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Alexandra Brewis Slade

President's Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 2402
President's Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 2402
Biography

President's Professor,  School of Human Evolution and Social Change

Associate Vice President for Social Sciences, Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development

Co-Director,  Mayo Clinic-ASU Obesity Solutions

For scheduling and other administrative assistance please contact Kelsie.Nabors@asu.edu.

Follow me on twitter: @brewis_alex

Every current major complex problem we face has people at its core. And social science can provide the key insights to why people think what they think and do what they do. Yet, this knowledge is underappreciated and misapplied as solutions to complex to challenges like climate change, emerging disease, and poverty are designed and implemented. Accordingly, many efforts fail. My fundamental mission is to help fix this disconnect.

In my own research program, we are using two “sentinel” problems as a concrete way to move this agenda forward. One focuses on how and why effective obesity solutions are undermined by weight stigma.  This stigma is damaging and distressing for millions, is rapidly spreading globally, and utterly derails weight loss efforts. The other considers how people are understanding and responding to severe weather disasters, such as growing water shortages and draught.

Both these projects test new types of social research methods for understanding people's lives in low-resource settings. Our team is working to expand the impact of these methods into the “real world” of international development through partnership with Chemonics International.

Social scientists also have a huge responsibility to properly communicate why what we do is so vital to national interests and the future of our world. I do this through citizen science, writing accessibly, outreach, public-private partnerships, and social media. For example, you can read our blog on stigma and global health at lazycrazydisgusting.com

I am fortunate to hold two positions at ASU that allow me to advance my mission institutionally -- one that drills down deep into a specific problem and the other that thinks across all our major human challenges. As the co-Director of Obesity Solutions, I have the opportunity to work with a nimble, innovative team on how we translate the current, confusing, science of obesity and weight gain to address one of our most intractable, misunderstood health problems. As Associate Vice President for Social Sciences, my focus is on devising the structures, approaches and teams that can leverage the best, most innovative social science to push forward our collective progress on solving any tricky problem.

I have a PhD in anthropology from University of Arizona (1992) and was an Andrew W Mellon Foundation postdoctoral fellow in anthropological demography at the Population Studies and Training Center at Brown University. Before joining ASU in 2005, I taught at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and University of Georgia. At ASU, I had the priviledge of serving as Director of the School of Human Evolution and Social Change from 2009-2017. 

As an educator, I am a passionate promoter of experiential education like study abroad, research apprenticeships, and field programs, and am extremely proud to have lead the team that devised and launched the nation's first and largest global health undergraduate degree. 

Research Interests

The Small World/Big Bodies project looks at the socio-cultural dimensions of the growing obesity epidemic globally, most especially growing weight-related stigma. This includes a focus on understanding why the stigma around obesity is so profound, how it perpetuates obesity, who is most damaged by it, and ultimately how to fix it. 

Better Post-Bariatric Lives is a clinic-based study (using ethnography and survey) done in partnership with Mayo Clinic, to understand the role of stigma in shaping weight regain after bariatric surgery. 

The Global Ethnohydrology Study is a multi-year transdisciplinary project using data collected with local communities from around the globe. The goal is to better theorize how people understand and adapt to the everyday challenges of climate changes, such as getting enough safe water, and to explicate the health and psychological impacts of that struggle.

The Global Impact Collaboratory is an effort to innovate social science methods as they are applied to ensure best possible outcomes for development work being done across the globe. 

 

