COVID-19 and Education

By Jessica Alvarez

COVID-19 and Education

By Jessica Alvarez
Postdoctoral associate Kilan Ashad-Bishop discusses her study on the role of COVID-19 and the impact on diverse communities in South Florida.

 

Postdoctoral associate, Kilan Ashad-Bishop from the School of Education and Human Development, is working with Dr. Laura Kohn-Wood and Dr. Aaron Heller to research impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. Their current study titled, “The Role of Community-Based Organizations in the Mitigation of COVID-19 Related Health and Educational Disparities,” focuses on documenting the disparate impact of the virus on diverse communities in South Florida. They are conducting this study using an existing partnership with the program Breakthrough Miami.

 The data for this study comes from an expansion of the University’s partnership with Breakthrough Miami, which she mediates as a part of her postdoc. Breakthrough Miami is a program that uses a “students-teaching-students” model to create an educational community “where highly motivated, traditionally underrepresented 5th-12th grade students are supported to achieve post-secondary success,” according to the program’s website. They hope that the results of the study can be distributed to other community-based organizations, local government, the Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and financial supporters to improve the support of those most vulnerable to the widespread effects of COVID-19.

 A cancer biologist by training, most of Kilan’s research experience has been in highly technical wet lab environments, so she is enthused to continue her professional development. “I am really excited to train in the social sciences and expand my research methods toolkit,” she states. When asked about what she loves most about her research, Kilan emphasizes, “Coming from a wet lab background, it is really gratifying to participate in research that is documenting the right now and attempting to make change to the systems that govern the way that we live.”