“In teaching graduate students, I have noticed an obvious distinction in skills among those who come from programs where they have been taught what to think versus those from programs, such as Transylvania’s, where they have been taught how to think.”
April Young decided to take up mountain climbing. For her first challenge, she chose Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa.
Obviously, Young does not shy away from difficult tasks.
Her research interests include rural health disparities in Appalachia, the nonmedical use of prescription drugs, and the spread of infectious disease among high-risk populations—intractable problems all too familiar in contemporary society.
“Epidemiology requires you to approach problems analytically, to evaluate evidence critically, to think from a systems perspective, to pose creative questions, to be self-aware, and, often, to challenge the status quo. A liberal arts curriculum is unsurpassed in its ability to equip students with all of these skills.”
Young knows that a Transylvania education prepares science students to succeed. As a graduate student at the University of Kentucky, she was accompanied to the Philippines by three Transylvania students who helped with a research project on HPV vaccine acceptance among Filipino men and women.
Young and Kathleen Jagger, biology professor and interim vice president and dean of the college, helped the students apply for a Kenan Grant to fund their trip and their research.
“In addition to helping me with survey development, administration, and analysis, the students took ownership of the entire qualitative phase of the project. They developed and oversaw focus groups, then transcribed and analyzed the data. They have since co-authored a publication with me.” Young has also presented their findings at two national conferences and an international conference in Cape Town, South Africa.
“I learned a great deal from working with the students and continue to communicate regularly with all of them. Their contributions to the project and their growth over the past three years are certainly testaments to the quality of preparation that Transylvania provides.”
Meritorious Student Abstract, Society of Behavioral Medicine's 32nd Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions, 2011
Student Award for Outstanding Research Paper, American Public Health Association, International Health Section, 2010
International Service Award, University of Kentucky, 2010
John Sterling Wiggs "Golden Rule" Award, University of Kentucky, 2010
Academic Excellence Award, University of Kentucky, 2010
Dr. Richard Clayton Research Award, University of Kentucky. 2010
Health Behavior Departmental Award, University of Kentucky, 2010
Areas of research
- M.P.H., Health Behavior and Epidemiology, University of Kentucky, 2010
- B.A., Biology, Transylvania University, 2007
Areas of research
- Vaccine acceptability and uptake from individual- and network-level theoretical perspectives
- Integration of geospatial and social network analysis to better understand the spread of infectious disease among high-risk populations and to inform more effective dissemination strategies for interventions
- Rural health disparities, focusing in particular on rural Appalachia
- Illicit drug use (especially nonmedical use of prescription drugs)
- Social and Behavioral Epidemiology
- Young A.M., Crosby R., Oser C.B., Leukefeld C.G., Stephens D.B., Havens J.R. (2012) "Hepatitis C Viremia and Genotype Distribution among a sample of HCV-exposed Nonmedical Prescription Drug Users in Rural Appalachia." Journal of Medical Virology 84:1376-1387.
- Young A.M., Jonas A.B., Havens J.R. (2012) "Social networks and HCV viremia among anti-HCV positive rural drug users." Epidemiology and Infection.
- Young A.M. and Havens J.R. (2012) "Transition from first illicit drug use to first injection drug use among rural Appalachian drug users: A cross-sectional comparison and retrospective survival analysis." Addiction 107(3): 587-596.
- Jonas A.B., Young A.M., Oser C..B, Leukefeld C.G., Havens J.R. (2012) "OxyContin as Currency: OxyContin Use and Increased Social Capital among Rural Appalachian Drug Users." Social Science & Medicine 74:1602-1609.
- Young, A.M., Glover N., Havens J.R. (2012) "Nonmedical Use of Prescription Medications among Adolescents in the US: A Systematic Review." Journal of Adolescent Health 51: 6-17.
- Havens J.R., Young A.M., Havens C. (2011) "Nonmedical Prescription Drug Use among a Nationally Representative Sample of Adolescents: Evidence for Greater Use among Rural Adolescents." Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 165(3): 250-255.
- Young A.M. (2010) "HPV Vaccine Acceptance among Women in the Asian Pacific: A Systematic Review of the Literature." Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention 11(3):421-429.
- International Network for Social Network Analysis
- American Public Health Association
- Kentucky Public Health Association