Colton Young

Colton Young

The School of Public Health made it easy to be successful as a first-generation college student. The support, encouragement and opportunities to connect with faculty truly made a difference.

Why did you choose to study public health at WVU?  

I chose to pursue a Master of Health Administration at West Virginia University because the faculty and staff showed their commitment and passion for the field and prospective students. Unlike other programs that I was accepted into, the staff welcomed me early on and showed their interest in my career goals.  

Have any members of the faculty or staff influenced you in a unique way?  

There are many faculty who have been influential in my academic career and given me opportunities to be equally as successful in my professional career. Dr. France Weaver has instilled grit and accountability inside and outside the classroom to be the best student and professional that I can be. Dr. Weaver has always asked the right questions, probed me to think critically, and given me insight on how to be a servant leader.

Dr. Steve Davis has also played a key role in my undergraduate and graduate career. Dr. Davis has gone out of his way to make sure that I always know that he is able to support me or open doors through networks and experiential opportunities.

Lastly, Assistant Dean Scot McIntosh has showed me the joy in meeting people, creating relationships, and always trying to be a positive influence with classmates, colleagues, and faculty.  

What would you tell prospective students about WVU and the School of Public Health? 

The School of Public Health has countless opportunities to get involved and make a difference in Morgantown and the entire Appalachian region. Faculty equip you with the skills and resources to be successful inside and outside the classroom. Take advantage of relationships with faculty, and never turn down an opportunity to learn alongside respected leaders.  

What advice would you give to your freshman self?  

I would tell my freshman self to get involved in student organizations, in the classroom and in the community. There are so many experiential opportunities that set you apart from other candidates when you enter the job market, and you get to make a difference by being involved.  

How have your experiences in the School of Public Health helped prepare you for your future?  

The School of Public Health has helped me shape my soft skills to be marketable in the employment market. The relationships that I have developed with faculty and colleagues has sharpened me in a way by showing me how to interact with people, be intentional and truly care.

Also, the coursework and projects that are worked on in the academic setting are very transferable into the real world and gives me a step ahead of similar students graduating from different programs.  

What do you plan to do upon completion of your degree? 

I plan on staying in Appalachia and contributing to the pioneering and success of the future health of West Virginia.  

Tell us about your first-generation experience.  

The School of Public Health made it easy to be successful as a first-generation college student. The support, encouragement and opportunities to connect with faculty 1 on 1 truly made a difference in my academic career and personal life.  

What is your favorite book?  

“The Ragamuffin Gospel.” 

What is your favorite music genre and/or artist?  

Folk Music/Kindred Valley, Trampled by Turtles, Caamp  

What is your favorite local restaurant?  

Black Bear Burritos

What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not doing schoolwork?  

Being involved in the community.