Our Annual Theme

Each year our center pushes forward one ground-breaking and important theme that we believe can help reimagine, reinvent and expand the impact of global health. To move us forward, each year we work with one expert scholar on that theme as our intellectual lead. The lead helps us develop a cutting-edge workshop and select our keynote speaker, identify gaps in skills we can address through training, design signature projects(s), and engage faculty and students from across campus in thinking about how they might join in to advance the specific challenge raised. If you have ideas for future annual themes, contact Center Director Amber Wutich.

2019-20 Theme: The Complexities of Food Security

Expert lead: Nutritionist Meg Bruening

Under the intellectual lead of nutritionist Meg Bruening, this year we are developing and testing new approaches unraveling the complex causes and consequences of food insecurity. We are doing this in an array of locations, from close to home on the ASU campus where food security is a known challenge for our students, to eastern Ethiopia where we are testing how the effects of food insecurity on illness intersect with and are worsened by other resource shortages. The overarching purpose is to understand how food insecurity relates directly or indirectly to many other dimensions of well-being beyond nutrition itself, including social well-being, educational attainment, mental health, child growth and household resilience.

2018-19 Theme: Citizen Social Science and Global Health

Expert lead: Linguist Cindi SturtzSreetharan

Citizen Social Science is about non-experts working with experts to make our global health action bigger, bolder and more relevant. Citizen science is increasingly used to help scale hard science research, but we believe it has untapped potential to revolutionize how we can bring social science into global health research and its application. In 2018-19 we identified and tested new strategies for citizen social sciences, scaling our ability to research and address the social dimensions of health. A signature project examined how health-relevant discrimination is communicated in conversation and in the shape of public spaces, using Maricopa County as our test bed. The team included 181 Arizona citizens, 40 undergraduate students, five faculty, and two graduate students. You can read about some of the early results of that work here.