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Kepriah Davis

Major: Psychology
Graduated in 2016
 

The Adventure Seeker

Mongolia’s rugged desert terrain and wide skies were the backdrop to Kepriah Davis’s first trip abroad, when she went there to survey groundwater pollution through U-M’s Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training Program. The experience, she says, “opened up a new outlook,” not just about other people and cultures, but about Davis’s own path after graduation.

“Some things you don’t even think are possible until you’ve seen them,” she says of meeting people from the United States who were doing research in Mongolia and working to improve public health. “It got me thinking about that model and how that could shape my career goals. I started thinking about a master’s in public health—how I can add to what we know about mental health disorders and disparities and look at it from a public health standpoint.”

That’s a long way from where Davis started in LSA. The first-generation college student says she “came in as a biology major looking to enter dentistry.” After a slew of science classes, she began to question whether this was the right fit. Her interest in mental health led her to psychology. “I declared right before junior year,” she says. “It was a better fit, because it allowed me to explore a wide variety of things.”
 

 

 

 

“I want to connect across cultural, social, and geographic differences. I want to connect at the core of what I would assume is humanity. This has always been in my heart and in my mind since I was a little girl."

 

This includes ancient warfare. The apocalypse. Emergent adulthood. Abnormal psychology. Some of Kepriah Davis’s LSA class topics might read like plot points from a dystopian young-adult novel, but she says she appreciates “the array of classes you can take, even if it’s not related to your major.”

Davis graduated in 2016, but her LSA adventures didn’t stop there. She was awarded a prestigious Bonderman Fellowship from LSA’s Center for Global and Intercultural Study (CGIS). The award offers four graduating LSA seniors “$20,000 to travel the world. They must travel to at least six countries in two regions over the course of eight months and are expected to immerse themselves in independent and enriching explorations,” according to the CGIS website.

“I knew I always wanted to travel,” Davis says. “I’ve always had an interest in other people, other cultures, and sharing those parts of myself with others.”

Davis’s travel agenda includes Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, South Africa, Morocco, Peru, Cuba, and Colombia, along with several other countries.

And when she gets back? She’ll likely head to graduate school for a master’s in public health. “I’m interested in mental health—how I can add to what we know about mental health disorders and disparities and look at it from a public health standpoint.”

Like her first trip abroad, however, Davis says she’s looking forward to putting herself in a different setting, living life, and seeing what happens from there.

“I want to connect across cultural, social, and geographic differences. I want to connect at the core of what I would assume is humanity. This has always been in my heart and in my mind since I was a little girl.”

 

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