Monday, April 15, 2019

Semra Aytur, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor, Department of Health Management & Policy

Today’s guest is my colleague, Dr. Semra Aytur. Semra is an associate professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy, and holds a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Public Health from Boston University. Her research focuses on socio-ecological resilience. She has published 40 academic papers, books, and book chapters on topics related to public health. In this interview we talk about her journey from discovering the field of public health as an undergraduate, her pursuit of technical skills to support her passion for public health, and examples of her interdisciplinary research blending together fields such as epidemiology, engineering, and urban planning to improve community health and health equity. It was fun for me to get into depth with Semra about her background, and I hope you enjoy the conversation, too.

Links to the Podcast:

Full Length:

Podcast Outline (applies to the full-length version)

0:01:31 background, undergraduate at Brown - thinking about medicine
0:06:20 discovering public health research and epidimeology
0:08:42 sleep research - bridging medicine and public health
0:09:49 defining epidimiology
0:11:40 going to Boston University for an MPH degree
0:16:06 glimmerings of becoming a researcher vs. a practitioner
0:17:01 moving to Dallas
0:19:17 primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention
0:20:36 desire to develop skills to lead primary/secondary prevention
0:22:21 attraction to methodogical rigor of epidimeology
0:25:01 working with the CDC
0:27:22 PhD in epidimiology at UNC Chapel Hill
0:29:04 TA/RA to help pay for school
0:32:10 PhD vs. professional masters - learning research inquiry
0:36:52 learning about civil rights - seeing the intersection between epidimiology and justice
0:40:22 dissertation - built environment and health
0:53:41 doing a post-doc
0:54:41 working in King County (Seattle) public health department
0:56:16 coming to the University of New Hampshire
0:57:50 academic rank - promotion to associate professor
1:00:13 the importance of mentorship in academia
1:03:08 leadership in an academic environment
1:05:06 learning to teach
1:07:24 research - the socio-ecological model
1:10:33 research - Urban Containment and Health Outcomes
1:17:27 research - Climate Change and Adaptive Governance  a case study
1:26:01 research - Photovoice and Sport participation for youth with disabilities
1:34:57 the generation of research ideas
1:37:39 summarizing her agenda: socio-ecological resilience

1:39:04 careers in public health

Links to Topics Discussed:

Semra Aytur - CHHS web page

The Social-Ecological Model: A Framework for Prevention

John Snow

Photovoice project with Northeast Passage

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Brown University

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