RISE-UP Program | UC Davis MIND Institute

Education and Training

RISE-UP Program

Our program provides opportunities for enhanced public health leadership training to focus on elimination of health disparities.

2022 Rise-UP Participants

RISE-UP Program Information

The MCHC/RISE-UP is scheduled to be in person. Please note that the format of the summer program is subject to change based on the COVID-19 pandemic status. Please visit the Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for up-to-date information on program modifications.

Maternal Child Health Careers/Research Initiatives for Student Enhancement - Undergraduate Summer Program (MCHC/RISE-UP) at the UC Davis MIND Institute

The UC Davis MIND Institute and Office for Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion have partnered with the Kennedy Krieger Institute to offer the 2024 MCHC/RISE-UP Summer Program. We invite you to apply to this program which provides students with the chance to begin or continue their public health leadership training. The program aims to educate students on reducing health disparities and increasing health equity among all different groups of people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded funding to the Kennedy Krieger Institute to create a national group of institutions and universities that follow the trainings of the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program.

This national group includes the following partnerships:

  1. The Kennedy Krieger Institute is partnered with the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, School of Nursing, and Bloomberg School of Public Health, and also with Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  2. University of South Dakota is partnered with Tribal Serving Institutions
  3. The UC Davis MIND Institute is partnered with the UC Davis Office for Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Our program has an emphasis on neurodevelopmental disabilities, mental health, and co-occurring health conditions

What is health disparity and health equity?

Health disparities: preventable differences in the challenges of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by populations that have been disadvantaged by their social or economic status, geographic location, and/or environment.

Health Equity: the state in which everyone has a fair and just opportunity to attain their highest level of health. Achieving this requires ongoing societal efforts to:

  • Address historical and contemporary injustices
  • Overcome economic, social, and other obstacles to health and health care
  • Eliminate preventable health disparities

References: What is Health Equity? | Health Equity | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Program Dates and Locations

Scholars will travel to Baltimore for an in-person orientation at Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University prior to the program, and present their posters at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Showcase and Expo in Atlanta after the program in Sacramento. Important dates are included below:

Orientation in Baltimore, MD at Kennedy Krieger Institute: May 27th – May 31st, 2024
Program in Sacramento, CA at UC Davis MIND Institute: June 17th – July 26th, 2024
CDC Showcase and Expo in Atlanta, GA: July 29th – July 31st, 2024

Please note: these dates are subject to change, please check the Kennedy Krieger Institute website for up to date information.


A stipend of $3,000 is provided to all UC Davis program participants. Consortium site housing and round-trip travel for out-of-state scholars are also available. All program activities are contingent on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funding.


Students will be residing in a local college dormitory on the California State University at Sacramento campus in Sacramento, CA. Housing during the program will be paid for by the program and organized by UC Davis staff.

Housing at both Kennedy Krieger and at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be organized by Kennedy Krieger Institute directly.


Air flight between sites will be paid for by the program. Any ground transportation, such as driving between housing to community sites or the seminars, as well as parking, will be covered by the scholars.

Eligibility Requirements

To be considered for acceptance into this program, the applicant must:

  • Be a current sophomore, junior, or senior undergraduate student, or a post-baccalaureate student, or have received a baccalaureate degree within 12 months prior to May 27th, 2024
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or better on a 4.0 scale
  • Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. National, permanent resident
  • Be able to commit to the length of the program

Application Guidelines

The application opens October 9, 2023 and closes January 31, 2024. Please see MCHC RISE-UP Sample Application and Guidelines. The application link is located at the bottom of the Guidelines document after the Sample Application.

Additional Program Information

Kennedy Krieger Maternal Child Health Careers/Research Initiatives for Student Enhancement - Undergraduate Program (MCHC/RISE-UP)

Frequently asked Questions

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Current sophomore, junior, or senior undergraduates, or post baccalaureate students
  • Students who have received a baccalaureate degree within 12 months prior to May 27th, 2024 are also invited to apply
  • Students with a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher on a 4.0 scale

Where is the program taking place?

  • Scholars are in Baltimore at Kennedy Krieger Institute for 1 week, in Sacramento at the the UC Davis MIND Institute for 6 weeks, and then in Atlanta at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for the Showcase and Expo for 3 days (please see program dates above for more specific information).

Will all expenses be covered?

  • All air travel and lodging will be covered by the program. Scholars are responsible for any ground transportation and parking. Scholars will receive a $3,000 stipend for their participation in the program.

How am I paired with a mentor?

  • You will be paired with a mentor based on how closely your expressed areas of research and background align with those of our available mentors/preceptors. There will be a focus on neurodevelopmental disabilities in children, mental health, and maternal and child health across sites.

