VIVA Connects was proud to host Laurel Fimbel as an undergraduate Pipeline Network student intern this year. A senior at Montana State University majoring in Community Health, Laurel joined the VIVA Connects team over the summer to bolster her background in scientific research.

Over the course of three months, Laurel assisted with performing walkability assessments in rural communities, providing technical assistance, and documenting her findings through photography. Her summer research project focused on barriers and facilitators of walking and physical activity in the town of Cuba, NM. Rural, under-resourced communities in New Mexico often suffer from a lack of physical activity opportunities and associated social support, and Laurel was eager to investigate the factors at-play. Laurel is excited to continue her research endeavors into the future in effort to improve the quality of life for individuals in rural communities while working with an enthusiastic, dynamic research team.