Ivy Smith, a first-year doctoral student in the Division of Computational & Data Science (DCDS), has been named a Graduate Fellow of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity (CRE2). The brand-new fellowship program offers students up to $1,000 of annual support, as well as access to exclusive CRE2 programming and professional development opportunities, such as poster sessions, graduate workshops and center-funded awards.
“I'm looking forward to meeting professionals in my research area, collaborating with the other fellows and learning more about their research,” Smith said.
Smith, who earned Bachelor of Science degrees in mathematics and computer science from Tougaloo College in Mississippi, said she was drawn to the interdisciplinary nature of WashU’s computational & data science program. She hopes to use data science and machine learning to study health disparities in African-American communities. She has a special interest in the community of Canton, Mississippi, the city in which she grew up.
“My passion is in helping my community,” Smith said. “In my hometown, the health care isn’t as good as it should be. Addressing health disparities among African-American communities by utilizing data science applications and methodologies is deficient in the field of data science, and I would like to start working on that."
Smith is working in the lab of Sheretta Butler-Barnes, associate professor in the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, on a new project funded by the National Science Foundation.
“It will focus on how Black parents’ experiences due to racial discrimination and racial violence will impact the way they speak to their children, as well as how racial violence impacts middle-school and high-school students,” Smith said.
Smith will rotate into other research experiences with DCDS faculty throughout the year.The CRE2 is an interdisciplinary academic research center that studies race, ethnicity and racial inequities in health through research study design and training to transform policy, scholarship and clinical interventions.