Our crisis has been unprecedented.
A lack of public health literacy has been the Achilles heel of the education system.
The onset of the coronavirus pandemic in early March brought with it the onset of the “new normal.” There was limited contact with our friends, and we watched the world we knew transform so drastically within a matter of a few days.
Throughout the pandemic, I witnessed a lot of instances of irresponsibility in my community and tons of misinformation that spread extremely rapidly across the cyber world. Online, I’d see several news reports from all across our country detailing accounts of rapid COVID-19 case influx and shocking disinformation.
Why was it so hard to act responsibly? Why was it so hard to understand that one’s actions have far-reaching consequences? As I began thinking about this more deeply, I realized that there was a very steep learning curve when it comes to epidemiology. I remember lamenting the lack of an introductory textbook that would provide an approachable and gentle presentation of epidemiology. I remember not once learning about a single epidemiological concept in school.
If our citizens do not understand the ease of disease transmission or basic concepts underlying population transfer of infectious diseases, how can we expect them to eagerly and staunchly follow the suggestions recommended by public health professionals? Why is epidemiology so de-emphasized in the school curriculum?
That's how Epidemiology Unmasked was brought to fruition.
Student's COVID-inspired textbook garnering praise from doctors, politicians
Source: CBS-affiliate KHOU 11
Stephanie, great job on this book. I enjoyed reading it and I see you did lots of research into it and you were right to the point. It reads very nicely and clearly. You are set to become a successful epidemiologist!!
Dr. Roy Chemaly, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Brilliantly written, very easy to read, and a fun book for everybody! Extremely thought-provoking and interesting.
Professor Zhaoming He, Texas Tech University
What an impressive accomplishment for such a young person.
Congressman Pete Olson, TX-22
What's Been Accomplished
Creating a positive feedback loop
Beyond writing Epidemiology Unmasked, I recognized the outstanding ability to create change in our communities, leveraging this book for use in improving public health literacy with a multifaceted approach.
With the profits earned from Epidemiology Unmasked, I was able to donate 1,000 masks to Christ Clinic, a local clinic that serves underinsured patients in the Houston area. I have been volunteering here since 8th grade, and I would love to give back to them in any way possible.
Virtual Book Tour
I have been speaking at local schools, podcasts, and conferences to promote Epidemiology Unmasked and spread public health literacy across the nation.
Interested in booking Stephanie to speak?
Public Health Education Legislation
A legislative proposal to increase accessibility to public health education in pre-collegiate schools. I propose the following amendments:
Add epidemiological standards in the education statutes
Include epidemiological investigations in science/health classes
Increase epidemiology/public health education resources for teachers
I have been advocating for this educational policy to our lawmakers and leaders.
I spoke with Senator John Cornyn's team to discuss ways to improve public health literacy for our children through adequate education.
I spoke with Texas Senator Lois Kolkhorst's team to amend the education statutes in Texas.
I will testify at the Texas State Board of Education's April meeting to propose public health education reform.
Public Health Educational Curriculum
A free lesson & project-based activity covering introductory epidemiological & public health concepts designed for use in 6-10th grade biology/health classes. The curriculum is best completed in 4 days in a classroom setting. It includes...
1 outbreak investigation packet
3 possible project descriptions & instructions
1 free ebook copy of Epidemiology Unmasked
For a limited time, I am making this entire curriculum free to use for educators who want to spread public health literacy to our youth! It does not require an extensive public health background on the part of the educator. Just fill out a quick request form.
I have been invited to present this curriculum to the annual Katy ISD conference for science teachers and is scheduled to be taught Seven Lakes High School in May 2021. I am in the process of adding it to other local school curriculums.
Kid Teach Kid Public Health Summer Program
A free, virtual, 4-week summer program where I taught the basics of epidemiology and public health to elementary, middle, and high school students from across the nation. Over 1,000 registrations.