High school junior Stephanie Wang published Epidemiology Unmasked to combat the spread of COVID-19 with education.
Online PR News – 30-October-2020 – Katy, TX – Stephanie Wang, a junior from Seven Lakes High School, published Epidemiology Unmasked: An Introduction to Epidemiology in Public Health after witnessing a lack of responsibility and a rapid spread of COVID-19 misinformation in her community. She hopes that she can use education to combat the spread of COVID-19 and instill safe public health practices among citizens.
As a student who has been self-studying epidemiology for five years for the Science Olympiad Disease Detectives event and a 2019 national runner-up, Wang felt an obligation to use her knowledge to help the community overcome this public health crisis. After doing extensive research into why there seemed to be some resistance against following public health safety protocols and how COVID-19 misinformation could spread so rapidly, she realized that many citizens are not educated on fundamental epidemiological concepts. She found that the pre-collegiate school system does not emphasize epidemiology as a necessary field of study, which contributes to why some citizens are in the dark regarding disease transmission.
“Why is it that public health and epidemiology are so de-emphasized in the traditional educational curriculum? If our younger generation understood the mechanisms of disease transmission and the characteristics of epidemics, wouldn’t our situation be much less bleak?” Wang wondered.
Wang decided to tackle this issue that was placing citizens in a vulnerable state by creating a book that would be fun, easy-to-read, and interactive for people without a background in public health. She carefully made sure to explain every concept in a basic way and integrate fun scenarios that put the reader in the shoes of an epidemiologist.
“I wanted to present my book in a friendly way, something that kids and adults without experience in the field would want to read,” Wang said.
The final product was a 117-page textbook filled with carefully curated, engaging graphics, simplified concepts, and a complete outbreak investigation journey.
Wang wanted to amplify the impact of her desire to spread public health awareness, so she taught a course on public health using her book as the curriculum through a non-profit she helped start called Kid Teach Kid. Approximately 1,000 students signed up.
Epidemiology Unmasked has been fact-checked and endorsed by several public health professionals, including Dr. Roy Chemaly, the Director of Infection Control at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. “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!" said Dr. Chemaly.
Wang also received praise from Congressman Pete Olson, who presented her with the Certificate of Congressional Recognition on behalf of the U.S. House of Representatives. “What an impressive accomplishment for such a young person,” said Congressman Olson.
Wang will also be interviewing with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the near future. She is extremely grateful for this opportunity and looks forward to continuing her journey of spreading public health awareness during these challenging times.