Robert Straka Recognized for Exemplary Community-Engaged Scholarship

Mar. 28, 2018

Professor Robert Straka is a recipient of this year's University of Minnesota President's Community-Engaged Scholar Award - Collegiate. The award recognizes exemplary community-engaged scholarship by a faculty member whose academic career has reflected longstanding commitment to the University's definition of public engagement.

Straka was recognized for his work to advance precision medicine with the goal of improving clinical outcomes, particularly for Minnesota's Hmong communities. 

"I am grateful for the privilege of working on community-engaged research as part of my scholarship and teaching," said Straka. "This award recognition helps advance our common goal to leverage the University and community's efforts to improve society for all, including members of the Hmong community. I am very proud and privileged to work with all of our partners in the Hmong Community." 

Straka also is a recipient of a University of Minnesota Grand Challenges Exploratory Research Grant, which partners with members of the Hmong community to increase inclusion and understanding about variations of genes that influence medication effectiveness. He also mentors undergraduate, graduate, professional, and post-doctoral students in research experiences with local Hmong communities.

Straka's community-engaged research has also led to the creation of Hmong Genomic and Community Advisory Boards, which enable members of the Hmong community to shape University research questions. He and his colleagues have made numerous presentations on precision medicine research at universities, community colleges, and local Hmong community events, creating authentic, collaborative research partnerships with Hmong professionals and community leaders.

View a video of Straka describing his work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU6UNHika80&feature=youtu.be

The award is administered by the University's Office for Public Engagement and the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic