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CHRS | Affiliate Faculty


Battelle-Tomkins, T-21
Fax: 202-885-2477

Kim Blankenship

Nicole Angotti

Michael Bader
Department of Sociology, American University
Health related Expertise: Health consequences of racial and economic segregation; Neighborhood influences on health, particularly obesity and nutrition-related disease; Influence of residential mobility on spatial health inequality.
Geographical focus: US cities, including Chicago, New York and Washington, DC.
Methodological expertise: Hierarchical linear modeling; longitudinal data analysis; geostatistical methods and neighborhood measurement.


Monica Biradavolu 
Department of Sociology, American University

Bette Dickerson
Department of Sociology, American University


Daniel Esser
School of International Service, American University
Health-related expertise: Global health policy, particularly emergence of priorities and the extent to which priorities are driven by scientific evidence as opposed to inter- and intra-organizational dynamics; National aging policies in non-OECD countries; Organizational performance in global health governance.
Geographical focus: Low- and lowest-income countries.
Methodological expertise: Mixed methods.

Sonya A. Grier
American University Kogod School of Business, Marketing Department
Health-related expertise: Food marketing and obesity, Social marketing, Target marketing and public health.
Geographical focus: US, South Africa.
Methodological expertise: Multi-method, but primarily experimental and qualitative.


Maria De Jesus
School of International Service, American University
Health-related expertise: Cross-cultural health communication and health promotion; Health disparities; Health and migration; Social factors affecting health.
Geographical Focus: Diasporic communities in the US; Cape Verde; Latin America.
Methodological expertise: Qualitative methods; Mixed methods.


Rita Jalali
Health related expertise: The gendered nature of WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) related diseases, i.e., how gender relations affect exposure and vulnerability to risk, access to health care and treatment, and health outcomes in low income countries; impact of menstrual management practices on women's health and hygiene; community-based hygiene promotion interventions; personal hygiene practices of women in resource poor communities; WASH priorities in the global development agenda.  
Geographical focus: India but also in other low income countries
Methodological expertise: Mixed Methods


Robin Lumsdaine
Kogod School of Business, American University
Health-related expertise: Risk Management, Decisions Under Uncertainty, and the Role of Perception; Economics of Aging; International Comparisons of Aging, Health, and Well-being; Econometrics.
Geographical focus: Currently US and Europe.
Methodological expertise: Econometric techniques to analyze longitudinal survey data, including linear and nonlinear regression, multinomial and ordered logit/probit, proportional hazard, dynamic programming, Monte Carlo simulation.


Taryn Morrissey
Department of Public Administration and Policy, American University
Health-related expertise: Relationships between public policy and child health and development; Social determinants of child obesity, including family factors such as parental employment characteristics.
Geographical focus: US.
Methodological expertise:  Primarily quantitative analyses with longitudinal datasets using hierarchal growth models, random effects models, and fixed effects models.


Michelle Newton-Francis
Department of Sociology, American University
Health-related expertise: Stigma/Disclosure of Disease Status; popular culture representations; gender and work, including body image.
Geographical focus: US.
Methodological expertise: Mixed methods.


Celine-Marie Pascale
Department of Sociology, President, Language & Society, International Sociology Association
Health related expertise: Epistemology, knowledge production, and relations of power. Current projects include a study of the discursive production of risk in US media accounts of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster and a study of biofield energy medicine—one of the newest trends in alternative healing modalities at NIH.
Geographical focus:  US.
Methodological expertise
: Qualitative methods with emphases on language & representation, textual analysis and interviews.


Rachel Sullivan Robinson
School of International Service, American University
Health-related expertise: Reproductive health; HIV/AIDS; Family planning; Nongovernmental organizations; Development of health-related social policies
Geographical focus: Sub-Saharan Africa (esp. Malawi, Nigeria, and Senegal) + United States.
Methodological expertise: Mixed methods, demographic methods, statistics.


