Meet the Scholars

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Laura Britton

Mentor: Dr. Beth Black
Research interests: health disparities among the LGBTQ population and end of life care


Laura Britton

Laura Elizabeth Britton of Chapel Hill, N.C., earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences in 2005 from Wellesley College. She has since assisted with microbiology research related to the treatment of heart disease at the University of Pennsylvania and carried out clinical trials with Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania. Upon moving to North Carolina, Britton volunteered extensively at UNC Hospitals and the Orange County Literacy Council. She worked as a Carolina Health Education Counselor of Sexuality at UNC Counseling and Wellness Services and collaborated with students in the Health Behavior program on a campus-wide needs assessment prior to her admission to the School of Nursing. 


Martha Grace Cromeens

Mentors: Drs. Cheryl Jones and Erin Fraher
Research interests: access to care, the health care workforce, and health policy


Martha GraceMartha Grace Cromeens of Bryan, Texas, earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of St. Thomas in 2002, a Master of Arts in History from Baylor University in 2007 and a Juris Doctorate from the South Texas College of Law in 2008. Her Master’s thesis was titled “A Fifty-Year Retrospective on a German Cold War Tragedy, 1953-2003.” In addition to being a licensed attorney, she is a certified phlebotomist and certified nurse aide. Prior to applying to the Hillman Scholars Program, she worked as a tutor at Texas A&M University and as an instructor at Blinn College, teaching courses in history and government.  


Arthur Gribensk

Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Leeman
Research interests: obesity, technology and cognitive-behavioral psychology


Arthur Gribensk

Arthur Gribensk of Chapel Hill, N.C., earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2011, completing an honors thesis focused on Kantian supererogation. During his time at UNC, Gribensk was a Public Service Scholar, performing over 300 hours of community service in various roles. Prior to applying to the Hillman Scholars Program, he worked as a high school biology teacher at a Title I school as part of TEACH Charlotte, a highly selective program committed to raising student achievement in Charlotte-Mecklenburg County’s highest need schools. 


Hannah Roy

Mentor: Dr. Deborah Mayer
Research interests: how exercise can maintain quality of life in cancer survivors



Hannah Frances Roy of Fort Wayne, Ind., earned a Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology from DePauw University in 2012. During her time at DePauw, Roy served as the Vice President of the Kinesiology Honors Society and Treasurer of the DePauw Kinesiology Club. She was named the 2012 Kinesiology Major of the Year at DePauw for her strong representation of the department. Her senior thesis focused on the effects of stretching on sprint performance and force production in Division III athletes and physically active college students. 


Adria Spinell

Mentors: Drs. Gwen Sherwood and Margaret (Peggy) Bentley
Research interests: childhood obesity and childhood malnutrition


Adria Spinell

Adria Nicole Spinelli of Racine, Wis., earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from Baylor University in 2011. During her time at Baylor, she was a member of the Honors College and studied abroad, focusing on international law and organizations. Prior to applying to the Hillman Scholars Program, Spinelli served as a Center Director for the Appalachia Service Project, a non-profit home repair organization working with impoverished communities in West Virginia. As Center Director, she managed a $50,000 budget and oversaw more than 500 volunteers. Spinelli has extensive international experience, including time spent studying in Cambodia and teaching in Spain.