As Lehigh builds and launches the College of Health, it is drawing on the knowledge and expertise of faculty and professional staff from throughout the university. Working alongside Inaugural Dean Whitney P. Witt, the College of Health Leadership Team will push the college toward important milestones in academics and research, admissions, development, infrastructure, communications and administration.
The College of Health is proud to welcome our inaugural faculty members, and continues to recruit new faculty ahead of its scheduled launch in the Fall of 2020.
Dr. Hyunok Choi’s research focuses on children’s prenatal and postnatal exposures to indoor and outdoor environmental pollution, and their risks on a series of developmental consequences, including adverse birth outcomes, asthma, and obesity. However, as human well-being and illness occur through exquisitely intricate interactions with the environment in which the person lives, Dr. Choi investigates a health outcome as a process involving molecular- (such as epigenomic and transcriptomic markers), host susceptibility- (such as body mass index), clinical, environmental (such as air pollutant levels), and meteorologic (such as temperature, wind speed) factors across time and space. Understanding such process is not so different from looking at Hieronymus Bosch’s painting, the so-called ‘Garden of Earthly Delight’, which interprets the processes human existence in three pieces. Dr. Choi’s long-term goal is to train the next generation of scientists to translate environmentally driven genomic mechanisms into both macro- (e.g. policy translation, community engagement) as well as micro- (e.g. molecular biomarker development) solutions. In spare time, Dr. Choi likes to roam in art museums, mulling over the ways in which paintings and sculptures help us to understand disease processes better.
Christine Makosky Daley, Ph.D., MA, SM
Dr. Christine Makosky Daley is a Professor in the College of Health at Lehigh University. Dr. Daley has a PhD in applied medical anthropology from the University of Connecticut with a minor in cytotechnology, a MA in medical anthropology from Arizona State University, a SM in health and social behavior from the Harvard School of Public Health, and a BA in anthropology from Douglass College at Rutgers University. She is a mixed methodologist and community-based participatory researcher by training and has been working with American Indian communities since her undergraduate career. Her professional role is that of a transdisciplinary scientist with a focus on bringing together diverse teams of scientists and clinicians. She comes to Lehigh from the University of Kansas School of Medicine, where she held appointments in the Departments of Family Medicine & Community Health and Population Health, as well as secondary appointments in the Indigenous Studies Program at the University of Kansas, and the Department of Anthropology at Johnson County Community College. She also served as the Director of the Center for American Indian Community Health at KUMC, a Center of which she led development. She is currently the co-Director of the American Indian Health Research and Education Alliance, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving health and educational attainment in American Indian communities through quality participatory research and education.
Her primary area of research interest is reducing American Indian health disparities. She conducts community-based participatory research in which community members are involved in all phases of the research, from concept inception through design, analysis, and dissemination. She began working with American Indian communities in 1995, focusing early on in her career in the U.S. Southwest. When she arrived at KUMC, she began creating a community-based participatory research team with local American Indian communities. Her team is now an alliance of organizations including academic institutions, American Indian tribes, community-based organizations, and businesses. She leads one of the largest Native research teams in the country and maintains a staff that is 75-80% American Indian. Her research includes tobacco prevention and control, cancer screening, weight loss, behavioral epidemiology, environmental health, health literacy, community education, and, most recently, mental health and the ethical conduct of research.
She truly enjoys research, but education has always been her passion and the motivating force behind becoming and continuing as an academic. She works with learners at multiple levels, including undergraduate, graduate/medical, residents, and fellows, as well as junior faculty members. She has focused much of her mentorship on working with Native students and faculty, as well as women and members of other underrepresented groups. She has a strong focus on improving the diversity of faculty and students and ensuring appropriate promotion and tenure for all individuals.
Her guiding vision is a world without disparities of any kind. She hopes to one day work herself out of a job!
Sean Daley, Ph.D., M.A.
Professor of Practice
Sean M. Daley is an applied sociocultural anthropologist and ethnographer with expertise in American Indian Studies, community-based participatory research, and cultural tailoring. Much of his work lies at the intersections of religion, spirituality, and health. He has been working with Native peoples since 1995 and has worked with Native communities in Arizona, Connecticut, Kansas, Montana, New Mexico, and South Dakota, as well several other states. His work has focused heavily on contemporary American Indian health, wellness, and spirituality. He has also worked in the areas of Native law and policy, identity, education, and the environment.
Sean has also worked with ranching communities in southern Utah. He worked with Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ranching communities to document the changes in ranching and religious life with the implementation of new federal laws and policies that restricted access to historically accessible public lands of cultural and religious significance. He has also worked with rodeo cowboys (bull riders, bareback riders, and saddle bronc riders) in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Utah looking at injuries received while participating in rodeos. More recently, Sean has been working with the Roman Catholic Church. He has been working in the areas of contemporary healing, spiritual warfare, deliverance, and exorcism ministries.
