snowy trees in front of building

Thomas Lab

health sciences building


2024-2025 Academic Year

To Apply: 

Please submit the following to the Strategies for Risk Reduction Lab at

  1. Copy of your resume
  2. A one-page essay that describes your interest in research and our research team
  3. Submit all items via email by April 12th (11:59pm)



golden mountains

The Strategies for Risk Reduction Lab

Research focusing on type 2 diabetes prevention

Director: Dr. Jenifer Thomas

Scroll down to find out how to get involved, to meet our team members, and to read about our research


  • The Strategies for Risk Reduction Lab typically offers 2-4 research positions each year to students who are available for 3-9 hours per week. We request applications and complete interviews during the spring semester. Students offered research positions are required to enroll for Independent Study (1-3 credits). Broadly, projects investigate psychosocial and cultural influences as well as individual perceptions related to health behavior. 

  • Applicants should have flexible hours, provide schedule of availability in order to coordinate meetings, attend weekly research meetings, be reliable/self-motivating, and work independently.

  • Research team tasks typically include: Manuscript writing (new papers or students can “jump in” on papers in progress); Data analysis (quantitative and qualitative analysis); Abstract submission; Grant writing.

  • The research team is truly a team. Dr. Thomas provides mentorship and guidance regarding aspects of the research projects. She encourages all members to contribute ideas about all projects. Team members volunteer for task/responsibilities--there is no expectation regarding number of tasks. Yet, students arte expected to communicate about their abilities to complete tasks and follow through with responsibilities.


    Quotes from students about why they are involved:

    • I joined the research team because I was interested in research related to Type 2 diabetes and the unique projects the team was working on. I also liked that the students on the team came from different areas of study, offering different perspectives and ideas related to the projects. Having the opportunity to be a part of the team afforded me many opportunities to help with writing manuscripts, attending and presenting at conferences, and getting the chance to work with other students from different backgrounds. These experiences improved me not only as a student, but as a professional in the field.
      Taylor Chaulk-Pikula

    • Research is a critical component to modern healthcare, and I felt that gaining experience in the research process would allow me to develop critical thinking skills and ultimately help me become a well-rounded medical professional.
       Sarah Clinkenbeard

    • I joined this group because I thought it looked like a great opportunity for me to learn more about diabetes and how the research process works. One of my first thoughts in potentially joining the group was how good it would look on resumes. I thoroughly enjoy working with this group and learning and researching together.
       Colter Linford

    • I joined the research team because I wanted to get involved with research in the health sciences field. I also wanted to be a part of something that wasn’t necessarily in a lab, so the fact that this team is more literature based but still interacts with people was ideal for me. I wanted to know more about what exactly goes on in research and how it is all done. This team has been a great way for me to expand my knowledge on qualitative and quantitative research, as well gain a deeper understanding of the topics we research.




team memebers

The Research Team:

Began in Fall 2011 with four nursing students. Currently, the team is larger and includes students from several disciplines within the College of Health Sciences. We welcome students of all backgrounds, interests, and levels of research expeience.

Our research focuses on:

  • Perceptions of risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Specific projects include reasons for adherence to recommendations for type 2 diabetes risk reduction; at-risk individuals’ knowledge of type 2 diabetes; participation in multiple behavior change

  • Health-related self-concept in the context of lifestyle change and type 2 diabetes prevention. Specific projects include creation of a new scale to assess lifestyle behaviors and self-concept; testing the new scale in a type 2 diabetes prevention intervention at East Carolina University

  • Perceptions of nurses and Native Americans in relation to the nurse-client relationship

Our team consistently presents our work at the following events:


  • University of Wyoming College of Health Sciences Research Day

    Each year, the College of Health Sciences highlights and supports UW faculty and student research. In addition, research day includes invited speakers as well as faculty and student oral and poster presentations.

  • Western Institute of Nursing (WIN)

    WIN is a western regional nursing organization focused on bringing together a diverse community of nurses to advance the discipline and drive improvements in care. The WIN research conference includes presentations on nursing and health topics from national and regional health leaders as well as faculty and students.

  • Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM)

    SBM is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to promoting the study of emerging perspectives of human behavior, health, and illness. The SBM annual meeting includes professional programming devoted to research and practice such as presentations as well as networking and educational opportunities.

female students
Jenifer Thomas

Jenifer Thomas

Director, Mentor

megan switzer

Megan Switzer

Team Member

jessica carlson

Jessica Carlson

Team Member



The Strategies for Risk Reduction Lab
c/o Dr. Jenifer Thomas
Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing
Dept. 3065; 1000 E. University Avenue
Phone: (307) 766-3546
Fax: (307) 766-4294