Focus on Faculty: Kerry Redican
Kerry Redican is a professor in the Department of Population Health Sciences and an associate director of the Master of Public Health program. He holds a bachelor’s degree from California State University at Long Beach, a Master of Science in Public Health degree from the University of California at Los Angeles, a Master of Public Health degree in health administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a doctorate in community health from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Redican also has a dual appointment as a professor in the Department of Basic Sciences at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. He has been married to his wife, Barbara, for 32 years and has two adult children, Kelly and Kyle, and one granddaughter.
I was born in Chicago but moved to California at a young age (4 years old). I grew up in Huntington Beach, California, which I would consider my hometown.
What are your current responsibilities at the college? If you teach, what do you teach?
I am a professor in the Department of Population Health Sciences (MPH program) and teach Fundamentals of Public Health, Program Development in Health Education, Health of the Elderly, and Comparative Health Care and Public Health Systems. I also conduct research and participate in service activities.
When did you come to the college, and what brought you here?
I have been at Virginia Tech for over 30 years. I have been a faculty member in VA-MD Vet Med for the past four-plus years—prior to that I was a faculty member in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Before coming to Virginia Tech, I was a faculty member at Arizona State University for three years. I didn’t care much for the Arizona heat. I had a number of different opportunities and I chose Virginia Tech because of the quality of the university, the excellent collaborative environment, vision of the leadership, and the land-grant focus.
What are your favorite courses and why?
PHS 5004 - Fundamentals of Public Health (I enjoy covering the wide variety of topics) and PHS 5224 - Comparative Health Care and Public Health Systems (It is interesting that so many countries spend considerably less of their GDP on health care than the United States and yet have universal coverage and better health outcomes. It’s interesting to study how high quality health care systems function in light of economics and culture.)
Describe your ideal student.
A student who is serious, intrinsically motivated, dependable, and doesn't take short cuts.
What interests you about your field?
Public health is dynamic—an absolutely fascinating and engaging field—never a dull moment!
What is your area of research? Why did you decide to focus on that area?
Most of my research has focused on youth risk behavior using variations of the CDC Youth Risk Behavior Survey. To that end, I have enjoyed collecting surveillance data and informing communities of problem areas and helping develop and implement prevention and intervention strategies to address those areas that have exceeded the tolerable limits of the respective communities.
Whatever movie my 7-year-old granddaughter wants to see—so right now the short list is Frozen and How to Train Your Dragon 2, and of course every 7-year-old’s favorite, The Shawshank Redemption (just kidding—that’s my favorite).
Do you have any pets?
We have a 15-year-old “Chorkie” (half Yorkshire terrier and half Chihuahua) who has the cute face of a Yorkie and the attitude of a Chihuahua!
Anything else you wish to share?
Highlights of my career at VA-MD Vet Med include working closely with dedicated colleagues to develop the MPH program within a One Health framework and almost two decades of serving on the Faculty Senate. I served three times as Senate president, which included being a non-voting member of Virginia Tech’s Board of Visitors.