Terrill Taylor, CHDI’s 2016 RUSCH Student

Born and raised in Racine, WI, Terrill is a Junior pursuing a major in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. This fall semester he is  training to become a Peer Health Educator (PHE) at UW-Parkside (UWP), a new a supportive peer-led approach to promoting awareness of current social and health issues as students at UWP. After graduating he plans to attend medical school and aims to specialize in oncology and global health.

In summer 2016 Terrill participated in the Rural and Urban Scholars in Community Health (RUSCH), at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. A core component of RUSCH includes pairing each student with a physician mentor, having them conduct research, and presenting their findings at the end of the program. Terrill was mentored by Dr. Tracy Downs and conducted a research project with CHDI.

“My responsibilities working with CHDI were to closely examine cancer rates for African Americans in Wisconsin as part of CHDI’s bigger goal to highlight disparities in cancer burden for such communities. I spent time cleaning and analyzing the most recent state and county cancer data for trends involving cancer health disparities in Wisconsin. Working with CHDI helped me understand that trying to improve health for certain groups requires collaboration across all health related fields. Working with Dr. Tracy Downs, Rick Strickland, Dr. Amanda Eggen, and other CHDI staff, allowed me to improve in my communication, presenting, listening, and leadership skills. After my internship with CHDI, I will be able to use what I learned to bring awareness of these cancer disparities and the possible next steps to people in my community and those who come from similar backgrounds as myself. Overall, these factors will help me in the long run as I strive to become a professional working to address health disparities, if God is willing.”