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Center for Adolescent Health

Center for Adolescent Health Blog

Keyword: research

Diversity Summer Internship Program Reflections 

By Ashley Patricia Parra

Beth Marshall and Ashley Patricia Parra standing next to Ashley's research poster

This summer I had the opportunity to intern at the Center for Adolescent Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, specifically under Dr. Beth Marshall. I evaluated outcomes of the U Choose Coalition’s teen pregnancy prevention initiative, which began in 2015. Through the initiative, sexual health education was implemented in middle schools, high schools, and Title X clinics all over Baltimore City. Prior to this program, Baltimore City schools did not have a cohesive health education or sexual health education curricula. My project was focused on analyzing trends in teen birth rates, rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea, as well as changes in sexual risk behavior over time.

Though my background is in psychology, I am so grateful to have been able to do a project evaluating the outcomes of a sexual health education, as I think that this type of curricula is necessary and should be taught in all schools to inform and empower youth. The type of work being done in the Center is holistic, and the researchers and staff there constantly think about centering youth voices and practicing equity. I am so lucky to have been able to work in this type of environment.

After the internship I will begin working for the Arizona chapter of 4-H, a national youth development organization. I believe that everything I learned during my time at the Center for Adolescent Health—what it means to engage with community members in an equitable way, how to revise a mission/vision statement, how to be cognizant of including practices that move towards being a sustainable anti-racist organization, and how to engage with different stakeholders to complete common goals—prepared me for my new job and informed me on the type of conversations that need to be had and questions that need to be asked in order to sustain equitable practices in all of the work that I do.

I really loved my time here in Baltimore. The cohort of DSIP interns all became close friends of mine, and it was so nice to be able to do work together and explore Baltimore and DC with them. I also learned so much throughout my time interning with the CAH, and I am so grateful to the faculty, staff, researchers, community and youth advisory board members who shared their lived experiences and wisdom with me. I am beyond grateful for all of these experiences.

 Phil LeafTamar Mendelson Beth Marshall Terri Powell Kristin Mmari

From top (left to right):  Phil Leaf, Tamar Mendelson, Beth Marshall, Terri Powell, Kristin Mmari

Johns Hopkins Center for Adolescent Health faculty, staff and trainees are thrilled to present their work at the upcoming American Public Health Association Annual Conference in sunny San Diego, California (Nov. 10-14, 2018). We are excited to connect with our Prevention Research Center program colleagues and other public health professionals! 

Johns Hopkins Center for Adolescent Health APHA 2018 Presentations

Monday, November 12, 2018

  1.  1:20 pm-1:40 pm | 3273.0 Patient and provider perspectives on group-based obstetrics care to reduce perinatal mood and anxiety disorders | CAH author: Tamar Mendelson 
  2. 2:00 pm-2:20 pm | 3273.0 Addressing Perinatal Depression Among Medicaid Recipients: An Analysis of Policy Opportunities | CAH author: Tamar Mendelson 

Tuesday, November 13

  1. 8:50 am-9:10 am | 4022.0 Exploring the Influence of Food Insecurity on Risky Behaviors among Opportunity Youth | CAH authors: Asari Offiong (trainee), Kristin Mmari, Tamar Mendelson
  2. 9:30 am-9:45 am | 4065.0 "We learn about sex after we get pregnant": Adolescent perspectives of sexual health education across Baltimore, MD | CAH authors: Terri Powell, Courtney Turner (former research assistant), McKane Sharff (trainee), Beth Marshall 
  3. 5:40 pm-6:00 pm | 4448.0 A multi-informant qualitative analysis of implementing an evidence-based intervention in Baltimore City Public Middle Schools | CAH authors: Terri Powell, Meghan Jo, Julian Owens (former trainee), Beth Marshall, Anne Smith (trainee), Asari Offiong (trainee), Phil Leaf 

Wednesday, November 14

  1. 9:30 am-9:50 am | 5047.0 Size Matters: Addressing Social Determinants of Health through Black Churches | CAH authors: Terri Powell, Keiana West (former intern), Courtney Turner

Nan Astone, a former CAH researcher.

Nan Astone, a former Johns Hopkins School of Public Health professor and Center for Adolescent Health researcher, passed away June 15. Nan was dedicated to improving the lives of young people in Baltimore and the world. She was a cherished mentor, teacher, colleague, wife, mother, friend, Girl Scout leader and Sunday school teacher.

Nan was passionate about designing programs to benefit adolescents experiencing homelessness and housing instability. “Some of the solutions that are proposed to serve homeless people who are older might not fit. Homeless young people are quite invisible,” she explained in a video interview. Through surveys, Nan sought to learn more about the day-to-day experiences of youth experiencing homelessness so interventions could be developed to better suit their actual needs.

Nan earned a PhD in sociology from the University of Chicago in 1988. Following a post-doctoral fellowship at University of Wisconsin, she joined the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health at the Bloomberg School. Nan was a PFRH faculty member for 24 years. She later worked at The Urban Institute’s Center for Labor, Human Services and Population as a Senior Fellow.

As a researcher, Nan’s skills were unique in that she designed both surveys of small community based groups and large nationally representative samples.  

Nan published over 75 manuscripts in a variety of journals on a range of subjects including: the transition to adulthood, school dropout, and family demography. An expert in demographic and statistical methods used for longitudinal data analysis, Nan received the W.T. Grant Faculty Scholars Award in 1991. For several years, Nan was the deputy editor of the Population Association of America’s official journal, Demography.

“I do what I do so that all young people make the transition to adulthood as full of hope and confidence in the future as I did,” she said.  

Nan is survived by her husband, Nick Burbank; her children, Daniel and Katie Burbank; and her father, Buck Astone. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Youth Empowered Society and Girl Scouts of America.

By: Lauren Burns