May 24, 2021
Samantha Hano, a rising senior in public health sciences and psychology, is one of the nine UMass Amherst students selected as a spring 2021 UMass Amherst Rising Researcher. The Rising Researcher program celebrates students who excel in research, scholarship or creative activity.
Hano is being recognized for her internship work with the HEART (Holyoke Early Access to Recovery Treatment) program founded in March 2020 by Judge William P. Hadley. UMass Amherst public health interns are assisting in the development, implementation, and evaluation of the program, advised by Associate Professor of Health Promotion and Policy Elizabeth Evans.
During the course of the year, alongside fellow UMass interns Amelia Bailey ’24MPH and Kene Orakwue ’21, Hano conducted research, planning, and evaluation of the innovative HEART program. She studied comparable programs in other locations, designed an evaluation plan, solicited feedback on the program’s functionality, adapted the program for remote access due to COVID -19, and created a comprehensive report on the HEART initiative.
Evans calls Hano instrumental in the program’s implementation. “Her work is an excellent example of student-led research that is community engaged and impactful,” she says.
This summer Hano will help train a new cohort of HEART interns. She says that her experience with the program has strengthened her desire to work in community health planning or criminal justice reform. She plans to pursue a master’s of public health degree and possibly a doctorate in psychology.
The results of her HEART-related research, she says, “transcended my expectations of where my hard work could lead.”