CSSW Welcomes Two New Full-Time Faculty Members

October 18, 2018 @ 3:44 pm

Two new tenure-track faculty members have joined the Columbia School of Social Work at the start of the 2018–2019 academic year.

Epidemiologist Alissa Davis (left in above photo) and medical sociologist Brooke West have joined the full-time faculty of the School of Social Work as assistant professors. Both have also joined the Social Intervention Group (SIG) as faculty affiliates.

“I am thrilled to welcome Drs. West and Davis to the Columbia School of Social Work this fall,” said Interim Dean Irwin Garfinkel. “Their work opens up possibilities for safer, more accessible care for individuals with HIV and other marginalized populations. I am confident they will elevate our faculty’s efforts to bring equity in care to people from all backgrounds.”

Bios of the new faculty members appear below. We extend a warm welcome to them both!

Dr. Alissa Davis is an epidemiologist whose research focuses on reducing HIV, STI, tuberculosis, and drug abuse health disparities among marginalized populations by improving access to care. In her work with racial/ethnic and sexual minorities, migrants, sex workers, and individuals in the criminal justice system, she implements novel methods and strategies to improve access to care, including point of care testing, emerging biomedical technologies, and task-shifting.

Dr. Davis was recently awarded a research grant from the NIDA to adapt a couple-based medication adherence intervention for HIV-positive people who inject drugs in Kazakhstan. Dr. Davis was previously Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. She officially joins the School of Social Work after collaborating with SIG and the Global Health Research Center of Central Asia (GHRCCA), two faculty-led research centers based out of the School of Social Work.

In 2015, Dr. Davis received her PhD in Epidemiology from Indiana University-Bloomington. She also holds an MA in International Relations from Syracuse University and a BA in Social Studies Education from Brigham Young University.

Dr. Brooke West is a medical sociologist whose global and domestic research examines determinants of HIV/STI and substance use, as well as reproductive health and violence exposure. Drawing on social science and public health approaches, she examines the conditions in which health risks occur for substance using populations, women in sex work, and other stigmatized groups.

Dr. West is the principal investigator on a NIDA-funded study that examines the intersection of venue-based risk and networks for substance-using women in Tijuana, Mexico, with the goal of informing the development of targeted interventions that create safer spaces for affected people. Other projects include evaluation and development of sexual and reproductive health programs in Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, and the United States.

She received her PhD in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University in 2014. She also has an MA in Sociology from Cornell University and a BA in Sociology and Philosophy from Cleveland State University.