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ALIVE Center for Community Partnerships

Hill House Students


 Hill House students


2014-2015 Hill House students

Jessica Bertram, Keira Martin, Katlyn Farris, and Alekhya  Patagarla


Jessica Bertram

Bachelor Degree: Social work

Graduate Degree: Social work

 Research or community development work at the Hill House:

The research completed by Jessica M. Bertram is entitled Community Development and the Rural Community: Understanding the Influence of Transient Population. Her research was developed due to her observations of the Hill House community and other community organizations. She observed a variety of issue when working with transient populations and determined that population was the group she wanted to do her research with. She completed a mixed-method study (both qualitative and quantitative) using both surveys and interviews to gather her data. Through her research she identified lapses in community organizations and the general public as well as a need for greater awareness of the homeless population.


She has been working in conjunction with Dr. J. Gabbard of the Social Work Department. She was the only student who worked on the research and is the primary researcher on this study. This research relates well with her work at the Hill House as the community around the Hill House is made of several transient populations. As these populations can many times be at risk or be vulnerable her research also encompasses her master’s degree work as a social work student. She hopes that her research will positively affect the future work of the Hill House. 


Katlyn Farris

Bachelor Degree: Political Science and Organizational Leadership

Master's Degree: Leadership Dynamics

Research or community development work at the Hill House:

This past fall, Katlyn began researching Place Identity Theory and Community Development in the E. 11th Street Community through examining the connection between place identity and community development within the neighborhood. The purpose of the research is to study long-term empowerment of the individuals living within the community who experience the university lead community development program. Seeking to understand if the addition of resources has evoked resilience and engagement with citizens.


Katlyn has also been working with local government agencies to plan events that foster community building at Hill House events and enable neighborhoods to become more aware of their environment. Connecting with government allows the Hill House to reach the goals of neighbors becoming resilient and better their own neighborhood.  


Keira Martin

Bachelor Degree: Interdisciplinary Studies emphasis in Social Behavioral Science

Master's Degree: Student Affairs and Higher Education

Research or community development work at the Hill House:

Keira’s research has involved the development of Project L.I.F.E. at the Academy at Eleventh Street. Project L.I.F.E. is a ten-week student enhancement program modeled after the first generation college student enhancement programs, Project C.L.A.S.S. and The Come Up.

Project L.I.F.E. engages students in learning vital life skills through four core principles: leadership, independence, freedom, and empowerment. Project L.I.F.E. motivates students by positively influencing students’ attitudes towards their future. The program gives participants an opportunity to get connected to their community, local leaders, teachers, and their peers as they create a personal vision for their success. Project L.I.F.E. teaches the importance of obtaining a quality education, developing leadership skills and a true sense of independence through self led opportunities. And there’s so much more, it is intended to be a life changing experience.


Alekhya Patagarla

Bachelor Degree: Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS)

Master's Degree: Master of Healthcare Administration

Research or community development work at the Hill House:

Alekhya’s community-based- research involves work with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Combat Veterans. Expecting the community to accommodate the upcoming veteran students to continue their education in the Western Kentucky University (WKU). The research focuses on finding new unidentified diagnostic symptoms to help and avoid misdiagnosing of PTSD so as to obtain treatment.


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 Last Modified 4/21/15