NSEC Workshop Presenter Kenny Shults

To whet the appetites of those planning to attend this year’s National Sex Ed Conference, and to provide incentive to do so for those on the fence, we’ll be posting some short interviews with this year’s conference workshop presenters. They’ve got some exciting things in store for us, and conducting these interviews has us eager for conference time!


Kenny ShultsOur first interview post is with Kenny Neal Shults, presenting: MyMediaLife – Population-driven New Media Social Marketing & Branding.

  • What excites you most about the workshop you’re giving?

KS: We’ll be making an actual social marketing campaign during the session, that will be shown during a plenary. This will be an engaging session for anyone who wants to learn how to better market their practice and drive their online presence; how to effectively engage youth to effect behavior change and develop youth advocates; and learn media-based programming.

  • Sex educators often do so many different things.  Tell us a bit about your work life.

KS: I started out as a sexual health/HIV prevention educator in the 90’s. Around 2000, I started to look at the impact of media on sexual behavior and epidemiology, and how service organizations and public health can use media to target at-risk populations. In the last 6 years, I’ve become a digital marketer and film maker of behavior change / social / public service campaigns, targeting specific sexual health domains and to specific populations.

  • Tell us something about where you learned what you know, professionally.

KS: Time on task, doing the work, and being immersed in the community. In 1994-1996, I was the ‘gay community educator’ I started in Austin as the only HIV prevention educator in the area. Most of the emphasis was on care at the time, and prevention wasn’t the primary focus. I moved to San Francisco around the rise of the dot com boom, and I worked for a startup in 1999, which allowed me to learn about effective ways to harness the power of new media. That’s when I was contracted to help develop the first approaches to  bring HIV prevention and services information online.

  • What do you do when you aren’t working?

KS: I do stand-up comedy! I’ve been called an advocacy comic – my material relates to HIV, how the gay community is impacted by substance abuse, HIV, and PReP. Most of the time, it’s just a filthy romp with a bit of education 😉 I also got a puppy who requires tremendous time and attention, but is absolutely worth it.