Morgan Philbin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University Mailman School of Public. She joined IAPHS in 2016. Learn more about Morgan on her website and follow her on twitter: @morgan_philbin
Tell us a little about yourself, where are you from, where did you go to graduate school, what makes you jump out of bed each morning?
I’m from a small town in California (San Luis Obispo) that I still go back to every chance I get; there aren’t many places where you can start your day surfing and end with a hike up a mountain. I moved east for college (Wesleyan University) and graduate school (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) with some year-long detours in Tijuana, Mexico, and Beijing/Kunming, China. As for getting out of bed, I really enjoy my colleagues and being in a truly interdisciplinary department. I’ve had so many great discussions that have started with “so I have this random question…”
How do you define yourself as a population health professional?
The first description that comes to mind is that I take a big qual/little quant approach to exploring how socio-structural factors impact the lives of vulnerable young people, particularly sexual and racial/ethnic minority youth. People often associate population health with giant, quantitative data sets but I’ve been working to integrate qualitative and ethnographic research into population health to try and provide a more nuanced picture of how things like state-level policies play out on the ground and impact people’s lives. This approach has also allowed me to work with individuals, and integrate theoretical approaches, from across multiple disciplines.