Samantha Rosenthal

Assistant Professor,  College of Health & Wellness

Contact Information
I am passionate about improving the health of populations worldwide, the health of Rhode Islanders, and engaging JWU students to do the same!”


I am a full-time Assistant Professor at JWU in the department of Health Science at Providence’s Downcity Campus. I am also a Research Associate in the Department of Epidemiology in the Brown University School of Public Health.

I grew up in northern Virginia. In college, I double-majored in chemical and biomedical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. I worked on pharmaceutical and vaccine and pharmaceudical development as a chemical engineer and developing novel medical devices and prostheses as a biomedical engineer. After my undergraduate education, I worked full-time for Proctor & Gample in Egham, England, Cincinnati, Ohio and Stamford, Connecticut. At P&G, I developed skills and experience such as study design and implementation, innovation and method development.

I then continued my studies in a Masters of Public Health (MPH) degree at Brown University. I received the Global Health Scholarship and Foreign Studies Fellowship and traveled to Cape Town, South Africa to conduct both qualitative research in the local townships and data analysis examining the associations between alcohol misuse and risks for HIV infection (published in AIDS Care). I also spent much of my time in the MPH critiquing empirical evidence and statistical simulation models supporting the concurrency hypothesis — the theory that overlapping sexual partnerships is the main driver of the African HIV epidemics. This work has led to many publications including two in AIDS and Behavior and one in The Lancet.

I stayed at Brown to complete my PhD in Epidemiology in 2014. I received the Community Health Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in 2011 and am currently involved in multiple research topics including how climate change influences emerging infectious disease spread, now social media like Facebook puts young adults at risk for depression and substance use, and generally how epidemiology can be used to shape health policy, research and intervene in the progression of disease. I work with the local state departments and legislators, conducting research and teaching on various public health topics ranging from HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, mental illness, injury and violence, emerging infectious disease, and the intersection of social media and health. I truly enjoy teaching and encouraging others to join the public health field.

Areas of Expertise

  • Epidemiology
  • Behavioral Health
  • Infectious Disease
  • Injury and Violence

Sample Courses

  • HSC3100: Epidemiology
  • HSC1010: Introduction to Health Professions
  • HSC1110: Determinants of Health I

Research Projects

  • Adverse childhood experiences and adult chronic illness
  • Climate change and emerging infectious disease
  • Facebook use and mental health

Professional Memberships

  • American Public Health Association