The Center for Diversity in Public Health Leadership Training at Kennedy Krieger Institute offers three programs designed to provide educational opportunities for undergraduate- and graduate-level students in the fields of public health, maternal and child health, infectious diseases, and developmental disabilities. These leadership opportunities focus on the social determinants of health and addressing health disparities through clinical, research, and community engagement and advocacy activities

The mission of the Center is to develop diverse scholars and leaders who use culturally relevant, evidence-based, and health equity approaches to inform research, practice, advocacy, and policies that promote optimal child brain development. Our programs are funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA).

Click the image below to learn more about the Center for Diversity in Public Health Leadership Training and our programs:

Please Note:

Due to ongoing concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the CDC’s role in leading the pandemic response, all Center for Diversity summer programs, including the MCHC/RISE-UP and Dr. James A. Ferguson Emerging Infectious Diseases RISE Fellowship, will be virtual.  Please visit this website and the CDC website for up-to-date information on program modifications.

Our innovative and “real world” experiential training programs include:

Maternal Child Health Careers/Research Initiatives For Student Enhancement (MCHC/RISE-UP) Program

The MCHC/RISE-UP Program is a 9-week summer program designed for undergraduate juniors and seniors, and recent baccalaureate degree students, with a grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.7 on a 4-point scale who are interested in learning more about public health and preventing health disparities. Through this program, with university partners from across the nation (University of South Dakota and University of California - Davis), MCHC/RISE-UP offers public health leadership learning experiences in clinical, research, and community engagement and advocacy areas.

Dr. James A. Ferguson Emerging Infectious Diseases Research Initiatives For Student Enhancement (RISE) Fellowship

The Dr. James A. Ferguson Emerging Infectious Diseases RISE Fellowship is a 9-week summer program for students currently enrolled full-time in a medical, dental, pharmacy, veterinary, or public health, allied health and social sciences graduate programs who are interested in conducting research in the areas of infectious diseases and/or health disparities. Fellows increase professional leadership skills and are supported to present their research at national meetings.

Maternal and Child Health-Leadership Education, Advocacy, And Research Network(MCH-LEARN)

The Maternal and Child Health-Leadership Education, Advocacy, and Research Network (MCH-LEARN) is a 9-week summer program that continues through the following academic year with monthly meetings. This program provides undergraduate freshman and sophomore students, with a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale from underrepresented populations who are interested in the maternal and child healthcare (MCH) field, a comprehensive, integrated learning experience. The overarching goal of MCH-LEARN is to increase the number of students from historically disadvantaged and/or underrepresented populations who enter graduate school in MCH fields. 

Annual Conference:

Each year the Center for Diversity in Public Health Leadership Training organizes the Room to Grow: Journey to Cultural and Linguistic Competency. The conference brings national speakers to present on the latest research and practice related to addressing and reducing socially determined health disparities. The Room to Grow conference provides continuing education credits, and features interactive seminars for trainees, residents, students, faculty, administrators and community members.

View Videos from Previous Conferences

Program Infographics:

Learn more about the makeup of our training program classes through these informative infographics. Click the image to expand it in a new window.


Diversity, Leadership, Health Equity