This course is for graduate students who want more training in using data to solve applied problems. We focus on technique, interpretation, and data visualization. Examples come largely from health data sets. 


This course, co-taught with Gilbert Gonzales, teaches students how to engage with local, state, and national health policy from a variety of perspectives and adopts a "students as producers" model of instruction. Students learn how to conduct a policy analysis, research and write a policy brief, write an op-ed, and participate in a lobbying training. The course culminates with a "Day on the Hill" where students present policy briefs they have developed to Tennessee legislators.

The importance of health and the increasing role of the government in funding and regulating it suggest that health will become even more important politically over the next generation. This course takes up several controversies in health, including: why the US has the health care system that it does; whether we can share the benefits of good health more equitably; the politics of death and dying; reproductive and sexual politics; and the health effects of contentious social policies like civil rights legislation, welfare, immigration reform, and same-sex marriage. 


sociologist. EDUCATOR.thought leader.


the nation's healtH:

From Policy to practice

politics of health (us)

Responding to global health crises

QuantiTative Data Analysis and Visualization

This course takes a social science view of global health actors, policy making, and interventions. The course is organized around a series debates wherein students are asked to adopt a particular perspective.

- Is HIV over-funded?

- Is the WHO to blame for the slow response to Ebola in 2014?

- Are undergraduate medical service trips exploitative?