!

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Daily Updates and ResourcesCOVID Resources

Family Medicine & Epidemiology Directories

Julie Russo

Julie Russo [View Image]

Department: Division of Epidemiology

I graduated from James Madison University in 2019 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Sciences. During my undergraduate studies, I was an assistant facilitator for sexual education for a teenage pregnancy prevention program in Harrisonburg and surrounding counties. This gave me the opportunity to work with high-risk youth in a space that allowed them to ask questions or voice concerns over daunting topics. The curriculum primarily focused on motivating behavior change by addressing factors such as attitudes/beliefs, social skills, and parent/child communication. In my time observing, I not only saw how important it was for adolescents to have a voice, but also someone who will listen and seek to understand them. My passion for youth development and sexual health education developed from this experience. Outside of the classroom, I spent time researching topics such as Adverse Childhood Experience Scores, high-risk behaviors of adolescents, and sexual education. I gained a stronger understanding of the social determinants of health and how they directly impact the overall health and well-being of individuals and populations, driving my interest in pursuing a Master of Public Health to focus on health education and promotion. I was drawn to Virginia Commonwealth University’s comprehensive curriculum, which allows students to gain skills in multiple competencies such as professional development, public health data, programmatic experience, and so on.

Back to Listing

View graphic version