Message from the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences (BSHES) at the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University.

The mission of our Department is to better the health of all people by advancing knowledge and training tomorrow’s leaders in how to change behavior and social conditions that influence health. Our vision is to be a leader in addressing the changing landscape of complex health problems affecting our diverse local, national, and global communities.

Members of the BSHES community conduct transdisciplinary research spanning major health domains (HIV/AIDS, cancer, reproductive health, mental health, substance use and addiction, violence, nutrition, physical activity), specific populations (racial and ethnic minorities, adolescents and young people, girls and women, sexual and gender minorities), and in diverse geographic and ecological settings (urban areas, rural communities, low- and middle-income countries, school settings, the Internet). Our highly productive and collaborative faculty members are funded by federal government organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health Resources and Services Administration, as well as private foundations such as the American Cancer Society and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

BSHES is a department that works actively to advance health equity through rigorous science, teaching, and community engagement. Our collective work is inspired by fundamental beliefs in the right to health for all populations and the need to address historic patterns of structural inequality that determine health. BSHES promotes a culture of inclusion that celebrates the range of viewpoints that students bring to our classrooms and research groups.

Please take time to learn more about our faculty members, students, academic programs, and research through these pages. If you would like to learn more about our department, please contact Ashley Mastin.

- Don Operario, PhD
  Grace Crum Rollins Professor and Chair

Meet Dr. Don Operario

I am excited to join BSHES as the Grace Crum Rollins Professor and Chair! Prior to joining the BSHES department at Emory, I was a faculty member and researcher at Brown University, Oxford University, and UCSF.

My research and teaching areas are motivated by two interrelated areas. The first general area concerns the syndemic of HIV, mental health, and structural violence in historically marginalized communities (e.g., intersectional LGBT and BIPOC populations), with an emphasis on developing and evaluating theory-based social and behavioral interventions to improve health equity. A second research area concerns the lived experiences associated with social inequality, with an emphasis on understanding the perspectives of minoritized group members and addressing health and psychosocial disparities. My work uses multiple methodologies (qualitative inquiry, observational designs, intervention trials, systematic reviews, meta analysis) and prioritizes community-engaged approaches. I conduct research in collaboration with community and academic partners in the United States, Kenya, China, Philippines, South Korea, and South Africa.


View Dr. Operario's profile »

Read about Dr. Operario's appointment as chair »