What are some examples of community/clinical sites?

  • Community Sites: Previous scholars have worked with the California Department of Public Health, the Mexican Consulate in Sacramento, UC Davis Center for Healthcare Policy and Research, St. John’s Women’s Shelter, and the Child and Adolescent Abuse Resource and Evaluation Center.
  • Clinical Sites: Previous participants have done observations in various clinics at the MIND Institute and within the UC Davis Children’s Hospital (e.g., developmental behavioral pediatrics, genomic medicine, child psychiatry, neonatal intensive care unit) to learn alongside various healthcare professionals.

What are some options for research?

  • There will be various opportunities to pursue research related to neurodevelopmental disabilities in children, mental health, and healthcare equity. The focus of all projects will center around health for children and families. Please refer below to the examples of posters by former scholars who worked with mentors and preceptors in our program.

Who are the mentors/preceptors?

  • The mentors and preceptors depend on the area of focus, and many of them are faculty at the MIND institute, other departments within UC Davis, California State University at Sacramento, or are professionals in the California Department of Public Health. They are health professionals with M.D.s, Ph.D.s, and M.P.H.s, and/or are leaders in other professions in the field who are committed to mentoring and supporting a diverse body of students. Our mentors and preceptors volunteer their time to supporting our summer scholars. Prior mentors and preceptors have included:

Leonard Abbeduto, Ph.D.
Roger Scott Akins, M.D.
Kathleen Angkustsiri, M.D.
Janice Enriquez, Ph.D.
Danielle Haener, Psy.D.
Robin Hansen, M.D.
Mary Jacena Leigh, M.D.
Madalena Martin, M.D.
Meghan Miller, Ph.D.
Elizabeth Morgan, M.Ed.
Irva Hertz-Picciotto, M.P.H., Ph.D.
Meghan Miller, Ph.D.
Christine Nordahl, Ph.D.
Bibiana Restrepo, M.D.
Sally Rogers, Ph.D.
Catherine Rottkamp, M.D., Ph.D.
Julie Schweitzer, Ph.D.
Deborah Son, M.S.W.
Aubyn Stahmer, Ph.D.
Meagan Talbott, Ph.D.
Angela John Thurman, Ph.D.
Heather Thompson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Megan Tudor, Ph.D.

Please refer below to the examples of posters by former participants who worked with our faculty and mentors. 

Where will I be housed?

  • Scholars will be sharing space with other program scholars at the California State University, Sacramento dorm rooms. There will be Resident Advisors on-site if scholars need anything. Housing assignments will be given upon arrival to Sacramento.

What are the unique characteristics of the UC Davis Site compared to other sites?

  • The UC Davis Health campus is situated in Sacramento, the state capital of California. As such, we have access to local legislative activities and representatives who are supportive of our RISE-UP students for the Summer of 2024. The MIND Institute is a well-respected clinical and research institute that specializes in neurodevelopmental disabilities in children, and has a strong emphasis on reaching underrepresented and underserved children and families through its community (Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities) and interdisciplinary training (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities) programs.

You can view a short video of our 2020-2021 MCHC RISE-UP Graduates!

Sample of Summer 2022 Scholar Posters

Reviewing Accessibility Struggles within the Education System for Students with Neurodevelopmental Disorders Post COVID-19  (PDF)

Assessing Interest, Topic Preferences, and Barriers for Participation in a Virtual Teleconferencing Program (VTP) Connecting Providers and Spanish Speaking Families Caring for Children with Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities  (PDF)

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Mental Health of Children with Down Syndrome  (PDF)

An Assessment of Cortical Thicknesses and Surface Areas Between Groups with Autism & Intellectual Disability  (PDF)

What Evidence Based Strategies Do Parents Spontaneously Use With Their Infants? (PDF)

Adverse Childhood Experiences in Children with Autism (PDF)

A Pilot Study: Exploring The Association Between Wildfire Exposure and Placental DNA Methylation  (PDF)

Addressing Barriers to Research Participation Among Individuals with Intellectual and developmental disabilities  (PDF)

Identifying Culturally Relevant and Family-Centered Feedback for Integration Into the "Let's Talk" Seminar Series  (PDF) 

Transition to Adulthood For Individuals with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (PDF)

¿Hablas Español?: Identifying the Barriers that Providers Face in Serving Spanish-Speaking Families (PDF)

Trauma-Informed Care for Adolescent with Intellectual Disabilities

Sensory Reactivity in Infants with Elevated Likelihood of Autism or ADHD (PDF)

For any additional program information, please email one of the following: