About Us
Department of Health, Society, and Behavior

Our department is comprised of a dynamic array of faculty with diverse backgrounds in public health and related fields in the social and biological sciences. Our faculty primarily has expertise in the areas of health behavior, social determinants of health, social epidemiology, health disparities and health equity, community-based research, biobehavioral health, and health communication. Our core values include investigating the etiology of health behavior related processes and outcomes, the dynamics of marginalized populations, community-based research and practice, the creation of theoretically-informed health interventions and their respective evaluation studies, health communication, and biobehavioral health. The research, teaching, and practice interests of our faculty primarily address the explication of complex pathways linking social, cultural, and biological factors with health, with an emphasis on social determinants of health, social epidemiology, social disparities in health and health equity. We are poised to address complex health issues at the local, global, regional, and national levels given the multidisciplinary research and practice expertise of our faculty.

Cynthia Lakon

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Department of Health, Society, and Behavior. We are committed to providing a rich, diverse, and inclusive intellectual community for our students so that they can in turn become change agents and improve the health of populations. Our curriculum focuses on various perspectives grounded in social and cultural determinants of health, health disparities and health equity, health behavior, social epidemiology, and health communication. Students are challenged to think critically about theoretical perspectives at all levels of ecological systems models, quantitative and qualitative research methodology, statistics, community-based approaches to research, and the ethical conduct of research. Students are also trained to think critically about how to tailor information to reach populations and to empower communities for social change. Students learn how to translate this foundational knowledge into developing etiologic research studies, theory-driven evidence-based interventions, and evaluation studies to enhance community and population health, health equity, and empower populations. Key learning experiences take place in our classrooms, faculty research labs, and practice-based field settings with our community-engaged partnerships. Having gained this knowledge and experience, students are equipped to work in a variety of research and practice-based settings, including academic, governmental, community-based organizations at the local, regional and global levels to address the myriad complex public health problems existing in our world today. For questions about our department, our faculty, and our academic programs, please contact Amanda Garcia-Hall.



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