Hadley LaMascus, a third year student at Oklahoma Christian University, is a student leader committed to research connecting pollution with human health. He is participating in two of the most rigorous programs at OC; Cellular and Molecular Biology and the University Honors Program. He has served as president of the honors student governance organization, the Honors Advisory Council. Hadley has influenced several of his pre-med and health care peers to volunteer with him at a local free clinic, Manos Juntas. I give my most confident recommendation for Hadley LaMascus to be a Newman Civic Fellow for 2019.
I first became interested in the complicated web of connections between pollution, ethics, and human health during my introductory biology coursework and involvement with an ethics debate team. Science can illustrate mechanisms or solutions for poor health, but a sense of ethics is required for why health claims priority when creating public policy or health solutions. I conducted NSF-funded research at Pepperdine University that worked to elucidate the link between airborne carbon particles and cellular damage. My research indicates that carbon pollution can drastically affect the lungs and that it poses an enormous and relatively under-explored component of health in urban areas. This research not only illuminates how airborne particles affect health, but it also indicts communities that fail to seriously consider the ways in which community health is fostered or hampered by their actions. I plan to further my work to describe and combat human disease through an M.D. and an MPH.