Cristel Antonia Russell
American University Kogod School of Business, Marketing Department
Health related expertise: Alcohol use and abuse, especially amongst adolescents.
Geographical focus: US.
Methodological expertise: Experimental design, Survey research, Qualitative interviews, Narrative analysis, Content analysis.

Larry Sawers
Department of Economics, American University
Health-related expertise: Drivers of HIV epidemics in developing countries; Health and development.
Geographical focus: Especially sub-Saharan Africa, but poor and low-income countries in general.
Methodological expertise: Econometrics, agent-based stochastic simulation modeling.


Cathy Schneider
School of International Service, American University
Health-related expertise: Police violence (and other forms of state organized violence) and urban social movements; Neighborhood efforts to reduce HIV transmission among IV drug users and the impact of drug wars; Racial profiling and police violence on the concentration of HIV and AIDS in poor minority neighborhoods.
Geographical focus: US, Europe and Latin America.
Methodological expertise: Ethnography, especially ethnography of poor neighborhoods; Process tracing, paired comparisons, and policy analysis.


Jeremy Shiffman
Department of Public Administration and Policy, American University
Health-related expertise:  Political dynamics of health and population policy and administration in low-income countries; Global health policy; Global health governance; Agenda-setting in health policy.
Geographical focus: Southeast Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Latin America and Africa.
Methodological expertise: Multi-methods, with a focus on process-tracing and comparative case analysis.


Elanah Uretsky
Global Health and Anthropology, The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services
Health-related expertise: HIV/AIDS, Male sexuality Masculinity, Sex work, Informal governance, Non-governmental organizations, Chronic disease.
Geographical focus: China.
Methodological expertise: Ethnographic.


Salvador Vidal-Ortiz
Department of Sociology, American University
Health-related expertise: HIV/AIDS, gender, sexuality, and socio-cultural studies; vulnerability and HIV risk; "risk" categories in critical public health.
Geographical focus: experience in the US and Puerto Rico, interest in HIV/AIDS in Latin America.
Methodological expertise: qualitative, ethnographic, interview-based.


Linsday Wiley
Washington College of Law, American University
Health-related expertise: Legal issues surrounding access to health care and healthy living and working conditions; Health and human rights; Law as a determinant of health and law as a tool for addressing other social determinants of health; Global health law and governance.
Geographical focus: US; Africa; Latin America.
Methodological expertise: Legal analysis, social epidemiology.


Nina Yamanis
School of International Service, American University
Health-related expertise: Community-based health promotion interventions; social and sexual networks as they relate to HIV risk behavior; highly vulnerable populations; relationship violence; social determinants of health; adolescent health.
Geographical focus: Sub-Saharan Africa (with a particular focus on Tanzania), Mexico, United States.
Methodological expertise: Study design and primary data collection using mixed methods; intervention design and implementation; social network analysis and multi-level modeling.

Gay Young
Department of Sociology, American University
Health-related expertise: Gender and International Development with specific focus on women and work and on international data / statistics on gender inequality, the former includes women's work place health/risks and the latter includes health disparities based on gender. More recently I have turned attention to issues of gender, conflict and security in which violence against women figures importantly as it bears on their health and well being.
Geographical focus: Mexico-US border; Levant (Lebanon, Palestine, Syria).
Methodological expertise: Mixed methods.


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CHRS Executive Committee

The CHRS Executive Committee provides guidance to CHRS leadership on the intellectual development and administrative operations of the Center. The Committee is comprised currently of six AU faculty members serving on a volunteer basis, representing three Schools, and with diverse social science interests and expertise in the study of health locally, nationally, and globally. 

Executive Committee, 2015-2016

Kim Blankenship (Director, CHRS), Department of Sociology, College of Arts and Sciences 

Nicole Angotti (Assistant Director, CHRS), Department of Sociology, College of Arts and Sciences 

Mike Bader, Department of Sociology, College of Arts and Sciences 

Daniel Esser, School of International Service 

Rachel Robinson, School of International Service 

Jeremy Shiffman, Department of Public Administration and Policy, School of Public Affairs