Rochelle Frounfelker, ScD, MPH, MSSW

Assistant Professor, Department of Community and Population Health
Office: HST L122


Rochelle Frounfelker is an assistant professor in the College of Health. She is a social epidemiologist who uses mixed methods to investigate the life course impact of social and environmental adversities on psychiatric disorders among marginalized populations; implements new or adapted evidence-based interventions to reduce negative mental health outcomes; and assesses the effectiveness of interventions in clinical and community settings. Her work is interdisciplinary and incorporates knowledge from the fields of epidemiology, cultural psychiatry, social work, child development, and aging.


  • McGill University, postdoctoral fellow in the Division of Social and Cultural Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry
  • Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, ScD in Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, MPH in Sociomedical Sciences
  • Columbia University School of Social Work, MSSW in Clinical Practice


Areas of Research and Publications

Dr. Frounfelker’s primary area of research is addressing mental health disparities among refugees and other war-affected populations. She conducts community-based participatory research with refugees that address mental health throughout the lifespan, ranging from preventing mental health problems among children and youth to promoting the psychosocial wellbeing of aging adults.  A focus of her work is on adapting and implementing interventions that incorporate and privilege local understandings of mental health and wellness and leverage culturally relevant strategies for coping and healing. For the past decade she has worked on community-based participatory research with Bhutanese and Somali Bantu refugee communities in the United States and Canada. 

More recently, Dr. Frounfelker has initiated research on using a public health approach to counter and prevent violent extremism. She employs epidemiological methods to identify individual and community-level risk and protective factors for violent radicalization, with a particular focus on mental health and psychosocial wellbeing.  She is also involved in the evaluation of clinical services for violent extremists, with the goal of developing best practice and policy guidelines for public health professionals and service providers.