David L. Driscoll, PhD, MPH, MA
Director & Associate Professor
Dr. Driscoll is the Director of the Institute for Health Studies and an associate professor in the College of Health and Social Welfare. His research combines epidemiological and anthropological methods to link population-level health data and sociocultural context in order to assess and create effective public health programs. He has more than 10 years of experience working for a host of federal agencies and research foundations and associations. When not in the office, Dr. Driscoll enjoys running, biking, canoe camping, and fishing.
CV (pdf, 144 KB)
Janet Johnston, PhD, MPH, MS
Biostatistician & Assistant Professor
Dr. Johnston, a statistician and epidemiologist, conducts epidemiological research focused on chronic diseases, health disparities, women's health, and aging. She specializes in study design, analytic methods, and data quality. Prior to joining UAA, Dr. Johnston worked at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium as a Senior Epidemiologist and Health Research Director. At ANTHC she focused on cardiovascular epidemiology, working on both the Alaska Native Cardiovascular Disease Registry and the Alaska Native Stroke Registry. Previously, Dr. Johnston was the co-principal investigator for the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN) Coordinating Center with day-to-day responsibility overseeing data management, analysis, and clinic support. SWAN is a multi-site, multi-ethnic study of 3302 women transitioning through menopause. Dr. Johnston was also the lead statistician for the NHLBI Dynamic Registry of Percutaneous Coronary Interventions and an Injury Epidemiologist at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in Morgantown, WV.
Travis H. Hedwig, PhD
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
Travis is a cultural/medical anthropologist and post-doctoral research fellow at the Institute for Circumpolar Health Studies. He received his BA in anthropology from SUNY Plattsburgh, MA in applied anthropology from the University of Alaska Anchorage, and Ph.D. in medical anthropology from the University of Kentucky. His primary research interests involve impairment/disability and health inequality at the intersections of everyday life. Past research projects examined cultural definitions of disability in the arctic and the racial and cultural politics of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders diagnosis. He is currently working on a Housing First program evaluation in Anchorage and a youth suicide prevention program in rural Alaska. Travis is passionate about teaching and learning. In his spare time he likes to hunt, fish, play music and enjoy Alaska.
Sarah comes to the ICHS with a background in public health and biomedical research. She received her MPH from the University of Washington in 2012.She enjoys working at an academic institute and is currently involved with an evaluation of Housing First programs in Alaska. Her research interests are broad, and include homelessness, nutrition and alcohol studies, maternal and child health, and access to healthy foods. Her master’s thesis studied the effects of fructose and glucose on de novo lipogenesis in health young adults. In addition, Sarah enjoys Alaska’s wilderness year-round and exploring local foods.
Erica holds a baccalaureate in Sociology from UAA and is preparing to begin her graduate studies in Applied Anthropology and later Public Health. She is interested in maternal and child health, as well as food security and policy issues in the circumpolar north. She is currently working on a project examining adaptations to climate change in Alaska. In her free time, Erica enjoys volunteering with the Alaska Food Bank, gardening, and riding her bike.
Chelsea is a doctoral candidate in Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her dissertation investigates regional Alaskan energy projects and the role of cultural models of energy among multi-ethnic industrial, scientific and tribal communities. She currently works on the ICHS Housing First Program Evaluation in Fairbanks, Alaska and volunteers with Stone Soup Cafe, a soup kitchen serving downtown Fairbanks’s homeless residents and working poor. Away from work, Chelsea enjoys cross-country skiing, attempting to cook gourmet dinners in a cabin without running water, and hiking with her rambunctious blue heeler, Boots.
A second generation life-long Alaskan, Rebecca holds a baccalaureate in Anthropology from UAA and looks forward to working in Alaska in advance of pursuing graduate studies. Having studied first at the University of New Orleans, Louisiana, she is intrigued by comparisons of adaptive strategies employed in urban contexts. Her interests include housing and homelessness, food and transportation policy, and interpretation of economic growth from a “sustainability” oriented perspective. When not working, Rebecca enjoys the local film scence and spending time with her beloved 160 pound dog, Max.
Administrative & Fiscal Manager
Andrew (and sometimes Bill) is a life-long Alaskan. He has been with ICHS since 2009 and especially enjoys his role as the IT specialist for the institute. He comes with an Associate Degree in Technical Graphics. Andrew interests are in Technology and Networking . During his time away from work, Andrew keeps very busy with his involvement with Changepoint. In addition, he has found a passion in “swing dancing” and not only participates weekly but also serves as an instructor teaching East Coast, Lindy Hop and Charleston.
Brenda L. Levesque
Brenda’s first air flight within the United States was from the farthest north point on the east coast (Maine) to the farthest north point on the west coast (Alaska). Brenda fell in love with Alaska’s beauty, long summer days, and not only the adventurous spirit of the people but their kindness. Like many visitors to Alaska, Brenda’s summer visit panned to a life-long visit! Brenda has a Bachelor of Arts from Gonzaga University having studied in the fields of Economics/Accounting, Communications, and Education. She has been with the University for over 14 years and has worked in a variety of different capacities She considers the University her home away from home. Brenda enjoys spending time with family, walking, bargain shopping, being by the water and travel. There is no better tranquility than listening to the loons or seagulls and watching the water glisten in the sunlight.
ICHS Strategic Advisory Group of Experts
Download a description and list of SAGE members (PDF)