Zach Selke ’14

Zach Selke“I spent Field Work Term in Boston interning at the Center for Multicultural Mental Health, a research institute affiliated with Cambridge Health Alliance and Harvard Medical School. I worked with several researchers on a study examining the relationship between mental illness and tobacco usage. Prior research has found that people suffering from mental illness smoke almost half of the cigarettes consumed in the United States. While anti-tobacco campaigns have been among the most important public health initiatives in U.S. history, these efforts have not been as successful at reaching people with mental illness. We looked at why these campaigns haven’t worked as well in reaching people with mental illness, and at what healthcare providers can do to encourage lower smoking rates in this population.

“My FWT provided excellent exposure to real-world research that allowed me to explore my interest in mental health. It was nice to have a break from academic work, but I also feel that my research experience furthered my motivation for pursuing a career in medicine. I also think FWT was a great opportunity to fit a meaningful research experience into a tightly packed year.”