Carolyn M. Orbann

Carolyn Orbann


Associate Teaching Professor

Current position

  • Associate Teaching Professor
  • Coordinator of International and Intercultural Initiatives

Educational background

  • Ph.D. – Anthropology, University of Missouri, 2014
  • M.A. – Anthropology, California State University, 2006
  • B.A. – Anthropology, The George Washington University, 1999

Courses taught

  • Culture and Health Literacy
  • Introduction to the Research Process and Evidence Base
  • Health Care in the U.S.
  • Health Sciences Internship Abroad
  • Global Public Health
  • Introduction to Public Health Principles and Practices

Research interests

I am interested in the ways that cultural behaviors influence the spread of infectious disease in human populations. To do this, I use a number of methods, including agent-based computer simulation models and historical epidemiology using primary source records. I am particularly interested in population contact and cultural change in times of epidemic disease, and have focused on two main periods: the 1918 influenza pandemic and the colonization of Alta California by the Spanish in the 18th and 19th centuries.


  • View Dr. Orbann’s publications here

Teaching Excellence Award winner

Professor Orbann was a recipient for the 2014 Writing Intensive Excellence Award. The WI Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes outstanding WI teaching that helps achieve the mission of Writing to Learn and Learning to Write within the disciplines.

DHS Faculty of Year Award for 2020

Professor Orbann received the Department of Health Sciences faculty of Year award. This award recognizes an outstanding DHS faculty or staff member who has made a significant impact on students and the university through teaching, research, mentorship, service, and/or professional development. This individual is committed to the department’s mission and seeks every opportunity to advance that mission among students and the academic community.

In the news

Public Health student Paige Smith

Dec. 14, 2020

Research, reveal, repeat