Aparna has 20 years’ experience at the global, national, and local levels. She has expertise in behavior change and strategic communication, participatory research, cultural competency, and evaluation. She has developed evidence-based national public health frameworks, innovative models for community-based violence prevention, and communication programs to promote health and well-being around the world. Aparna has degrees in International Affairs and Economics (BA), Cultural Anthropology (MA), and Community Social Work (MSW).
As a child of immigrants, I grew up between two worlds, two very different cultures. It wasn’t always easy, but it did push me to question what was normal – and to see the world beyond one perspective, beyond black and white.
When I was six, I spent a year in India with my grandparents. I remember how excited I was to not stick out like a sore thumb in my second grade class. Not to be the only kid with brown skin, a dot on my forehead, and a last name teachers struggled to pronounce. But, I also remember how upsetting it was to see so many kids my age working or begging instead of going to school – and realizing that no one seemed to care.
This opened my eyes to how unfair it is that some have the opportunity to learn and to live to their potential, while others don’t. And it planted the seeds of my motivation to take the opportunities I was given to do something about that. This motivation only grew stronger as I got older, turning into a life-long passion to work toward social justice.
Deep understanding of behavior change. Extensive experience developing evidence-based communication campaigns, resources, and tools for health promotion among diverse communities in the U.S. and abroad.
Developed innovative model for community-based IPV primary prevention among immigrants. Supported creation of national framework for child maltreatment prevention.
Developed frameworks for immunization communication and campaigns across the lifespan. Extensive formative research, message and materials development, training and technical assistance.
Experience partnering with diverse immigrant and minority communities on issues ranging from organizational development to violence prevention and environmental health. Managed national technical assistance and capacity building for immunization coalitions.
Major: International Affairs
Concentration: South Asian Studies
Ramakrishnan, A. Don’t Wait, Vaccinate: Tips and Resources for Communicating with Adult Patients About Vaccination. CME Webinar for American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists presented August 2017.
Ramakrishnan, A. Basket, M. Callis, A. Creating a Communication Framework for Improving Immunization. Presented at the 2016 National Conference on Health Communication, Media, and Marketing. Atlanta, GA.
Bridges, C., Hurley, L. Williams, W., Ramakrishnan, A., Dean, A., Groom, A. (2015). Meeting the Challenges of Immunizing Adults. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 49 (6): S455-464.
Yoshihama, M., Ramakrishnan, A., Hammock, A., & Pasha, M. (2012).Intimate partner violence prevention program in an Asian immigrant community: Integrating theories, data, and community. Violence Against Women 18 (7): 763-783.
Inokuchi, D., Ramakrishnan, A., Sapsis, K.F., & Friedman, A.L. (2009). Findings from Exploratory and Materials Testing Focus Groups with Korean American Parents Regarding Preteen Vaccination and the 11- and 12-Year-Old Checkup. Social Marketing Quarterly 15 (1): 118 — 135.
Yoshihama, M., Hammock, A., Ramakrishnan, A., Pasha, M. Developing a Community-Based Communications Campaign for Prevention. Workshop presented at the 12th Biennial Conference of the Society for Community Research and Action in 2009. New Brunswick, NJ.
Clayton-Davis, J., Ramakrishnan, A. Partnering with Faith Communities. Workshop presented at the 2008 National Conference on Immunization and Health Coalitions. San Francisco, CA.
Checkoway, B., Rignall, K., Ramakrishnan, A. Documenting our History to Chart our Future: Case Studies in Arab-American Community Building. Paper presented at the 2005 Joint American Evaluation Association/Canadian Evaluation Society conference. Toronto, Canada.