Students on Purdue campus

Mission Statement

The Department of Public Health committed to fostering an inclusive culture that promotes principles of equity and social justice for our students, staff, faculty and the communities we serve. To this end, we seek to create a welcoming and safe environment where differences in race; religion; ethnicity; gender identity; sexual orientation; physical, mental and emotional abilities; and socioeconomic status are respected and valued and diversity of perspectives, experiences, beliefs and cultural backgrounds are embraced.

Director and Committees

Jennifer Jabson Tree, Associate Professor
Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
College of Health and Human Sciences

Faculty and Staff Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee

  • Kathryn LaRoche, Assistant Professor
  • Miranda Meyer, Administrative Assistant
  • Natalia Rodriguez, Assistant Professor
  • Michelle Garrison, Professor
  • Katherine Buchman, Student Representative
  • Rashid Ahmad, Student Representative

Racism is a Public Health Crisis

Racism is a public health crisis. The Department of Public Health recognizes and is committed to responding to the devastating harms that racism, injustice, discrimination, colonialism, and police violence have on the safety and health of Black Americans and other communities of color. Social determinants of health, including racism-propelled adverse socioeconomic conditions, are key drivers of health disparities. The disproportionate burden of COVID-19 on Black and Latinx communities is just the latest example of how structural and systemic racism leads to devastating health outcomes.

Sign that says racism is a pandemic

Health is a fundamental human right for all people. Our department commits to upholding this right, applying rigorous science and designing evidence-based solutions to dismantle oppressive policies and systems that lead to racial disparities in health, and training future generations of diverse, inclusive, and anti-racist Public Health leaders.

Racism is a system of structuring opportunity and assigning value based on the social interpretation of how one looks (which is what we call “race”), that unfairly disadvantages some individuals and communities, unfairly advantages other individuals and communities, and saps the strength of the whole society through the waste of human resources.

Camara Phyllis Jones, MD, MPH, PhD

APHA Past-President


Academic articles: 

New articles

Back to top




Rodriguez-Diaz, C. E., Guilamo-Ramos, V., Mena, L., Hall, E., Honermann, B., Crowley, J. S., … & Millett, G. A. (2020). Risk for COVID-19 infection and death among Latinos in the United States: examining heterogeneity in transmission dynamics. Annals of epidemiology52, 46-53.

Garcia, M. A., Homan, P. A., García, C., & Brown, T. H. (2020). The color of COVID-19: structural racism and the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on older racial and ethnic minorities. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B.

Back to top

Stop Racism

Book recommendations:

  • “Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People.” by Banaji, Mahzarin R., and Greenwald, Anthony G. Bantam Books, 2016.
  • “Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul.” by Glaude Jr, Eddie S. Crown, 2016.
  • “How to Be an Antiracist.” by Kendi, Ibram X. One World, 2019.
  • “Latinos facing racism: Discrimination, resistance, and endurance.” by Routledge. Feagin, J. R., & Cobas, J. A. 2015.
  • “Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race.” by Wing Sue, Derald. Wiley. 2016.
  • “Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America.” by Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2006.
  • “So you want to talk about race?” by Oluo, Ijeoma. Seal Press. 2018
  • “Stamped from the beginning: The definitive history of racist ideas in America.” by Kendi, Ibram X. Penguin Random House, 2017.
  • “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You.” by Reynolds, Jason & Kendi, Ibram X. Little, Brown and Company. 2020.
  • “The Grace of Silence: A Family Memoir.” by Norris, Michele. Vintage, 2011. 
  • “When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir.” by Khan-Cullors, Patrisse, Bandele, Asha, and Davis, Angela. St. Martin’s Press, 2018

Back to top


  • “This Land.” hosted by Nagle, Rebecca. Crooked Media and Cadence 13. 2019. PodCast Stream.
  • Color Blind or Color Brave?
    In this TEDX talk, finance executive Mellody Hobson makes the case that speaking openly about race — and particularly about diversity in hiring — makes for better businesses and a better society.
  • PBS Series “Asian Americans”Asian Americans is a five-hour film series that delivers a bold, fresh perspective on a history that matters today, more than ever. Told through intimate personal stories, the series will cast a new lens on U.S. history and the ongoing role that Asian Americans have played.

Back to top

DEI Programs and Learning

As a student in the Department of Public Health, you’ll have a variety of opportunities to grow your diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) knowledge within your field of study, from courses with a DEI emphasis to department-specific DEI programming.

