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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

West Virginia: Linda Alexander to lead ASPPH Diversity and Inclusion Section

Dr. Linda Alexander, professor and senior associate dean for academic, student and faculty affairs at the West Virginia University School of Public Health, has been named chair of the newly established Diversity and Inclusion Section of the ASPPH. Members of the Diversity and Inclusion Section are charged with advancing diversity and inclusiveness in curricula, policies and practices within their schools and programs.

“I am humbled and honored to accept a leadership role as part of this important and timely new ASPPH section,” Dr. Alexander said. “The nature of this work is both collaborative and rewarding, and I look forward to the wisdom of many colleagues as we move this initiative forward in meaningful ways.”

Dr. Alexander’s research focuses on the role of menthol as an additive in cigarettes and understanding how tobacco-related policies can best be applied to protect the health of vulnerable populations. In 2017, she led the production of a report published by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that showed minority groups are at higher risk for tobacco-related diseases than others, despite a drop in cigarette smoking nationwide. The report represents the most comprehensive review of tobacco use among racial and ethnic minorities and low-socioeconomic-status populations since a 1998 Surgeon General report.

Dr. Alexander’s teaching and community-based participatory roles have focused primarily on culture’s influence on health, particularly as it relates to socially classified racial and sexual orientation groups, vulnerable populations, and groups who experience disparities due to institutional racism and bias.