Victoria Sass is a joint PhD student in Sociology at the University of Washington and at the Vrije Universiteit in Brussel, Belgium. She joined IAPHS in 2017.
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 was born and raised in San Diego, California. I generally only jump out of bed if I’m late for something which I try to avoid if I can help it. However, when I’m not rushing to be punctual I do find it endlessly rewarding that I get to spend my days learning from others and trying to imagine the trajectory between the world as it is and a more just, equitable, and kind one.
How do you define yourself as a population health professional?
My journey to population health was a bit indirect as I began my doctoral program at the University of Washington narrowly focused on environmental sociology. However, the more I read within that subfield, the more I was drawn to the influence of environments on social stratification and inequality, of which population health is one of the starkest examples. I quickly realized I would need to reach beyond my own discipline to gain the tools and understanding to make sense of the research questions I am most interested in investigating. As such, I would say that I am an interdisciplinary scholar with firm roots in sociology and demography though I would love to push those boundaries even further in the future.
What disciplines do you engage with and are there disciplines that you would like to engage with?
Sociology, demography, public health, psychology, urban planning/design, history, and geography have all been a part of my training and research thus far. I would really like to engage more with the humanities, particularly philosophy and media studies.