Michael Sawdey, Ph.D., M.P.H., CPH

Michael Sawdey, Ph.D., M.P.H., CPH

Department: Division of Epidemiology

I received my MPH in Epidemiology in 2012 and my BS in Public Health in 2010 from San Diego State University’s Graduate School of Public Health. While completing both of my degrees at SDSU, I held a Graduate Assistant position with the California Department of Public Health, Vaccines for Children program and a Research Assistant position for the Toxic Butts campaign at SDSU. After my MPH, I worked for the Department of Assessment and Research at San Diego State for a year and then came to VCU in the fall of 2013 to pursue a PhD in epidemiology.

My main area of interest is social and behavioral epidemiology relating to risky health behaviors such as drug, alcohol, and tobacco use by adolescents, specifically of college age. Throughout my MPH, my research focused on tobacco control, which included smoking rates of adolescents and associated behaviors, but also looking at cigarettes as a major source of litter throughout the state of California. I was a part of a state funded grant that went throughout the state educating and informing governmental, non-profit, and various other organizations on the potential harm cigarette butts may be playing on the environment.

I chose VCU’s program because of the emphasis that the faculty place on student development and interaction. The learning environment and the opportunities available to students in our division and at VCU are second to none. I have had the flexibility to create a learning environment that fits my needs and interests and a faculty that supports such an atmosphere.

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