Patrick encourages high school scientists to compete

Patrick encourages high school scientists to compete Students interested in finding a cure for diseases have another way to cure their college tuition bill.

Dr. Sarah L. Patrick, MPH, Ph.D., a professor at The University of South Dakota, is encouraging South Dakota high school students to compete in the national Young Epidemiology Scholars (YES) Program.

Two national winners each year receive a $50,000 college scholarship and several others earn $35,000 college scholarships.�High school junior s and seniors and their teachers are encouraged by the College Board and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to learn public health problem solving, research study and design through YES.�

Patrick, who teaches in the USD Certificate in Public Health Program and serves as the current chairperson of the American Public Health Association Epidemiology Section, was one of the judges for the national competition this year. She believes South Dakota students are competitive for the prestigious national honor.

"The APHA Epidemiology Section honored some of the YES scholarship winners at our annual meeting in Washington, D.C. last year.�These young scientists are wonderful thinkers and the future leaders in public health and it was a joy to discuss their research and career interests with them," Patrick said.

"I was happy to learn that at least one Vermillion High School student was considering participating in the contest this year."

Patrick recently judged nine of the top projects as a part of a five-person panel of experts.�Sixty students nationwide were invited to present their original research, on topics ranging from teen pregnancy prevention to genetic association of disease.

This year 120 students will share up to $456,000 in scholarship winnings based on the epidemiologic studies they conducted and presented them in Washington, D.C. April 9-10.�

Patrick recommends that students and teachers begin preparing now for next year's competition. To learn more about the YES program and teaching units, visit

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