Amy LiKamWa, UF BS student, PRICE volunteer, and mentee to Dr. Staja “Star” Booker was asked at the end of her Sophomore year if she was interested in pursuing her own independent project, as she had been volunteering with PRICE for some time. Her academic trajectory had already included learning about music’s place in health sciences, so naturally, she followed her passion there. Contextualized by PRICE’s involvement in pain research and inspired by bright memories of karaoke bars, she decided to examine the effects of singing contrasted to listening as viable tools for musical intervention on pain stimuli. The study was conducted and disseminated with PRICE resources and funds, along with Amy’s $1,750 stipend as a University Scholar. She is especially grateful for the mentorships of Dr. Roger Fillingim (PRICE Principal Investigator), Ms. Jill Sonke (Director of the UF Center for Arts in Medicene), and Dr. Staja Booker (PRICE Affiliate and Assistant Professor) throughout the study. What with this being Ms. LiKamWa’s first fully independent study, their aid was paramount in its completion.
This year, the University of Florida’s Biology Major Committee saw fit to honor her with the 3rd Best Thesis Award. Over the Summer, Amy is assisting in the completion of a textbook for music and health classes while she applies to medical schools. She hopes to start work researching in the field of music and medicine come Fall.