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!”


Samantha Rosenthal is a full-time assistant professor at JWU Providence in the department of Health Science. She is also a research associate in the Department of Epidemiology at the Brown University School of Public Health.

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

Rosenthal then continued her studies in a Masters of Public Health (MPH) degree at Brown University. She 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). She also spent much of her 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.

Rosenthal stayed at Brown to complete her Ph.D. in Epidemiology in 2014. She received the Community Health Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in 2011 and is currently involved in multiple research topics, including how climate change influences emerging infectious disease spread, how 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 and research and intervene in the progression of disease. She works 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. Rosenthal truly enjoys 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