Our Narratives

September 1, 2022

Kameron Sheats standing by the wall sign at Johnson C. Smith University

In her freshman year at Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, Kameron Sheats was thriving. She was making good grades and adjusting to being one a few young Black women in a predominately White academic environment —just as she always had. But as she thought about the future, she realized that the time to experience the world in the context of a nurturing, Black academic setting would not come again. So she made a plan: She would apply to an HBCU in the South.

Kameron, a behavioral scientist in NCIPC’s Division of Violence Prevention, boarded a Greyhound bus to Charlotte, North Carolina, to visit Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU). She didn’t know anyone, and she hadn’t booked a hotel room, so she planned to meet with the admissions team and get back on a bus headed back to South Hadley. That plan went awry—in the best possible way.

August 11, 2022

Melinda Jordan with a background of green trees

Melinda Jordan, CPH, began her decades-long public health career as a way to make ends meet.  A recent college graduate with a newly purchased car, Jordan simply needed a stable income to make that car note. To that end, she was hired by CDC in 1991 and started working as a disease intervention specialist (DIS) in Lauderhill, FL.

While her short-term goal of paying the bills was met, the longer-term trajectory of her life was changed as Jordan fell in love with public health and helping people stay safe and healthy. She is now the deputy director of the Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) within the National Center for HIV, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP).