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Meet Jamila

Jamila Young

Professor Jamila Young Follows Her Dream at Salem College

On her first day of kindergarten, Professor Jamila Young’s father dropped her off and told her to ‘leave no stone unturned.’ Over the years, her parents encouraged her that she could be anything she wanted and she did just that. From her childhood years in Albany, Georgia until now, she discovered her love for learning and her drive for making an impact on the world. Her natural curiosity and zest for leadership led her to becoming an assistant professor of health law and policy at Salem College. Professor Young’s expertise spans health policy and advocacy, bioethics, practicing law, and health leadership making her a natural fit on Salem’s campus, where Salem is the nation’s only college exclusively dedicated to elevating and expanding women in health leadership roles.

As an English graduate of Georgia’s Kennesaw State University, a Doctor of Law (J.D.) from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, and a Master of Arts in Health Law and Policy from Hofstra University in New York, Prof. Young positively impacts Salem’s students beyond the classroom status quo. From TikTok to the textbook, Prof. Young connects her students with today’s pop culture and how it intersects with the interesting dynamics of law and bioethics, which is the study of ethical, social, and legal issues in biomedicine and biomedical research.

“I care about my students and about meeting them where they are at in their college learning experience,” Prof. Young said. I want to bring them real world practices in the classroom that are relevant and meaningful to them,” she added.

For Prof. Young, teaching goes beyond what students are learning in the classroom and believes in the power of mentoring students in a way that helps them connect the idea of what they want their futures to be and how to develop a plan for that.

“Above all, I am most passionate about mentoring students,” Prof. Young said. For me, it’s all about finding the right balance between giving students the grace they need to navigate challenges in life and in college while also holding them accountable to be successful and achieve their dreams.”

When you ask Prof. Young what she loves most about teaching Salem students, she states that it is being a part of a personable campus and really getting to know students.

“I have such fun and robust conversations with our students and I really enjoy the open dialogues that take place on campus,” Prof. Young said. I love that Salem’s campus is small and we cultivate close relationships with everyone. Our students are absolutely remarkable people!”

In addition to Salem’s close-knit community, Prof. Young flourishes working in an environment where everyone treats her and her seven-year-old son, Tre, like family.

“Salem’s faculty really made me and Tre feel at home since we moved here from Georgia,” Prof. Young said. Coming from a very close family, feeling that connection with my colleagues here at Salem was so important to me,” she added.

Prof. Young is also passionate about equity, diversity and inclusion which Salem upholds to be essential when developing the next generation of leaders. With over 50% of students being BIPOC at Salem, one of the driving forces Prof. Young considered important when choosing Salem was to ensure and continue the outward facing of diversity amongst faculty and representation as a woman of color in academia.

From engaging with her students on topics of health policy, to connecting with her colleagues about Salem’s community, Prof. Young feels right at home at Salem as she embarks on her own remarkable journey.

As Salem’s assistant professor of health law and policy, Prof. Young is making a big impact by serving as Salem’s pre-law advisor and helping students navigate partnerships with law schools. This semester, she teaches Debating Ethical Issues in hopes of preparing students to join the Ethics Debate Team and teaching students how to effectively communicate in today’s complicated world. She’s teaching students about constitutional law, ethics, and the history of health policy and how important they will be in shaping the next generation’s future of health.

Salem’s mission develops students to be leaders and prepares them to create healthier and more equitable communities and through Prof. Young’s remarkable work as a leader, teacher, mentor, colleague, mom, and friend, she’s helping Salem students understand how to find their own passions and make their own dreams come true.

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Salem College students at graduation

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