Professor and Associate Chair, Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Office of the Dean
6116 Public Health , Graduate School of Public Health
Primary Phone: 967-179-8165
I am committed to an integrated public health program of conducting innovative research, educating the next generation of professionals and serving communities. The primary focus of my work is on the complex realities and context of women’s health, specifically the syndemic interactions of sexual & reproductive health, intimate partner violence, substance use and mental health. Over the past 20 years, I have developed a research agenda that focuses on various pieces of this puzzle among populations in multiple settings and I have successfully illustrated the strength of mixed methods for informing action-oriented research. I intentionally use a partnership approach to my work and enjoy strong collaborations with academic colleagues, graduate students and community partners.
My experience living in Thailand as a child, education and training in cultural anthropology, international health and social and behavioral sciences, and commitment to health equity provide a solid foundation for my approach to public health research, education and practice which is best summarized in the 2014 Methods in Community Health: Integrated and Engaged Approaches book that I developed and co-edited.
1994 New York University, New York, NY, BA Cultural Anthropology
1998 Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, MHS International Health
2003 Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, PhD Social & Behavioral Sciences
I teach several graduate level courses including Concept Mapping (BCHS 2610) and Systems Theories and Approaches (BCHS 2992). I regularly work with students interested in conducting community health and mixed methods research and frequently serve on thesis and dissertation committees.
I direct the Concept Mapping Institute located in the department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences (BHCS). The Institute is a designated concept mapping center of practice by the Concept Systems Centers of Practice (CS COP) Program and provides access to the concept mapping project license at discounted licensing rates, technical support for concept mapping research, and basic and advanced trainings for those interested in using the method.
I serve as Deputy Director of the Center for Social Dynamics and Community Health. The CSHCH applies systems science and mixed methods approaches to better understand the mechanisms underlying community health issues. By studying the complex contexts of health behaviors and the dynamic interactions of individuals with their social and physical environments, researchers at the CSDCH seek to identify and inform multi-level public health intervention opportunities.
I developed and direct the University of Pittsburgh Certificate Program in Community Based Participatory Research and Practice. The certificate in Community-Based Participatory Research and Practice (CBPRP) includes courses in Community Health, Community Based Participatory Research, Community Engaged Research Methods and Community Leadership. It also includes a six-credit internship, matching students with a local community agency.
1. Introducing and applying innovative quantitative and qualitative research methods that embrace complexity and creativity to explore the systems of interconnected influences affecting health and wellbeing.
2. Engaging communities and stakeholders in the process of research and its translation.
3. Developing and evaluating tailored interventions to address contextual influences.
4. Exploring and documenting the intersecting epidemics of substance use, HIV/AIDS, intimate partner violence and mental health.