Four College of Health Professions Students Among 40 Nationwide Selected for Paul Ambrose Scholars Program

Paul Ambrose Scholars 2020

MACON – Mercer University’s College of Health Professions has four students – Kailey Barfield, Seo Ho Kim, James Pope and Krista Stocke – among the 40 nationwide who were selected to participate in this year’s Paul Ambrose Scholars Program.

The program, planned and implemented by the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research (APTR), prepares public health and clinical health professions students to promote change and be leaders in addressing population health challenges at the national and community level.

Each year, a cohort of 40 scholars are selected from across the health professions to attend the program’s Student Leadership Symposium held during the annual meeting of APTR. In addition to participating in the symposium, students commit to improve health within their communities through the planning and implementation of a community-based project.

Barfield is a second-year dual degree Master of Medical Science/Master of Public Health combined degree program student. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University. She later worked as an AmeriCorps service member in Oregon, volunteered with an animal rescue organization in Georgia and worked and volunteered at a Federally Qualified Healthcare Center. Her community-based project aims to utilize the school environment and physical landscape to expose students to fruits and vegetables to increase intake of those foods at home.

Kim is a second-year Master of Medical Science student who previously earned her bachelor’s degree from Mercer. She participated in the Mercer Service Scholars Program, where she worked to assess and overcome health disparities in Cape Town, South Africa, as well as closer to home in rural Georgia. Her community-based project aims to help educate patients at Grace Village, a nonprofit, free clinic primarily for refugees in Clarkston, about Diabetes Mellitus, which is the most prevalent condition treated at the clinic.

Pope is a fourth-year Doctor of Physical Therapy/Master of Public Health combined degree program student. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University, where he majored in cardiopulmonary care science before working as a respiratory therapist. His community-based project aims to identify at-risk individuals by performing community fall screening events throughout Georgia and to provide education and resources to reduce the risks of injury and falling.

Stocke is a second-year Master of Medical Science student who previously earned her bachelor’s degree from Utah State University. She is a National Health Service Corps Scholar. Her community-based project aims to implement a structured training and education program that can be adopted into physician assistant program training curricula to help future providers recognize the signs of human trafficking and equip them with the skills needed to help victims once they are identified.

“We are extremely proud of these four students who have been honored for their commitment to incorporating public health principles into their clinical discipline,” said Dr. Lisa Lundquist, dean of the College of Health Professions. “The focused time and efforts to impact the health of our populations through their community-based projects is commendable.”

The Paul Ambrose Scholars Program honors Paul Ambrose, M.D., MPH, who was onboard American Airlines Flight 77 that was hijacked on Sept. 11, 2001. Ambrose was the seventh APTR Luther Terry Fellow and Senior Clinical Advisor in the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. He worked closely with the surgeon general’s office, and his commitment to promoting public health and preventing disease was a critical force in the development of The Surgeon General’s Call To Action To Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity for which he served as a senior editor.

Paul Ambrose Scholars represent areas of graduate study at accredited institutions across the United States, including allopathic or osteopathic medicine, dentistry, nursing, physician assistant, pharmacy, physical therapy, occupational therapy and public health.

About the College of Health Professions

Mercer University’s College of Health Professions is composed of five disciplines: physical therapy, physician assistant studies, public health, clinical psychology, and athletic training. The College offers a doctoral-level physical therapy program, master’s-level physician assistant program, bachelor’s- and master’s-level public health programs, doctoral-level program in clinical psychology, and master’s-level athletic training program. The Department of Physical Therapy offers residencies in orthopaedic, neurologic and cardiovascular/pulmonary physical therapy; a fellowship in orthopaedic manual physical therapy; and an onsite clinic. Each program is housed in a department that provides students with comprehensive didactic courses taught by an extraordinary faculty and extensive clinical experience enhanced by outstanding service-learning opportunities. For more information, visit