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Dawn M. Richardson, Dr. P.H., M.P.H. Profile

Dawn M. Richardson, Dr. P.H., M.P.H.

Assistant Professor, School of Community Health
Phone: (503)725-2051
Curriculum Vitae 
PSU Profile: Snapshots, Bridges, and Positive Outcomes


Dawn M. Richardson, Dr.P.H, M.P.H., is an Assistant Professor at the School of Community Health, where she teaches courses including Urban and Community Health, Global Health and others. She has served on the faculty since 2012.

Dr. Richardson’s work examines how the places where people live, both the social and physical environments, can impact health and social mobility. Her research is influenced by Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) principles and involves the use of technology (photos, maps and videos) to enhance youth engagement, access to education and policy intervention.

She views her role as helping people understand how changes in the way we think about things such as family leave, policies supporting breastfeeding, and access to good schools, healthy food, transportation and adequate housing can have an impact on community health.

"It’s important that we identify what can we do, as public health professionals, to ensure that people have the best chances for the best outcomes," explains Richardson as motivation for her study.

Richardson is co-investigator on a major grant from National Institutes of Health (NIH) designed to help grow diversity among biomedical and health researchers at PSU. She is working alongside School of Community Health Director Dr. Crespo on EXITO (Enhancing Cross-disciplinary Infrastructure Training at Oregon) to help students access enhanced curriculum, tuition support, stipends and mentoring for advancing their education. 

"There are incredible disparities in education that can influence your lifetime earning potential, which we know is ultimately linked to health," said Richardson.

Interest in the study of social determinants of health and disease is what led Richardson to PSU. Richardson did her post-doctoral training with the Kellogg Health Scholars Program at the University of Michigan, where she worked with the Healthy Environments Partnership a CBPR partnership with Detroit Urban Research Center. 

Richardson received her Doctor of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health and her Masters of Public Health at the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University. Her research focus also led her to serve as Board Chair forUpstream Public Health, a non-profit focused on promoting policy and improving health for all Oregonians.

In the quest for improvements to public health Richardson is inspired by the thought that everyone has a role to play. "As we enhance our knowledge, we enhance our capacity to intervene and reshape the landscape into something that's less hierarchical, more equitable and ultimately healthier," said Richardson. It's what leads her to find inspiration in the quote:


“What the social world has made, the social world, armed with knowledge, can undo.” -- Pierre Bourdieu, 1993


Select Articles

Ford, E., Izumi, B., Lottes, J., Richardson, D.R. (2014). Badge It! A Collaborative Learning Outcomes Based Approach to Integrating Information Literacy Badges within Disciplinary curriculum. References Services Review. In Press.

Izumi, B.T., Schulz, A.J., Mentz, G., Israel, B.A., Sand, S.L., Reyes, A.G., Hoston, B., Richardson, D.M., Gamboa, G., Rowe, Z., & Diaz, G. (2014). Walk Your Heart to Health: Community Health Promoter leader behavior, group cohesion, and participation in a community-based walking group program. Accepted for publication by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

 Fuller-Thompson, E., Nuru-Jeter, A.M., Richardson, D.M., & Minkler, M. (2012). The Hispanic Paradox and Older Adults’ Disabilities: Is there a Healthy Migrant Effect? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 1786-1814.

Richardson, D.M., Nuru-Jeter, A. (2012). Neighborhood Contexts Experienced by Mexican-American Young Women: Enhancing Our Understanding of Risk for Early Childbearing. Journal of Urban Health, 89(1), 59-73.

Neuhauser, L., Richardson, D., Mackenzie, S., & Minkler, M. (2007). Advancing transdisciplinary and translational research practice: Issues and models of doctoral education in public health. Journal of Research Practice, 3(2), M19.


Classes Instructed

PHE 250 - Our Community: Our Health (4) 
Description: Examines social, behavioral, and environmental community health-related issues and the controversies that surround them. Group and presentation work will be emphasized. This course will be a prerequisite for all upper-division classes in the major.

PHE 444U - Global Health (4) 
Critically explores global public health issues as they pertain to different populations throughout the world, such as global disease eradication initiatives, environmental and infectious diseases from an international perspective, and discusses health needs of special populations.

PHE 546 - Urban and Community Health (3) 
This course examines the social factors associated with urban health and quality of life, such as social class, gender inequalities, and racism. Emphasis will be placed upon community development and collective responses to the maintenance of health rather than upon individualized health promotion and disease prevention strategies.