Tekely selected to participate in CDC’s Science Ambassador Fellowship

HERSHEY, Pa. — Emilie Tekely, a human research technologist and project manager at Penn State Cancer Institute, has been accepted into the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) prestigious Science Ambassador Fellowship program. She is one of 24 participants from across the country selected to take part in the yearlong learning opportunity aimed at introducing children to the world of public health sciences.

The CDC Science Ambassador Fellowship kicks off in July with a weeklong course in Atlanta. After that, participants will collaborate remotely with experts at the CDC on educational approaches, topical discussions and class curriculums for middle school and high school students.

Tekely, who is a biology and science teacher at Dauphin County Technical School in Harrisburg, is looking forward to the fellowship opportunity, because it aligns closely with her professional experience.

“During my time working at the College of Medicine, I have learned about public health and epidemiology, and how those concepts can benefit high school students. Epidemiology allows the students to think critically about health-related issues or diseases and gives students other skills related to STEM education that will help them succeed in their courses. The CDC’s Science Ambassador Fellowship program will help increase my knowledge about epidemiology and provide more educational strategies that I will be able to incorporate into my classroom," Tekely said.

As part of her work with Penn State, Tekely helps regional high school students explore science-based research and related careers. As a member of the College of Medicine and Cancer Institute’s Early Preparation and Inspiration for Careers in the Biomedical Sciences (EPIC) Project, she works with high school students from Cedar Cliff, John Harris, Lower Dauphin, Middletown Area and Sci Tech high schools.

“We are so delighted to congratulate Emilie on this outstanding achievement. This is a tremendous honor, and we look forward to seeing all that Emilie will be able to bring back and teach her students,” said Dr. Robin Taylor Wilson, director of the Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) Program at Penn State College of Medicine, Penn State Cancer Institute.

The EPIC Project, led by Wilson, hosts a hands-on, one-year, project-based learning opportunity called the Epi Challenge. The Epi Challenge is conducted by science teacher coaches at regional high schools, who are mentored by Penn State faculty, as either during the school day enrichment or an after school club opportunity. Students learn to “think like an epidemiologist” as they develop their own team research projects and then report back at a year-end research symposium. The challenge offers teams a unique way to learn about public health, disease prevention and best practices in research.

For more about the EPIC Project, visit http://www.pennstatehershey.org/web/cancer/epic.

For more about the CDC’s Science Ambassador Fellowship, visit https://www.cdc.gov/careerpaths/scienceambassador/.

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Last Updated July 06, 2017