David Jernigan Named New Assistant Dean for Practice
In this leadership role, Jernigan will work to shape and deliver the mission of the Activist Lab at SPH and develop trainings and curricula to help the school realize its mission to improve the health of all.
In this leadership role, Jernigan will work closely with Craig Andrade, associate dean for practice and director of the Activist Lab, to shape and deliver the mission of the Activist Lab and develop training programs, curricula, and courses to help the school realize its mission to improve the health and well-being of all. He will also function as a bridge between SPH faculty and the Activist Lab, and will serve to catalyze and encourage local and global public health practice work among both faculty and students.
“The Activist Lab aims to spark bold public health practice that meets the world’s injustices head on, and David is the perfect partner and vital action figure in operationalizing our new Justice League,” says Andrade. “As an accomplished researcher with passionate advocacy deep in his DNA, he has all that it will take and more to help us revolutionize SPH’s practice portfolio.”
Jernigan joined SPH in 2018, researching alcohol advertising, marketing, and promotion and its influence on young people. Over the course of his 35-year career, he spent the first 22 years working with non-profit organizations and policy thinktanks before transitioning his work to research universities 13 years ago.
“I enjoy bridging the worlds of research and advocacy,” he says. “In my life, my activism has informed my research, and my research has informed my activism. This is the perspective I try to bring to all of my work.”
In addition to his research, Jernigan is the senior policy advisor to CityHealth, an initiative of the de Beaumont Foundation and Kaiser Permanente, and is also a member of the Cannabis Advertising and Social Media (CASM) research group, which has pioneered measurement of the effects of exposure to cannabis marketing on youth use and problems.
Prior to coming to SPH, he directed the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and co-founded the Maryland Collaborative to Reduce College Drinking and Related Problems, a statewide effort involving 19 institutions of higher education committed to reducing alcohol-related problems on campus and in the surrounding communities.
“As a productive practice-oriented researcher, a dedicated teacher and mentor, and a passionate advocate, David’s past leadership in developing advocacy training programs and curricula will be a great asset to the work of the Activist Lab moving forward,” says Michael McClean, associate dean for research and faculty advancement.
“With David’s partnership, we’re not only generating new ideas for how to bring advocacy and activism to our entire school community,” says Emily Barbo, assistant director of the Activist Lab, “but we are also thinking critically about what we are currently doing and if there are ways to better fulfill the promise that we are making to our students and each other in terms of how we do and talk about public health practice.”
Throughout his career, Jernigan has trained thousands of public health activists, and says he is excited to continue this work in his new role.
“I have been an activist since I was in my teens, and I continue to be deeply hopeful about what we in public health can accomplish,” he says. “Here at SPH, we have a clear mission to change the world, and I am excited to work with Craig and the rest of the Activist Lab team to help us all achieve that mission.”