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Amanda Carpenter

Amanda Carpenter, 38

Assistant Professor and Program Director of Public Health

Arkansas State University

Jonesboro

Professional achievements
• Completed master’s and doctoral degrees in public health (and currently working on a second master’s in epidemiology and biostatistics).
• Developed public health undergraduate program at A-State.
• Published more than 20 book chapters and journal articles.
• Secured grant funding from state and federal agencies.

Community involvement
Conducted community-based research focused on increasing vaccine knowledge and awareness among minority populations.

Top challenge facing Arkansas
“Arkansas is a very rural state, and addressing challenges faced by rural areas such as health care access, economic development, education and infrastructure will be critical in growing and progressing.”

Most valuable lessons learned
“The best answer sometimes is ‘I don’t know.’”

Advice for future 40 Under 40 honorees
“Be a lifelong learner, seek feedback and learn from failure.”

Advice to your 18-year-old self
“Practice gratitude, be present, set goals and invest in yourself.”

Mentor and lessons taught
“I have been lucky to learn from many truly inspirational mentors, primarily my professors and colleagues. They taught me the value of patience, flexibility and persistence. They also spent valuable time giving advice and helping with professional development. I cannot thank them enough for helping shape the person that I am today.”

First job and lessons learned
“After completing my doctorate, I worked in research consulting in Washington, D.C. I gained valuable leadership, teamwork and project management skills. I truly learned the value of interdisciplinary work and perspectives in shaping high-quality research.”

Professional inspiration
“The pursuit of knowledge and shaping the next generation of leaders.”

Professional “aha” moment
“Early in my undergraduate studies when I discovered what I was interested in studying. This important step really helped define my career path and goals.”

Career dream as a child
“Lawyer and ballerina — both of my parents were lawyers, so it seemed like a great career. And I really loved ballet when I was young.”

Most fulfilling career moment
“Teaching, mentoring and collaborating with students. The best reward is seeing my students succeed.”

Making Arkansas more attractive to young professionals
“Incorporating more activities, amenities, community engagement and other quality-of-life enhancements.”

Best thing about Arkansas
“The natural beauty and the people. I have lived all across the country, and Arkansas is the most welcoming place.”

Where you see yourself in 10 years
“Tenured and promoted, hopefully to full professor, the highest professorial rank. I would like to continue to seek leadership roles in higher education.”

How you define success
“Success is defined by doing impactful work and achieving personal fulfillment.”

One word to describe you
“Optimistic.”

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40 Under 40

June 10, 2025

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