08DP – Assessing the built environment for physical activity participation in rural Alabama Black Belt counties

Status: Filled – Peter Abdelmessih
Intern: Peter Abdelmessih
Faculty Name: dori-pekmezi-4
Primary Faculty Appointment: UAB
UAB/HA Department: na
Campus Address: RPHB 227p
Telephone Number: (205) 975-8061
Email: dpekmezi@uab.edu or Click to Send E-Mail
For how many summers have you served as a preceptor: 3 or more
CCC Research Area: Cancer Control & Population Science
Number of hours per week that the preceptor will personally supervise or work with the intern: 5
Other faculty, staff, or graduate students who may help to supervise the intern:
1. Sh’Nese Townsend
2. Nashira Brown
Title of Project: 08DP – Assessing the built environment for physical activity participation in rural Alabama Black Belt counties
Project Description:

Regular physical activity (PA) is linked to lower risk for several cancers (breast, colon, endometrial). Yet, most Americans are inactive, particularly in the rural Deep South where cancer incidence/mortality is also generally higher. Built environment factors such as lack of physical activity facilities etc likely contribute to these existing cancer disparities but comprehensive evaluation is needed. Thus for the current study we will complete Rural Active Living Assessments (RALA) in 6-7 rural Alabama Black Belt counties. The three RALA components include Street Segment assessments to evaluate factors like walkability, safety features, and terrain of individual, specific street segments. The Town-Wide assessment examines community characteristics like population, total area, and the presence of recreation activities. The Program and Policy assessment identifies community programs and policies that support physical activity. These tools have been successfully used in similar, past studies conducted by our research team in the Deep South. Our goal is to provide an updated assessment of built environment for physical activity in these rural counties, compare/contrast with past findings, and use this data to propose environment/policy level intervention strategies.

Project Status: Already up and running
Location of Project: Birmingham, AL (UAB)
Proposed Start Date: May 3, 2021
Proposed End Date: August 27, 2021
Expected work schedule for intern: Flexible, intern can largely set his or her own schedule (as for students who are instructed how to proceed and are permitted to work independently with weekly guidance) and should contribute full-time effort.
Number of days that the student will be expected to come physically to UAB:
1 day or a few days as needed
Category of Project: Community-Based or Field Research
Cancer topic: physical activity
Does this project involve human subjects: Yes
Does this project involve animal subjects: No

data collection/entry


data analysis/report preparation


literature review/s on related topics

Preceptor will provide intern with access to the following: Office or desk space, Computer and printer, Supplies needed to complete project, Equipment needed to complete project
Likelihood that intern will be included as an author on one or more publications related to this summer research project: Very likely
Areas in which the ideal candidates will have experience: NONE OF THE ABOVE (just the willingness to learn)