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Ambassador Stories

Learn how CDC Science Ambassador fellows are applying the innovative strategies taught during the fellowship to inspire the next generation of public health professionals.

Teacher showing a book to students seated at a table.
High School Teacher Inspires Students’ Community Partnership

Ryan Lacson, MS, is a high school biology teacher at Galena High School in rural Missouri. Drawing from what he learned during his time as a 2017 CDC Science Ambassador fellow, Ryan teamed up with his county health department to design a Biology for Public Health course combining the county’s most pressing public health issues. In 2019, his students partnered with a local community organization to train the high school in teen mental health first aid, leading to six additional area schools hosting the training.

Read Ryan’s testimonial about his Science Ambassador Fellowship experience.

Teacher showing a book to students seated at a table.
Fellow's Pandemic Simulation Trains Future Disease Detectives

Todd Brown, PhD, MA, is a 2019 Science Ambassador fellow and outreach director at Sarasota Military Academy Prep. In partnership with Dr. Pardis Sabeti and Dr. Andres Colubri from the Sabeti lab at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Todd developed a mobile-app based activity called Operation Outbreak (O2)external icon. Through the mobile app platform, O2 simulates an airborne pathogen, which “infects” mobile phones through Bluetooth. In December 2019, Todd organized a pandemic simulation activity at his school utilizing O2 in which students role-played as epidemiologists, government officials, military, media, triage workers and more to better understand the role of health organizations and different public health careers.

Learn more about O2 and the recent simulation at the Your Observerexternal icon web site.