Assistant professor and medical research biostatistician, Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV.
- Years at UNLV: Eight years in total (five years as a student plus three years as faculty/biostatistician)
- Nationality: Indian
In celebration of Women's History Month and International Women's Day, the UNLV Women's Council is spotlighting Kavita Batra, an assistant professor and medical research biostatistician. She has been recognized for her exceptional work as a colleague and mentor, and for her instrumental role in supporting residents and fellows with their projects.
Batra provides statistical and research training to faculty, residents, fellows, medical students, and other learners within the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine. Additionally, she collaborates with other schools across campus to perform interdisciplinary research. Batra began her career in India as a dental surgeon and public health officer. She received her master’s and doctoral degree in public health from UNLV's School of Public Health.
Her research interests include, but are not limited to, maternal and child health, the impact of COVID-19 on mental health, understanding social determinants of health, vaccine hesitancy, clinical research, and evidence synthesis (particularly systematic reviews and meta-analyses). Batra has published multiple peer-reviewed articles to investigate the far-ranging impact of COVID-19 among diverse groups. Her work received several mentions in the media, including Medscape and Inside Higher Ed, and by researchers at the global level.
She serves on editorial boards of several journals and is the president-elect to the Delta Omega-Delta Theta Chapter at UNLV, a Grad Alumni Ambassador, a key member of the Sexual Misconduct Taskforce for Nevada System of Higher Education, and a statewide secretary to the Nevada Public Health Association.
Tell us about your experience at UNLV?
I had a wonderful experience studying and working at UNLV. I chose to pursue my graduate studies at UNLV because of the flexibility to take certain courses online, attend night courses, which worked really well with my work schedule. Moreover, I was so fortunate to be surrounded by knowledgeable and kind professors, who prepared me really well for my career goals. For my professional goals, UNLV offers a wide range of career and continuous education opportunities, which I liked the most.
What is your favorite thing about working at UNLV?
UNLV provides a platform for the interdisciplinary scholarly activities and community engagement, which in my opinion are the most fascinating components to improve lives of our students, staff, and community members.
What trait do you most like about yourself?
I love my honesty and consider it to be one of my best traits. Also, I accept challenges as a way to grow. Last but not the least, I don’t compare myself to others and try to be better than I used to be.
If you could learn to master one thing, what would it be?
I believe that life begins at the end of your comfort zone, and I have demonstrated a great range of adaptability in my student and professional life to accomplish my goals. As my next goal, I will expand my adaptability to master the leadership/management skills to take my career to the next level. Should I get an opportunity to be a leader, I will aim to foster enthusiasm among our students, medical residents, fellows, and faculty to engage in cutting-edge research.
Tell us something unique about you.
A couple of things: I can walk on water, and I look for my stars not my scars! One of my former professors at the School of Public Health [told me that]. I still recall those beautiful words, which were indicative of the trust and confidence my professor had on me. Also, no one can cross the sea by [merely] standing and staring at the water.
Given my educational and diverse work experience, I can teach a wide range of courses — anatomy, physiology, biology, research methods, public health, epidemiology, biostatistics, etc. — across the health sciences’ disciplines, which in my opinion is unique combination or package of medicine and public health!
What do you do for self-empowerment?
Setting up reasonable goals and creating my action list are the two tools I use for self-empowerment. It is important to understand that success does not come overnight, but is a cumulative result of our decisions and actions. Also, I am the ultimate believer of myself! Because I think we don’t become what we want, we become what we believe!
How do you define success?
Making a positive impact on someone’s life is the real success for me. I love seeing how my mentoring efforts helped our medical residents, fellows, medical students, and faculty to achieve their scholarly goals. My trait to help others was the biggest motivation for me to join the public health program at UNLV. Now, I am utilizing all my knowledge, skills, and experience related to public health in expanding the research endeavors and other programmatic activities within the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV.
Any advice for young women starting careers on campus?
To all young women starting their career on campus, I will advise not to underestimate your capabilities. Others will regard you the same way you regard yourself. Value yourself highly and others will follow. Remember, if you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.