News & Announcements
Aug. 31, 2022
Assistant Professor, Public Health
What classes are you teaching this semester?
I am teaching a master’s level course in Public Health titled “Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Global Health” (P_HLTH 7160).
What do you love about teaching? What are you most looking forward to this semester?
I love being able to share my knowledge and (hopefully) inspire students. I was lucky to have many fantastic professors, as an undergraduate and graduate, who shaped who I am today; I would like to pay it forward to those who come through my classroom. I’m looking forward to teaching about COVID-19 too — particularly the social determinants — now that there is a solid body of peer-reviewed scholarship (beyond news articles and CDC reports) on this.
Tell us a little about yourself! What is your background?
I originally got my PhD in sociology from the University of Maryland. I have transitioned to public health over the past few years and feel like I have finally found a disciplinary home. Most of my research prior to 2019 was in Malawi and South Africa on the relationships between marriage, migration and health. I now have a North American-based research agenda, too, which is rooted in COVID-19 mortality trends, vaccine hesitancy and quality improvement in health care systems.
When you are not teaching, what are you up to?
When I’m not teaching, I’m writing papers and grants! Whatever time is left after that is for being a good spouse and dad.
What brought you to Mizzou? To your field?
I came to Mizzou as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Public Health, working directly with Dr. Michelle Teti and Dr. Enid Schatz on COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS research. It was a great opportunity to develop as a public health scholar. I was then very fortunate to successfully interview for a tenure-track professor position here too.
Although I formally got into public health quite late, I was inspired by demography professors during my undergraduate and master’s degrees; they steered me in the direction of infectious disease/demography research in sub-Saharan Africa, including a 3-month fieldwork trip to rural Malawi. From there, I always seemed to work with scholars who were at the intersection of sociology, demography, medicine and public health — leading me to where I am now.
What is a fact about you that your students might not expect?
They might not expect that I’m their biggest fan. I would really like for them to succeed and am here to train them so that they can build on their career paths.