• Postdoctoral Researcher
Amber Elkins

Educational Background

  • Dr.PH. in Health Promotion & Community Health Sciences | Texas A&M Health Science Center | 2015
  • M.PH. with Honors | American Military University | 2010
  • BA Psychology cum laude | Kent State University | 2008
  • BA Biology, Psychology Minor cum laude | Kent State University |2008
  • Associate of Science cum laude | Kent State University |2008

Research Interests

  • Amber D. Elkins is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in both Epidemiology & Biostatistics in the School of Public Health and in Industrial and Systems Engineering of the College of Engineering at Texas A&M University. Her primary area of expertise is in complex social and health systems modeling of and testing effectiveness of interventions involving: chronic and infectious disease; research integrity; intentional and non-intentional injuries in different contexts; homelessness; shelter operations, management and logistics in disaster prevention and management; and epistemology, ontology and teleology within framing of the problem and within modeling to understand and address complex systems, their deficiencies, and the problems resulting from these. Current research topics involve complex systems modeling of and interventions related to traffic safety, cultures of violence, and type 2 diabetes in vulnerable populations.

    Elkins received her bachelor of arts degree in Biology and her bachelor of arts degree in Psychology from Kent State University, her master's of public health degree from American Military University, and her doctor of public health degree from the Texas A&M Health Science Center. She designed and taught a graduate-level course (primarily doctoral) on systems thinking in public health, and taught and assisted both online and in-person formats of a non-major, introductory course involving social and behavioral health. She previously served as a fellow in complex systems modeling for public health research at the University of Michigan, a co-principal investigator at the Texas Census Data Research Center (once for a project involving modeling of alcohol-outlets and domestic violence and once for a project involving elder abuse in long-term care facilities), contributed as a research assistant to a grant with the National Institute of Aging at the Texas A&M Health Science Center, and coordinated an international program with medical professionals from Xiamen, China. Although primarily interested in systems approaches, she also has experience in traditional analytic methods employed in public health and epidemiology such as categorical, multivariate and longitudinal data analysis.

    Elkins is an appointed special interest group chair for the International Society for the Systems Sciences, an honorary member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS/Science), a member of the Equal Rights Campaign, a QPR Certified Prevention Gatekeeper, and previously served as a public health mentor and psychology mentor for the Global Mentoring Network. She is an active volunteer in numerous animal rescue non-profit organizations and in local animal shelters, in humanitarian aid projects (primarily involving housing, clothing, and goods for women and minorities), and in various disaster response groups.

     

Awards & Honors

  • Fellowship Travel & Tuition Award | University of Michigan | 2015
  • AAAS/Science Program for Excellence in Science Award | AAAS/Science | 2015 – 2017
  • President’s Honors List Award | American Public University System | 2009
  • Dean’s List Award | American Public University System | 2009
  • Dean’s List Award | Kent State University | 2006, 2007 & 2008

Selected Publications

  • Elkins, A.D., Gorman, D.M., & Lawley, M.A (2016). Systems models of the social ecology of traffic safety to analyze the effectiveness of interventions. Journal of the International Society for the Systems Sciences: Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Systems Sciences – Boulder, CO. ISSN: 2016-2873.
  • Elkins, A.D., Shipp, E.M., Gorman, D.M., Wunderlich, R.C., & Lawley, M.A. (2016). Systems models of the social ecology of traffic safety to analyze the effectiveness of interventions. Journal of the International Society for the Systems Sciences: Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Systems Sciences – Boulder, CO. ISSN: 2016-2878.
  • Elkins, A.D. (2015). Systems approaches in public health (Doctoral dissertation). Texas A&M University, College Station, TX. Available from http://oaktrust.library.tamu.edu/handle/1969.1/156292?show=full.
  • Elkins, A.D., Gorman, D.M., Maddock, J.E., Kum, H.C., & Lawley, M.A. (2015). The value of the frame: Painting complexity using two chronic disease models. Journal of the International Society for the Systems Sciences: Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Systems Sciences – Berlin, DE. ISSN: 1999-6918. Available from http://journals.isss.org/index.php/proceedings59th/article/view/2604
  • Elkins, A.D., & Gorman, D.M. (2014). Systems theory in public health. In Oxford Bibliographies in Public Health (D. McQueen, ed.), Oxford University Press, New York. DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780199756797-0072. Available from http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780199756797/obo-9780199756797-0072.xml
  • Elkins, A.D., & Gorman, D.M. (2014). Validating models in public health. Journal of the International Society for the Systems Sciences: Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Systems Sciences – Washington, DC. ISSN: 1999-6918. Available from http://journals.isss.org/index.php/proceedings58th/article/view/2320