Katies for Aging Research and Equity

Katies for Aging Research and Equity (KARE) is an integrated, multi-year research education program that supports underrepresented minority students to study, challenge, and reimagine systems to promote healthy aging and longevity for all. First-year students who join KARE will be supported within this small community of scholars and faculty mentors throughout their entire undergraduate experience. Through wrap-around student support, interdisciplinary education in longevity and aging, and mentored research opportunities, KARE scholars will be well prepared to be the next generation of leaders in health disparities research across the lifespan.

Benefits to Student Participants

KARE scholars will receive holistic support through community building activities, career development programming, academic and research mentorship, and networking events within the larger aging and health disparities research community. Scholars will also remain connected to the program beyond graduation as part of an active community of KARE alumni. Throughout their time at St. Kate's, KARE scholars will have access to many student supports, including

  • Access to a Living and Learning Community for those students living on campus

  • Study advocates for support in coursework

  • Dine-and-learn events with local and national experts

  • One-on-one mentorship with a faculty member 

Research careers for KARE scholars may include

  • Behavioral science

  • Biomedical science

  • Clinical and translational science

  • Occupational therapy

  • Physical therapy

  • Public health

  • Social work

KARE scholars will also receive a cross-disciplinary education in longevity and aging with a focus on age-related health disparities and interprofessional collaboration. Coursework will focus on the environmental, sociocultural, behavioral, and biological factors that underlie age-related health disparities among diverse populations of older adults, and may include the following:

  • Foundations of Longevity and Aging

  • Family Identity and Inequality

  • Biological Perspectives in Longevity and Aging

  • Navigating Evidence: From Basic Research to Clinical Practice

  • Capstone Course in Longevity and Aging

Each KARE scholar will be engaged in mentored research through paid internships in on- or off-campus research settings. As a complement to ongoing health disparities research at St. Kate's, external partnerships have been developed for KARE internships within the Mayo Clinic Kogod Center on Aging in Rochester, Minnesota and the HealthPartners Neuroscience Center in St. Paul.

Check out the impactful work being done at our partner sites:


We're excited to showcase the work of our KARE Scholars:

2021 Mayo Clinic Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship 

  • Yamillie (Millie) Ortiz - “Investigating the Effects of Phosphorylation Residues Tyrosine-701 and Serine-727 on STAT1 in Ovarian Cancer”
  • Litsi Ocampo Sorto - “Transduction of the rat spinal cord using the novel adeno-associated virus serotype 2.5”

2021 HealthPartners Neuroscience Center Internship - 

  • Nathaly (Nat) Romero Jara - “The effect of acupuncture on mild traumatic head injury”

2021 St. Catherine University Summer Scholars - 

  • Rebecca Benvie - “Insulin Signaling Pathway Gene Annotations in Newly Sequenced Drosophila Species”
  • McKenna Paluck - “Prenatal Telehealth - Product Testing and Evaluation of Outcomes”
  • Anchee Nitschke Durben - “Critical Analysis: Barriers and Opportunities for Addressing Oral Health Care”
  • Juliette (Jj) Kline - “Critical Analysis: Barriers and Opportunities for Addressing Oral Health Care”

2021 St. Catherine University Faculty Mentored Research

  • Anjelynt (Angie) Lor - “Gender Disparities in Healthy Aging in Korea compared with the United States” 
  • Tara Huber - “Gait stability changes in older adults using a novel gait trainer for 3 weeks

2020 St. Catherine University Faculty Mentored Research -

  • Litsi Ocampo Sorto - “Examining the Quality of Prenatal and Postnatal Care Received by Student-Parents” 
  • McKenna Paluck - "Layers of Invisibility: The News Media's Story Around Health for Older Adults"

Each KARE scholar will receive over $10,000 in the form of paid internships and career development. Specifically, scholars will receive stipend support for all research internships, transportation funds for off-campus internships, and housing support for non-local internships. Each scholar will also receive funds to support national travel to conferences within the field of aging and health disparities research. 

Apply to KARE!

First- and second-year students pursuing studies within a STEM or health-related discipline are invited to apply for KARE. Applications open in August and close in September. Interested students who wish to apply outside of that applications window should contact the KARE program directly.

Applications will involve several short essays about your research interests and professional goals. There is no GPA requirement for this opportunity. Interested students are encouraged to contact any member of the KARE team ( Jasper RirieKatie Campbell, Josh Guggenheimer, or Marcie Myers) with any questions about KARE or the application process. Students should schedule a meeting with Criss Jasper Ririe before submitting an application to the program.

Fill out an application form


Eligible students may include 1st or 2nd year CFW students from any of the following groups:

  • Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis. 

  • Individuals with disabilities--a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

  • Individuals who have/have experienced certain disadvantages (e.g. first-gen students, rural or urban education, Pell grant recipients, free/reduced lunch, and more).

For more information and to explore your eligibility for this program please reach out to kare@stkate.edu. We're happy to work with you and answer questions!

Priority given to: CFW students, students with clear research-career interests, and students with graduate school ambitions


The KARE Program is funded by the National Institute on Aging through the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R25AG060892.