Francesca Genevieve Weaks
Bowie State and Morgan State Universities
Francesca Genevieve Weaks focuses on eliminating health disparities in all communities. It’s work that has captivated her since she was undergraduate at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro and founded the school’s American Red Cross club.
Now on an academic track, Weaks teaches public health and health science classes at Bowie State and Morgan State universities as well as Community College of Baltimore County. Previously she taught at Towson University.
What’s exciting about this work, Weaks said, is that the way practitioners promote public health has changed in the past decade to include more input from the communities they serve. The resulting dialogue is more fruitful.
“Our language and methods for how we address health issues have had to change over the last decade, and I have been honored to be a part of that shift and movement of how we strategically plan, market and advertise in communities,” Weaks said.
Weaks, who grew up in rural North Carolina in a single parent household, said she was warned not to dream too big. As the first person in her family to earn an undergraduate degree as a traditional student, she hopes to inspire her students to achieve more than they dream of as well.
“Professionally I love pouring hope, encouragement and joy into my students,” said Weaks, who is within a year of finishing her Ph.D. “Being able to reach back and give them more because of my struggles and what I had to learn is one of my greatest accomplishments.”
Weaks is member of the Glen Community Association and sits on the board of the Maryland Academy of Technology and Science. She is also an American Red Cross first aid and CPR instructor.