Ashley (Smith) Johnson ’15

The Ohio Public Health Association (OPHA) recognized psychology major Ashley Johnson as a "public health champion."

BW Alumna Recognized as a Public Health Champion

February 24, 2017

Ashley (Smith) Johnson ’15

Becoming the healthiest nation is no easy task. Yet BW grad Ashley (Smith) Johnson ’15 is contributing monumental efforts toward this formidable goal. In fact, the Ohio Public Health Association (OPHA) recognized Johnson as a "public health champion."

Johnson’s honor was part of National Public Health Week, a growing movement to create the healthiest nation in one generation. OPHA recognizes individuals who play a key role in improving the health of communities.

Get Moving

Johnson is committed to addressing obesity and her projects are geared toward getting the public moving. One recent focus has been supporting CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health), which is being implemented in after-school programs at various locations in the Akron Area YMCA. Johnson is conducting a program evaluation, and taking a leading role in data collection and analysis.

In an article on the Kent State University website, where Johnson is a graduate teaching and research assistant pursuing a Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in social behavioral sciences, the Berea native said, "I enjoy data analysis, writing manuscripts, and the planning process associated with research. The two projects I am currently working on both relate to physical activity, which is one of my passions."

An Ounce of Prevention

A research fellow at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital and member of the American Public Health Association, Johnson is a firm believer in prevention.

"I believe that preventative measures can influence most, if not all, of the current leading health indicators, such as obesity, substance abuse and tobacco," Smith said. "If we focused more of our efforts on prevention, many health issues would not progress as quickly, or could become eradicated."

A Solid BW Foundation

At BW, Smith combined studies in behavioral sciences and public health to essentially create a customized education in "health psychology," although her official major was psychology. She served as a psychology student research coordinator, president of Psi Chi and treasurer of the BW Psychology Club.

She also received BW's William Prokasy Award for her academic achievements and contributions to the field of psychology.