UAMS AGEC Student Scholar Program, 2020-2021

The purpose of the Geriatric Student Scholars program (sponsored by AGEC) is to increase health professions students’ interest and exposure to older adults, improve knowledge of older adults and the specialized care they need and to promote interprofessional collaboration among health professions students.


The deadline for this year’s Student Scholar program has passed.
Awards will be announced by October 9th and the program will start November 2, 2020.





Read about last year’s scholars and a blog from one of our previous students below:

Meet Our 2019-2020 Geriatric Student Scholars

Abbey Belote, Second-Year College of Health Professions student
Caitlyn Crowder, Second-Year College of Health Professions student
Serena Van, Third-Year College of Pharmacy student
Rebekah Ward, First-Year College of Health Professions student
Sarah Wilson, Senior, Spanish Literature and Hispanic Culture, Hendrix College student


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Abbey Belote

Abbey is in her second year of the Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) program in the College of Health Professions at UAMS. She is from Springfield, Missouri and received a B.S. Degree in Exercise and Movement Science with a minor in Biomedical Sciences at Missouri State University. Her DPT curriculum is located on the UAMS Northwest Campus in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She is thankful to be chosen as one of the AGEC Geriatric Student Scholars and is eager to get started on the unique educational and professional opportunities this program offers. She became interested in working with the geriatric population through clinical and volunteer activities in the community while pursuing her career in physical therapy. During these experiences, she began to grasp the integral role physical therapists can play in improving quality of life and enabling independence throughout the aging process. Abbey is drawn to utilize their goals, experiences, and concerns to provide the best possible care as a physical therapist. However, she is also intrigued to learn better how to participate in an effective interprofessional healthcare team to develop the best patient-centered care for older adults. This AGEC Student Scholar position is an inspiring next step for her to achieve a higher level of education and appreciation for what we as healthcare providers and members of our communities can do to facilitate and enhance the aging process.


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Caitlyn Crowder

Caitlyn is a second year Doctor of Audiology student in the College of Health Professions at UAMS. She received her bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Arkansas State University. She is a native of Heber Springs, Arkansas. She became interested in audiology after having multiple family members experience hearing loss. Her interest in geriatric audiology stemmed from having a grandparent with hearing loss, and the impact on her quality of life as a result. With the aging of America, she recognizes that the number of patients in this population that are in need of Audiology services will continue to grow. She also enjoys the years of memories, wisdom and stories these patients offer and share. Working with this population has instilled in her compassion, hard work, and insight into the complex health issues of her patients and their need for a strong advocate.
In addition to being a Geriatric Scholar, Caitlyn is involved with CHP’s Student Advisory Council, UAMS Alumni Ambassador Program, Associated Student Government, and Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disorders (LEND).  Caitlyn volunteers at Arkansas Hands and Voices events, and in the nursery at New Life Church. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the River Market, reading, and spending time with friends and family.


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Serena Van

Serena is originally from California and graduated from UC Berkeley with degrees in Integrative Biology and Medical Anthropology. She moved to Arkansas at the beginning of P1 year to accept a scholarship from the UAMS College of Pharmacy. She served two years with AmeriCorps, which gave her the enthusiasm to improve herself by being more involved with public health. She is excited to represent the UAMS College of Pharmacy as one of the AGEC Student Scholars, and she looks forward to learning more about the geriatric community in Arkansas. In her spare time, Serena enjoys hiking and traveling. She never fully recovered after being bitten by the travel bug. Her next destination is New Zealand!


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Rebekah Ward

Rebekah was raised in Little Rock, AR and graduated from Ouachita Baptist University with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Biology in 2014. She has a strong interest in research; she spent two summers in clinical research at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and one year as a research technician at UAMS. She is currently a first year student in the UAMS Physician Assistant Program. As a future healthcare provider, she wants to learn more about working with the geriatric population. This rapidly growing demographic has a soft spot in her heart because she grew up close to her grandmother, her Meemaw, who had dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Volunteering at the UAMS 12th Street free health clinic for over four years has further re-enforced her interest in the geriatric population. A good number of the patients at 12th Street are elderly. Learning about the several co-morbidities and polypharmacy that most older adults face provides a unique approach to patient-centered healthcare. Moreover, a dynamic collaboration between the disciplines is key. Learning and working alongside students at 12th Street from different colleges such as Medicine, Pharmacy, and Nursing have made her appreciate the values of interdisciplinary teamwork.
After going through the AGEC Geriatric Student Scholar program, Rebekah hopes to learn how to optimize the interdisciplinary team approach, gain some foundational knowledge in geriatric medicine, and implement effective public health practices in rural communities.


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Sarah Wilson

Sarah is an undergraduate senior at Hendrix College studying Spanish literature and Hispanic culture while taking the pre-matriculation requirements for medical school. She began her interests in geriatrics two years ago while completing a pilot program at Hendrix involving volunteering each week in local hospice facilities, and reflecting upon her experiences with patients while drawing upon the knowledge learned from her weekly geriatric health readings. In Hispanic populations, especially in Latin America, it is incredibly honorable to respectfully care for the elders regardless of kinship, so she wants to spend her time learning how to better care for a geriatric population while maintaining sensitivity surrounding cultural identity. Upon graduation, Sarah plans on furthering her knowledge at UAMS and later establishing a health facility for geriatric patients in rural Arkansas.

AGEC Geriatric Student Scholar – Samantha’s Blog


UAMS Arkansas Geriatric Education Collaborative (AGEC) is a $3.74 million grant of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences – Department of Geriatrics. The collaborative is funded by a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant for a Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP). The primary investigator for the grant is Dr. Robin McAtee.