Brown School Welcomes New Faculty with Transdisciplinary Strengths

Faculty; Public Health; Social Work

The Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis welcomed three new tenure/tenure track faculty members: Betty Bofinger Associate Professor Ross Hammond, Assistant Professor Deborah Salvo and Associate Professor Lindsay Stark.  Two new assistant professors focusing in research also joined the faculty: Proscovia Nabunya and Mathieu Despard.

“I am so pleased that these scholars have brought their talents, expertise and transdisciplinary perspectives to the Brown School. Their presence will be a tremendous benefit to our students, our faculty and our impact across the world,” said Mary M. McKay, Neidorff Family and Centene Corporation Dean of the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

Though each of them has different areas of emphasis in the public health and social work spheres, they were drawn to the Brown School’s commitment to seek transdisciplinary solutions for some of today’s most challenging social issues.

Ross A. Hammond, Betty Bofinger Brown Associate Professor, is one of the nation’s foremost experts in complex systems science modeling. Hammond is a senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution, where he will retain his post as director of the Center on Social Dynamics and Policy. Hammond works to generate new insights into the social dynamics that drive many difficult policy problems, as well as to identify potential leverage points or windows for intervention. Hammond holds academic appointments at Harvard School of Public Health and the Santa Fe Institute.

Lindsay Stark, associate professor, concentrates her research on violence prevention, child welfare and women’s health with an emphasis on the wellbeing of women and children in humanitarian and development settings. Stark, who joins the Brown School from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, helped pioneer a method of measuring the prevalence of human rights violations, including gender-based violence. She will teach both social work and public health classes.

Deborah Salvo, assistant professor, focuses her research on obesity prevention, physical activity and spatial epidemiology in both Latin America and the U.S. Specifically, she examines how urban design influences population health, and how that influence contributes to health disparities worldwide. Salvo joins the Brown School from an assistant professorship at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health in Austin.

Proscovia Nabunya, research assistant professor, studies poverty-reduction strategies that utilize asset-based interventions and their impact on the social, economic and health well-being of children and families in HIV-impacted communities in sub-Saharan Africa. Nabunya completed the Provost’s Post-Doctoral and Transitional Program for Academic Diversity Fellowship at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work prior to coming to the Brown School.

Mathieu Despard, research assistant professor, studies the financial security of low- and moderate-income households, including tax-time savings, workplace financial wellness programs, credit, and financial services, as well as the capacity and performance of nonprofit organizations serving these households and communities. He is currently leading a project at the Brown School’s Center for Social Development, studying workplace financial wellness interventions for low- and moderate-income employees. He joins WashU from the University of North Carolina.