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This year, the Society of Postdoctoral Scholars would like to honor Dr. Nancy Schoenberg. Dr. Schoenberg is a passionate supporter of postdoctoral researchers at UK. She has served as a faculty mentor for over 80 doctoral, postdoctoral, or junior faculty, and just last year in 2021, Dr. Schoenberg and her colleagues received a $764,000 grant from the National Institute for Addressing Rural Cancer Inequities through Scientific Excellence for the purpose of training 10 postdoctoral researchers to address cancer-related health disparities in Appalachian Kentucky. 

In her role as Associate Vice President for Research, Dr. Schoenberg directs both the University Research Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, which supports postdoctoral fellows in fields with limited gender diversity, and the Lyman T. Johnson Postdoctoral Fellowship program, that supports researchers from backgrounds that have been traditionally underrepresented amongst university faculty. As part of these programs, Dr. Schoenberg also leads the Inclusive Postdoctoral Enhancement Program, which provides individual training for each postdoctoral fellow in the program. Dr. Schoenberg also takes time to individually advise many of the postdoctoral fellows in this program. Dr. Schoenberg has been an incredible example of mentorship and support to postdocs at UK. As such, the Society of Postdoctoral Scholars is honored to present Dr. Schoenberg with the 2022 Outstanding Service Award. SOPS has not only received accounts of Dr. Schoenberg's excellent mentorship but has witnessed it firsthand in her willingness to contribute as a panelist in the upcoming 2022 SOPS Annual Research & Career Symposium. The award, inaugurated in 2021 with Dr. Joseph Lutz as its first recipient, aims to highlight individuals who demonstrate exemplary service to postdoctoral scholars at the University of Kentucky.

With over 25 years served at the University of Kentucky, Dr. Schoenberg wears a great many hats, each one of which is important for our community here at UK and throughout Kentucky. Dr. Schoenberg’s background is in medical anthropology and gerontology, and she is currently the Marion Pearsall Professor of Behavior Science in the College of Medicine and the Founding Director of the Center for Health Equity Transformation. Dr. Schoenberg’s research has been transformational in Kentucky by addressing health inequities, particularly among rural residents and other underserved populations. She employs community-based participatory research strategies to develop interventions that focus on the contextual underpinnings and lifestyle factors that elevate the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, especially for residents of Kentucky. She has over 150 peer-reviewed publications, and her research has been continuously funded by national funding agencies, including the National Institute for Health, over the past 20 years.