Tarleton’s Edwards Named to Panel for National Public Health Initiative


Friday, September 3, 2021

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Dr. Jennifer T. Edwards, Assistant Provost and Assistant Vice President for Academic Diversity Initiatives, has been appointed to the Transformative Educational Models and Pedagogy expert panel to identify strategies to strengthen public health education.

The panel will inform Framing the Future: Education for Public Health 2030, an initiative of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH).

Dr. Edwards, a Professor of Communication Studies, will join 12-15 experts from various disciplines and panel chairs Dean Amy Fairchild (Ohio State University) and Dr. Shan Mohammed (Northeastern) for a two-year period — September 2021 through August 2023. Their goal is to help create “equitable, quality education in public health for achieving health equity and well-being for everyone, everywhere.”

“Over the past few years, I have had numerous opportunities to collaborate with public health scholars, such as Dr. Subi Gandhi,” Dr. Edwards said. “I am excited about bringing communication and equity-focused perspectives to the fields of health promotion and public health.” Dr. Gandhi is an Associate Professor in the Tarleton College of Health Sciences and Human Services. 

ASPPH has designed three expert panels on which to drive research and discovery in public health for the next 10 years. The other two panels are to promote inclusive excellence through an anti-racism lens and to expand the reach, visibility and impact of public health education.

Dr. Edwards’ research areas include government communication, education, rural issues and social media. Most recently, she published a book chapter about crisis communication during the pandemic and executed a grant focused on encouraging rural representation in the 2020 Census.

She is the executive director of both the Rural Communication Institute and the Texas Social Media Research Institute, founding editor of the Rural Communication Journal, and for 10 years a member of the Council on Undergraduate Research. She has more than 75 publications and presentations since starting at Tarleton in 2009.

See https://www.aspph.org/teach-research/framing-the-future/ for more on Framing the Future: Education for Public Health 2030.

A founding member of The Texas A&M University System, Tarleton transforms generations by inspiring discovery, leadership and inclusion through teaching and research. Degree programs for more than 14,000 students in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian, at RELLIS Academic Alliance in Bryan, and online emphasize real-world learning that addresses regional needs while sustaining the values of excellence, integrity and respect. 

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