Purdue research opportunities for minority students

Courses with emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion

  • PUBH 10000: Introduction to Public Health 
    This course serves as an introduction to the field of public health. Topics include identification of the principal determinants of health and how they affect individuals and populations, the role of government and public health professionals in health and healthcare, and critical and emerging issues in public health in the U.S. and around the world.
  • PUBH 20200: Health in the Time of Pandemics: An Introduction
    This course will introduce you to basic concepts about health and disease through examination of the sweeping effects of pandemics. In addition to reviewing the effects directly related to human health and healthcare systems, the course will provide an interdisciplinary overview of the social, political and economic consequences of infectious disease outbreaks and the range of local, national and global responses to address them.  The course will be taught by faculty members representing the broad diversity of disciplines within the College of Health and Human Sciences (HHS), with additional specific contributions from faculty representing other disciplines outside HHS.
  • PUBH 22500: Contemporary Women’s Health
    This course examines behavioral, psychological and sociocultural aspects of women’s experience in healthcare systems. Topics include the influence of factors such as age, social class and ethnicity on women’s roles as recipients and providers of healthcare.
  • PUBH 24000: Global Health
    This course introduces you to current challenges, debates and efforts at solutions in global public health with a focus on low- and middle-income countries. It provides an interdisciplinary overview of topics that include measures of health and disease, health disparities, communicable and non-communicable diseases, women’s health, maternal and child health, food systems and nutrition, health systems and global cooperation. It also highlights the central role of data in achieving the global health agenda.
  • PUBH 32000: Health Behavior and Health Promotion
    This course introduces health behavior theory and practice in the context of health promotion and education. It examines individual, interpersonal and community approaches to explaining and predicting health behavior and emphasizes their application to interventions in health promotion and education. 
  • PUBH 32500: Methods in Health Promotion and Education
    This course explores methods and materials of health promotion and education as well as preparation and use of content and materials related to health concerns of target populations. A variety of strategies and media are covered with theoretical and practical applications.
  • PUBH 40500: Principles of Epidemiology
    This course covers the study of the distribution of diseases in human populations and factors that influence these distributions.
  • PUBH 48000: Internship in Public Health
    The internship experience is a valuable opportunity for you to apply the procedures, theories, skills and techniques you have mastered in the classroom to a professional work experience in the field. Each student in the public health major at Purdue University is required to perform a 400-hour internship experience that meets your expectations as well as those of the internship/practicum site and the University. The internship is to be a culminating experience representative of the degree program and clinical work that provides you the opportunity to acquire invaluable work experience in the field outside of the academic setting.
  • PUBH 49000: Intercultural Development
    This course is designed to help you prepare for studying abroad. The course provides an opportunity to actively increase your cultural intelligence to help you when working across cultural differences both on campus and in your professional career. The course teaches you how to develop a deeper appreciation and empathy for cultural values and traditions that are different from your own, learn how to cultivate a cultural worldview, become more aware of your own culture, foster intercultural openness and curiosity, and communicate across cultures. The course will emphasize your understanding of how individuals and communities can benefit from learning about others in improving their quality of life.

Graduate Students


Courses with emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion

  • PUBH 52000: Human Sexuality & Sexual Health 
    This course is designed to provide students with an in-depth and applied understanding of the major theories and principles guiding human sexuality and sexual health research. Content covered will enrich an understanding of sexuality and sexual health research methods, past and present research findings, and the intersection of this field and public health practice.
  • PUBH 50100: Introduction to Health Equity
    Our social environment is widely recognized for playing a critical role in shaping our patterns of health and vulnerability to diseases. Who we are; where we were born, grew up, live and work; and our age are all key determinants to our current and future health. Understanding the processes through which factors influence our health has become an important question in public health. This course will explore key determinants of health, including socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, neighborhood environments, social relationships and political economy. An overarching theme of the course will be how factors that adversely affect health are inequitably distributed, contributing to marked health disparities.
  • PUBH 52500: Statistical Methods for Public Health Evaluation
    This three-credit course provides an overview of the methods required to evaluate the effectiveness of public health intervention or prevention programs and policies. The course introduces a range of quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods research designs and the application and tailoring of these designs to evaluations. In addition, we will focus on categorical data analysis methods, which are often necessary for evaluation projects. 
  • PUBH 54700: Public Health Program and Policy Evaluation
    This three-credit course provides an overview of the methods required to evaluate the effectiveness of public health intervention or prevention programs and policies. The course introduces a range of quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods research designs and the process for applying and tailoring these designs to program and policy evaluations. 
  • PUBH 51100: Foundations of Global Health
    Global disparities in the health and well-being of diverse populations across and within borders has never been greater. Profound and rapid changes in demographics, from population growth to urbanization, along with unprecedented shifts in patterns of disease and risks, are coupled with game-changing advances in knowledge, technology and innovation. This course will introduce students to current challenges and efforts at solutions in global health, with a focus on low- and middle-income countries. It will provide an interdisciplinary overview of topics that include measures of health and disease, communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria, non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, women’s health, maternal and child health, food systems and nutrition, health systems, and healthcare delivery. In addition to lectures, the course will include interactive discussions of case studies and specific country examples, aimed at immersing students in the debates and challenges facing global health leaders and decision-makers.
  • PUBH 60200: Theoretical Foundations of Health Behavior
    Examines the theoretical foundations of health behavior. Emphasizes the development of a conceptual framework for understanding and facilitating behavior enhancement, elimination and/or maintenance in health promotion and education. Focuses on current theories regarding health-related behaviors.


In their persistent pursuit of improving health and well-being, many faculty members in the Department of Public Health specialize in topics related to diversity, equity and inclusion across a variety of research areas.

The following faculty have research interests and expertise in DEI:

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are core to the mission and values of HHS.

Learn More About Our Initiatives

Contact Us

For questions, concerns or to learn more about diversity, equity and inclusion in the Department of Public Health, please reach out to Yumary Ruiz, PUBH diversity, equity and inclusion director, at or (765) 494-9112.