Teaching

These are the classes I teach.

Health Advocacy For anybody who’s spent even a little time in public health circles, it doesn’t take much effort to list the many societal ills that desperately call for action. What’s equally important, though, is answering the classic question that’s bedeviled advocates for centuries: “What is to be done?” This course will help us sharpen our answers through study of recent advocacy efforts around environmental justice/racism; HIV/AIDS; occupational safety; climate change; reproductive rights; food politics; global health philanthropy; mass incarceration and criminal justice reform, and others. Along the way, we’ll also learn about enduring dilemmas scholars have identified that confront all health advocates. These include: the costs and benefits of working within (versus outside of) formal politics; framing rhetoric to reach wider audiences; the virtues and drawbacks of confrontational direct action; public apathy towards “health” issues; oppositional movements at complete odds with theirs; and more recently, the potential of social media. This course also contains a skills component, where students will learn basic legislative, legal, and media research that can aid advocacy efforts.

For anybody who’s spent even a little time in public health circles, it doesn’t take much effort to list the many societal ills that desperately call for action. What’s equally important, though, is answering the classic question that’s bedeviled advocates for centuries: “What is to be done?” This course will help us sharpen our answers through study of recent advocacy efforts around environmental justice/racism; HIV/AIDS; occupational safety; climate change; reproductive rights; food politics; global health philanthropy; mass incarceration and criminal justice reform, and others. Along the way, we’ll also learn about enduring dilemmas scholars have identified that confront all health advocates. These include: the costs and benefits of working within (versus outside of) formal politics; framing rhetoric to reach wider audiences; the virtues and drawbacks of confrontational direct action; public apathy towards “health” issues; oppositional movements at complete odds with theirs; and more recently, the potential of social media. This course also contains a skills component, where students will learn basic legislative, legal, and media research that can aid advocacy efforts.

Intro to Mixed Methods

This course has multiple goals: to help students identify major trends and reigning approaches in mixed-methods (MM) research; to discuss common strategies for fusing quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis; to apply and justify quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-methods approaches that are appropriate to a particular research question; and to critically appraise MM research OR mono-method research that might have benefitted from MM approaches. Some time will also be devoted to discussion of MM research and policy ramifications and effective MM grant writing. There are three primary audiences for this course:

  1. A student who may soon need to understand the MM trend in a practice setting, perhaps through writing grant proposals, devising an organization’s study, or analyzing various data.
  2. A student who is an aspiring academic researcher, wants to learn about the state of MM methodological debates, and how to apply MM techniques in projects.
  3. A student who wants to become a more sophisticated consumer of MM research but not necessarily produce it.

Social Determinants of Health (co-taught with Prof. Lisa Bates)

This module explores how social factors such as race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and gender “get under the skin” and ultimately impact health. This module exposes students to the phenomenon of “social disparities in health” whereby features of the social and economic environment have a marked, multi-faceted, and lasting (even intergenerational) impact on population health. We will examine how social categories such as race, sexual orientation, and immigration status are associated with health outcomes, critically interrogate the meaning of these categories, and consider how their influence on health is shaped by features of the social context. We will also explore the different pathways (mechanisms) by which social factors impact health and the ways in which public health practitioners and policy makers can influence the social determinants of health.