HIV prevalence is highest among individuals or communities with low socioeconomic status. Despite the introduction of behavioral prevention strategies and improved access to Antiretroviral Therapy, incidence of HIV/ AIDS in low resource settings keeps increasing. Sub-Saharan African countries account for the most HIV/ AIDS cases worldwide. However, people living with HIV/ AIDS in rural areas in this region are faced with social determinants of health that limit their ability to deal with HIV/AIDS. This study explores the significance of incorporating socioeconomic factors and health determinants in treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS in rural Uganda. The study was carried out in various villages of Kakiri Subcounty in Uganda and it presents experiences of HIV/ AIDS caregivers. Results from this study, show that socioeconomic factors such as food access, gender and poverty limit the ability of HIV/ AIDS ·patients to cope with the disease. Therefore, treatment and prevention programs should also focus on eliminating social and economic barriers to healthcare access in low resource settings such as the villages in this study. Implications of such programs are evidenced in current initiatives and programs that speak to the social and economic needs of people living with HIV/ AIDS.
  • Item
    The Role of Evidence-Based Medicine in Substance Use Disorder Treatment : Assessing the Quality and Gap in Care
    (2019-03-01) Hamilton, Hannah M.; Geist, Alison, 1953-; Arfken, Cynthia
    Drug overdose deaths from opioids are rapidly increasing, and as a result, researchers and public health officials are addressing the issue through multiple approaches. Wayne County has seen an increase in drug overdose deaths; thus a county-university partnership (Partners: Wayne State University, Wayne County, and Detroit Mental Health Authority) has been formed. Using monthly reports on authorization of treatment, and admission provided, by the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority, the collaboration can monitor the gap in SUD (Substance Use Disorder) treatment. The objective is to identify deficiencies in the system and suggest targeted cost-efficient strategies. The primary research question asked if patients that were referred to SUD treatment received their care.
All materials in the Kalamazoo College Digital Archive are subject to Title 17 of the U.S. Code. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise stated, authors retain the copyright for all content posted to the Kalamazoo College Digital Archive.