Sean received his PhD in sociocultural anthropology with a minor in US federal law from the University of Connecticut in 2005, an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona in 1998, and a BA in anthropology and American Indian Studies from Livingston College at Rutgers University in 1996.
Prior coming to Lehigh University, Sean was a professor of anthropology and the director of the Center for American Indian Studies at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas for 15 years. He is also the co-founder and the co-director of the American Indian Health Research and Education Alliance, a non-profit alliance of organizations whose mission is to partner and collaborate with American Indian peoples, nations, communities, and organizations to improve the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being of American Indians throughout the United States through quality participatory research and educational programs.
Dr. Eduardo J. Gómez is an Associate Professor in the College of Health at Lehigh University. A political scientist by training, his research focuses on the politics of global health policy, with a focus on emerging middle-income countries. He is the author of three books, the latest being Geopolitics in Health: Confronting Obesity, AIDS, and Tuberculosis in the Emerging BRICS Economies (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018). Dr. Gómez has published his research in a myriad of peer-reviewed journals, as well as policy journals and major news outlets. His current book project, Junk Food Politics (under contract with Johns Hopkins University Press), critically examines the rise and political influence of soda and ultra-processed food industries in developing nations, with a focus on NCDs among children and the poor. He is also leading several other major research projects focusing on the politics of NCDs, such as type-2 diabetes and obesity, in Mexico, Brazil, and Indonesia. Dr. Gómez is also a Commissioner for the Rockefeller Foundation and Boston University Commission on the Social Determinants of Health. His research has received external funding support from the Rockefeller Foundation, Oxfam, George Soros, and Tinker Foundations.
Prior to his arrival at Lehigh, Dr. Gómez was an Associate Professor (UK Senior Lecturer) at King’s College London, Assistant Professor at Rutgers University, and pre-doctoral visiting scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health. He has also previously worked for the RAND Corporation, the World Bank, and the Inter-American Dialogue. Dr. Gómez is also a veteran of the United States Air Force and is a former Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He received his PhD political science from Brown University, MA in International Relations from the University of Chicago, and BA in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia.
Thomas McAndrew, Ph.D., M.S.
Thomas McAndrew is a computational scientist working at the intersection of biostatistics and data science, studying ensemble models, expert-prediction, and crowdsourcing for forecasting infectious diseases. He received his Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences from the University of Vermont, an MS in Biostatistics from Georgetown University, and a BS in Biomathematics from the University of Scranton. In industry, Tom was Associate Director of Biostatistics at the Cardiovascular Research Foundation where he led a team of biostatisticians that designed and analyzed multinational clinical trials, and while there, he coauthored over 60 manuscripts in cardiology. For more information, visit his website: http://www.thomasmcandrew.com/
Halcyon (Hal) Skinner is an epidemiologist whose work spans the full spectrum of population health research from cell to society. Dr. Skinner received a PhD in Epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, MPH from the University of Miami, and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Wesleyan University. Dr. Skinner completed post-doctoral training at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Skinner’s work has focused on the genetic and environmental determinants of cancer risk and progression with a particular emphasis on pancreatic cancer. His contributions include early investigations of the relationship of telomere length and shortening to the occurrence of colorectal and pancreatic cancers. Later work successfully identified combinations of common serum analytes and clinical information that proved useful for developing novel decision support tools to predict the risk for and severity of prostate and ovarian cancers. More recent work included methodological development and evaluation of health quality measures including a novel harms-based weighting approach for the composite hospital patient-safety measure PSI-90. Prior to joining Lehigh University, Dr. Skinner was Director of Epidemiology and Director of Data Strategy for IBM Watson Health. Dr. Skinner aims to bring a translational approach to research and education for Lehigh’s College of Health by taking novel discovery and insights through design and development to the implementation of impactful solutions to improve the health of the population.
Dr. Fathima Wakeel is an associate professor at Lehigh University’s College of Health. She has had twenty years of academic and research training in the Maternal and Child Health field. The goal of Dr. Wakeel’s research agenda is to produce knowledge that will help reduce racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in adverse maternal and child health outcomes. Though previous work has largely focused on identifying the differential prenatal risks (e.g. maternal stress) underlying these disparities, her research concerns the differential development of protective factors—i.e., personal capital--over the life course.
Dr. Wakeel is one of the first researchers to conceptualize and operationalize the construct of personal capital and examine its relationships with stress and adverse obstetric outcomes. She aims to contribute to the College of Health’s research landscape by conducting quantitative, mixed-methods, and community-based participatory research to explore the measurement of personal capital, specifically among different racial/ethnic groups of women, and how it develops over the life course. In addition to her research expertise, Dr. Wakeel has over five years of experience in teaching and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students, curriculum and program development, and interdisciplinary community coalition development.
Dr. Wakeel received her PhD in Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles and her Master of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health at the University of South Florida. Her postdoctoral training includes the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality Health Services Research and Healthcare Quality Improvement Program Fellowship and the Health Disparities Research Scholars Program Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health.