Dr. Scott is a native of Oxford, Ohio, and received a BA in Microbiology from Miami University before heading north to do an MS in Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She worked for a biotechnology firm in San Diego before heading back to Baltimore, Maryland, to the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. There she received an MHS in International Health and worked on a vaccine field trial with field sites in Guatemala and Mexico. She stayed at Johns Hopkins for her PhD, where she shifted from laboratory work to a focus on the social and behavioral aspects of public health.

She joined the Kinesiology and Health Sciences Department at William and Mary in 2012. At William and Mary, Dr. Scott continues to develop her research on the social determinants of health and vulnerable populations, using qualitative and community-based approaches.