The Global Change Center is delighted to announce that Kathleen Hohweiler will be the inaugural student of the Rural Environmental Health (REH) T32 Training Program

The program's first trainee, Kathleen Hohweiler, joined the Interfaces of Global Change IGEP in the spring of 2023 and has a Master's degree in Biological Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech.  Kathleen is currently pursuing a PhD in the same department, and is advised by Dr. Leigh-Anne Krometis. Kathleen's research project is a collaboration with the Virginia Household Water Quality Program, Virginia Cooperative Extension, and the U.S. Geological Survey and focuses on assessing and quantifying the occurrence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in private drinking water supplies (i.e. wells and springs) in Southwest Virginia.

Still of video shot
Click the photo to watch a recent VT video, where Kathleen Hohweiler and her advisor, Dr. Leigh-Anne Krometis, a GCC affiliate, were highlighted. The video showcases Krometis and her team as they assess water quality in the springs of rural Appalachia.

The REH T32 training program started out as an internal short-term pilot program, which was offered by the Global Change Center and funded by the Fralin Life Sciences Institute from 2020-2023. In 2023, the program received a NIH T32 Predoctoral Training Grant, allowing the program to continue to grow in size and scope. The Rural Environmental Health T32 predoctoral training program at Virginia Tech is now a competitive program that provides PhD students with training in environmental health sciences, with a focus on applications in rural landscapes. REH trainees will receive assistantship and tuition support for their first two years of the program.

The REH T32 Training Program is co-directed by Julia Gohlke, Associate Professor of Environmental Health, and Steven Poelzing, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics. Learn more about the REH T32 Training Program by visiting the REH T32 website.