Grace Roy ’22 began volunteering with the Dover, New Hampshire-based drug prevention program Youth 2 Youth in 2011. Ten years later, she is one of 62 students nationwide, out of 845 candidates, to be selected as a Truman Scholar. The $30,000 graduate fellowship, established to honor former President Harry S. Truman, is awarded to undergraduates seeking a career in public service. Roy’s involvement with substance misuse issues has helped her build a proven track record for such work.
Seeing the impacts of the opioid crisis in New Hampshire and gaining perspective on the issues associated with substance use in other states really opened my eyes to the importance of addressing substance use and the opioid crisis in a way that helps people gain access to resources that they may be lacking.
Roy has been conducting public health research in the lab of associate professor Semra Aytur since February of 2020. Her focus has been on increasing access to acceptance and commitment therapy, a form of cognitive behavioral therapy used in the treatment of chronic pain, substance use disorders and many other chronic diseases.
Roy is UNH’s sixth Truman Scholar. After completing her undergraduate degree, Roy plans to pursue a master’s in public health, concentrating in health policy and community health intervention.