St. Catherine University announces founding cohort of KARE scholars

The first cohort in the KARE Program.

The KARE Scholars Cohort

Back Row (left to right): McKenna Paluck '22, Yamillie Ortiz '23, and Rebecca Benvie '23
Front Row (left to right): Gigi Roue '23, Ka Lia Yang '23, and Litsi Ocampo Sorto '23

The Katies for Aging Research and Equity (KARE) program at St. Catherine University announced its founding cohort of KARE Scholars today. For the next four years, these six students will form a collaborative, close-knit community dedicated to advancing health equity and contributing to a growing body of knowledge in the broad field of longevity and aging.  

“We are simply thrilled with this cohort,” said Katie Campbell, co-director of the KARE program. “The next four years hold great promise for these budding scholars as they explore the broad fields of geroscience and aging research. We hope they discover how their education, scholarship, and career development can contribute to health equity and longevity for underrepresented patient populations. We can’t wait to get started!”

KARE is an integrated, multi-year research education program that supports students traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields to study, challenge, and reimagine systems to promote healthy aging and longevity for all. A $1.5 million R25 grant from the National Institutes of Health-National Institute on Aging helped make this program a reality. First-year students pursuing studies within a STEM or health-related discipline were invited to apply. The first KARE cohort students are:

  • Rebecca Benvie ('23), a Biology major from Superior, WI
  • Litsi Ocampo Sorto ('23) a Sonography major from Minnetrista, MN
  • Yamillie Ortiz ('23) a Chemistry major, ACS concentration from Bacliff, TX
  • Gigi Roue ('23) a Chemistry major, ACS concentration from Bloomington, MN
  • McKenna Paluck ('22) a Dietetics major from St. Paul, MN
  • Ka Lia Yang ('23) a Biology major from St. Paul, MN

These students will be supported by a 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.

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