Summer 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
ASM 414Urban and Environmental Health
SOS 414Urban and Environmental Health
ESS 514Urban and Environmental Health
SSH 792Research
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
ASM 246Human Origins
ASB 484Internship
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
ASM 246Human Origins
ASB 484Internship
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 584Internship
SSH 590Reading and Conference
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 591Seminar
ASB 592Research
ESS 790Reading and Conference
SSH 790Reading and Conference
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ESS 792Research
SSH 792Research
ASB 792Research
SSH 799Dissertation
ASB 799Dissertation
ESS 799Dissertation
Summer 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
SOS 320Society and Sustainability
SOS 414Urban and Environmental Health
ESS 514Urban and Environmental Health
SSH 792Research
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
ASM 246Human Origins
ASB 484Internship
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
ASM 246Human Origins
SSH 484Internship
ASB 484Internship
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 584Internship
SSH 590Reading and Conference
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
SSH 790Reading and Conference
ESS 790Reading and Conference
SSH 792Research
ASB 792Research
ESS 792Research
SSH 799Dissertation
ASB 799Dissertation
ESS 799Dissertation
Summer 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
SSH 403Cross-Culturl Stds Global Hlth
SSH 792Research
Spring 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 484Internship
SSH 484Internship
SSH 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
SSH 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
SSH 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ESS 590Reading and Conference
SSH 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
SSH 593Applied Project
SSH 790Reading and Conference
ESS 790Reading and Conference
ASB 790Reading and Conference
SSH 792Research
ASB 792Research
ESS 792Research
SSH 799Dissertation
ASB 799Dissertation
ESS 799Dissertation
Fall 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
SSH 484Internship
ASB 484Internship
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
SSH 492Honors Directed Study
SSH 493Honors Thesis
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
SSH 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 584Internship
SSH 590Reading and Conference
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
SSH 790Reading and Conference
ESS 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
SSH 792Research
ESS 792Research
SSH 799Dissertation
ASB 799Dissertation
ESS 799Dissertation
Summer 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
SSH 300Food and Culture
ASB 300Food and Culture
ASB 301Global History of Health
SSH 301Global History of Health
SOS 320Society and Sustainability
SSH 402Commnty Partnrshps Global Hlth
SSH 403Cross-Culturl Stds Global Hlth
SSH 414Urban and Environmental Health
SOS 414Urban and Environmental Health
ASM 414Urban and Environmental Health
ASB 443Cross-Culturl Stds Global Hlth
ASB 452Commnty Partnrshps Global Hlth
ASB 471Introduction to Museums
ASB 489Doing Research in Anthropology
ASB 591Seminar
SSH 792Research
Spring 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
SSH 484Internship
ASB 484Internship
SSH 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
SSH 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
SSH 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ESS 590Reading and Conference
ASB 590Reading and Conference
SSH 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
SSH 593Applied Project
SSH 790Reading and Conference
ESS 790Reading and Conference
ASB 790Reading and Conference
SSH 792Research
ASB 792Research
ESS 792Research
SSH 799Dissertation
ASB 799Dissertation
ESS 799Dissertation
Fall 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
SSH 484Internship
ASB 484Internship
SSH 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
SSH 493Honors Thesis
HON 494Special Topics
SSH 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 584Internship
ASB 590Reading and Conference
SSH 590Reading and Conference
ESS 590Reading and Conference
ESS 592Research
ASB 592Research
SSH 593Applied Project
SSH 790Reading and Conference
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ESS 790Reading and Conference
SSH 792Research
ESS 792Research
ASB 792Research
SSH 799Dissertation
ASB 799Dissertation
ESS 799Dissertation
Summer 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 300Food and Culture
SSH 300Food and Culture
ASB 301Global History of Health
SSH 301Global History of Health
GPH 314Global Change
SOS 320Society and Sustainability
ASB 355Trad Medicine and Healing
GCU 357Social Geography
SSH 402Commnty Partnrshps Global Hlth
SSH 403Cross-Culturl Stds Global Hlth
SOS 414Urban and Environmental Health
ASM 414Urban and Environmental Health
SSH 414Urban and Environmental Health
ASB 443Cross-Culturl Stds Global Hlth
ASB 452Commnty Partnrshps Global Hlth
ASB 471Introduction to Museums
ASB 489Doing Research in Anthropology
COM 494Special Topics
ASB 591Seminar
SSH 792Research
Spring 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
SSH 402Commnty Partnrshps Global Hlth
SSH 403Cross-Culturl Stds Global Hlth
ASB 452Commnty Partnrshps Global Hlth
AML 484Internship
ASB 484Internship
SSH 484Internship
SSH 493Honors Thesis
ASB 493Honors Thesis
SSH 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
ESS 592Research
SSH 593Applied Project
SSH 790Reading and Conference
ESS 790Reading and Conference
ASB 790Reading and Conference
SSH 792Research
ASB 792Research
ESS 792Research
SSH 799Dissertation
ASB 799Dissertation
ESS 799Dissertation
Fall 2012
Course NumberCourse Title
SSH 402Commnty Partnrshps Global Hlth
SSH 484Internship
ASB 484Internship
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
SSH 492Honors Directed Study
SSH 493Honors Thesis
ASB 493Honors Thesis
SSH 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 584Internship
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
SSH 790Reading and Conference
ESS 790Reading and Conference
ASB 790Reading and Conference
SSH 792Research
ASB 792Research
ESS 792Research
SSH 799Dissertation
ASB 799Dissertation
ESS 799Dissertation