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Sarret Seng, a nursing PhD student in the University of Kentucky College of Nursing (UK CON) and graduate research assistant for the UK CON Behavioral Health Wellness Environments for Living and Learning (BH WELL) research team, has been named a Predoctoral Fellow with the University of Kentucky’s UNited In True racial Equity (UNITE) Research Priority Area. 


The UNITE Predoctoral Research Enhancement Program is a competitive opportunity created to support diverse scholars in PhD programs at the University of Kentucky (UK) and support their exposure to careers in research. According to UNITE, their mission was established “as part of the University of Kentucky’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Master Plan (August 2020) to bring together diverse groups of investigators, trainees, colleges, and research groups with a focus on research surrounding racial equity.” 

With this honor, Seng will strengthen the impact of her research with mentorship from Dr. Chizimuzo Okoli, Executive Director of BH WELL. Dr. Okoli expresses “Receiving this competitive predoctoral fellowship demonstrates the recognition of Sarret’s incredible work ethic and dedication to research and scholarship. Her involvement with the UNITE Research Priority Area will expose her to important cutting edge research techniques to integrate Diversity, Inclusivity, and Equity [DEI] into her current and future research. I believe that Sarret will also have the strategic opportunity to contribute her expertise as a psychiatric-mental health nurse in raising awareness about critical DEI issues affecting the mental and behavioral health population. As BH WELL, we are proud of her accomplishments and continue to support her career growth.” 

Sarret Seng received her BSN from the UK CON second degree program in 2019. During her undergraduate career, she worked for the BH WELL research team and as a peer tutor for the Work Learning Program (WLP), an academic-practice partnership between UK CON, UK HealthCare, Eastern State Hospital and BH WELL. She expects to graduate with her PhD in May 2024. Sarret shares… “As a first-generation Cambodian-American college student from an immigrant family, I value the crucial opportunities presented by diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives to support students like me in achieving academic and scholarly excellence.

Congratulations, Sarret! 

According to their website, “The UNITE Research Priority Area (RPA), in collaboration with the Office of the Vice President for Research, Office of Institutional Diversity, and The Graduate School, strives to increase the pipeline of racially and ethnically diverse scholars in research academic careers. UNITE also seeks to foster mutually beneficial relationships between the university, faculty researchers, and Black and Latinx, indigenous, and other communities of color. The UNITE RPA is committed to designing and supporting research focused programs that engage historically underrepresented communities, students, and faculty.” To learn more, visit the UNITE website.

The Behavioral Health Wellness Environments for Living and Learning (BH WELL) research team exists to promote behavioral health and wellness among individuals facing behavioral health challenges.