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

The UC Davis MIND Institute and Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Partnership with the Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI) invite you to apply as a scholar for the 2021 MCHC/RISE-UP Summer Program at UC Davis. The MCHC/RISE-UP Program provides opportunities for enhanced public health leadership training to focus on elimination of health disparities and promotion of health equity. Grant funding for this program was awarded to KKI by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop a national consortium of institutions and universities built on the Leadership Education and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) training framework and the previous CDC-funded RISE Program grant. Consortium partners include: (1) the Kennedy Krieger Institute partnering with the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, School of Nursing, Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities, (2) University of South Dakota partnering with Tribal Serving Institutions, and (3) University of California, Davis (UC Davis) MIND Institute partnering with UC Davis Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

MCHC/RISE-UP’s ultimate goal is to promote a more equitable health system by introducing highly qualified diverse undergraduate scholars (juniors and seniors with a GPA 2.7 or better on a 4.0 scale; and scholars who received their baccalaureate degree within 12 months of MCHC/RISE-UP program orientation) to the field of public health. All scholars interested in reducing health disparities and promoting social justice, especially scholars from underrepresented populations in the field of public health, are strongly encouraged to apply. Students who are particularly interested in learning more about neurodevelopmental and mental health disorders in children are invited to apply to the UC Davis site.

Scholars are mentored by a UC Davis faculty member throughout their 6-week summer experience. Learning opportunities for scholars include: 1) weekly, in-person seminars related to social determinants of health, disability, mental health as well as distance learning with other KKI site partners using the CDC Winnable Battles, 2) clinical participation to learn about disability and health disparities, 3) community engagement and advocacy, and/or 4) research.


Scholars will travel to Baltimore on May 30, 2021 for an in-person orientation at Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University. The orientation will occur from May 31 – June 3, 2021. Scholars will return to their home or college on June 3, 2021. The UC Davis Scholars will participate in online distance learning on June 4, 2021 and June 11, 2021, until the formal start of the program onsite as indicated below.

Please note that the UC Davis onsite program is offered for a 6-week period, starting June 14, 2021 to July 23, 2021. Scholars will arrive in Sacramento for move-in on June 13, 2021. Scholars will move out of their housing on July 23, 2021 and will travel to Atlanta, Georgia for a closing ceremony at the CDC. The closing ceremony dates, CUPS Showcase and Expo, are from July 26-28, 2021. Scholars will travel home afterwards.


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 CDC funding.


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


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.


In order to be considered for acceptance into this program, the applicant must:

  • Be currently enrolled as a rising junior, junior, or senior or received their baccalaureate degree within 12 calendar months of the MCHC/RISE-UP program orientation
  • 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


The application opens November 1, 2020 and closes January 31, 2021.

Application »


  1. Who is eligible to apply?
    • Rising college juniors, seniors and recent graduates (must have graduated within 12 months of program orientation date (May 31, 2021).


  1. Where is the program taking place?
    • UC Davis MIND Institute Sacramento campus


  1. 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.


  1. How am I paired with a mentor?
    • You will be paired with a mentor based on how closely your expressed area of interest/background aligns with those of our available mentors/preceptors. There will be a focus on neurodevelopmental disorders in children, mental health, as well as maternal and child health across sites.


  1. What are some examples of community/clinical sites?
    • Community Sites: previous scholars have worked with the California Department of Public Health-Black Infant Health, the Mexican Consulate in Sacramento, UC Davis Center for Healthcare Policy and Research, UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, Mustard Seed School, Wellspring Women’s Center, and the Child and Adolescent Abuse Resource and Evaluation (CAARE) Center.
    • Clinical Sites: previous participants rotated through various clinics within the MIND Institute and within the UC Davis Children’s Hospital (e.g., developmental behavioral pediatrics, genomic medicine, child psychiatry, NICU) to learn alongside various healthcare professionals.


  1. What are some options for research?
    • There will be various opportunities to pursue research related to neurodevelopmental disorders in children, mental health, and public health. The focus of all projects will center around maternal and child health.
    • Please refer to a sample of posters by former scholars who worked with mentors and preceptors in our program.


  1. Who are the mentors/preceptors?
    • The mentors and preceptors depend on the area of focus, many of them are faculty at the MIND institute, other departments within UC Davis, California State University at Sacramento, and through the California Department of Public Health. They are health professionals with M.D.s, Ph.D.s, MPHs and of other professions who are committed to mentoring and supporting students. Our mentors and preceptors voluntarily commit their time to supporting our summer scholars. Prior mentors and preceptors have included:


Leonard Abbeduto, Ph.D.

Kathleen Angkustsiri, M.D.

Deanna Boys, M.A.

Reggie Caldwell, LCSW

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.

Murat Pakyurek, M.D.

Irva Hertz-Picciotto, MPH, Ph.D.

Vanessa Avila Pons, M.A., LMFT

Meghan Miller, Ph.D.

Robin Qualls, BSN, MPH

Bibiana Restrepo, M.D.

Angie Rivera, M.S.

Sally Rogers, Ph.D.

Catherine Rottkamp, M.D., Ph.D.

Julie Schweitzer, Ph.D.

Aubyn Stahmer, Ph.D.

Meagan Talbott, Ph.D.

Angela John Thurman, Ph.D.

Danielle Scholze, M.D.

Heather Thompson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Susan Timmer, Ph.D.

Megan Tudor, Ph.D.

Sarah Vejnoska, B.A.

Please refer to the sample of posters by former participants for some of the faculty who were supportive of our 2018 Summer program.


  1. 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 (RAs) on-site if scholars need anything. Housing assignments will be given upon arrival to Sacramento.


  1. What are the unique characteristics of the UC Davis Site compared to other sites?
    • UC Davis is uniquely 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 2019. The MIND Institute is a well respected clinical and research institute that specializes in neurodevelopmental disorders in children, and that has a strong emphasis in reaching underrepresented and underserved children and families through its community (Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities) and interdisciplinary training programs (LEND). 

SAMPLE OF SUMMER 2019 SCHOLAR POSTERS (2020 program was cancelled due to Covid-19)

  1. Addressing the Mental Health Panorama for Child and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) (PDF)
  2. Analyzing IGDI Communication Levels in At-Risk Infants Before and After Parent-Coaching Treatment (PDF)
  3. Bullying Among California Youth with Disabilities (PDF)
  4. Measures of Well-Being in University Workplace Wellness Programs for Faculty and Staff: A Systematic Review (PDF)
  5. Mental Health Disparities Within the Latinx Community: An Understanding of The Public’s Needs (PDF) 
  6. Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia is Uncorrelated with Vocalizations Among Infants at High and Low Risk for ASD and ADHD (PDF)