Deborah Williams

Health South, Room 458
500 N. 3rd Street
Phoenix
Clinical Asst Professor (FSC)
Faculty
DTPHX Campus
Mailcode
9020

Biography

Deborah Williams is a sociocultural anthropologist and Registered Nurse. During her career as a nurse, she witnessed the impact of chronic diseases upon individual and community health, as well as the need to integrate cultural and social components into health care. Her current research interests focus on the the social determinants of health and place, and includes chronic disease, obesity, stigma, body image, Identity and community health. Williams is an advocate for social science and community-based participatory research and works with vulnerable communities within Arizona. She is particularly concerned with pursuing and fostering an interdisciplinary dialogue and strengthening translational research as a means to facilitate real world, sustainable solutions.

Williams is a clinical assistant professor in the College of Health Solutions focusing on developing translational science and research. She previously served as the associate director of Obesity Solutions, a joint initiative with Mayo Clinic to promote innovative, agile solutions in obesity and community health. She has taught a number of experiential learning classes in global health, including research practicums, professionalism, and Study Abroad classes in community health.

Education

  • Ph.D. Anthropology, Arizona State University 2012
  • M.A. Anthropology, Arizona State University 2007
  • B.A. Sociology, University of Kansas 1981
  • Registered Nurse, St. Lukes School of Nursing, Kansas City, MO 1980

Research Interests

social determinants of health, place, identity, obesity, chronic disease, community health and translational research

Publications

Recent Publications:

Williams, D. and A. Brewis, 2016. Obesity. In Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics 313-1. Hank ten Have (ed.).  Springer.

Williams, D., Brewis, A., Trainer, S., and Rosales Chavez, J., 2015. Fat by Any Other Name: Perceptions of “obesity” in clinical settings. In The Applied Anthropology of Obesity: Prevention, Intervention and Identity, Morris, C. (ed.). Lexington Press.

Trainer, S., Brewis, A., Williams, D. and Rosales Chavez, J., 2015. Obese, Fat or Big? Youth Deployment of and reactions to weight terms. Human Organization 74(3).

Brewis, A., Wutich, A., Williams, D., 2015. Teaching Obesity: Stigma, social justice & self. In Teaching Food and Culture. Swift, C & R. Wilk, eds., Left Coast Press. Pgs. 35-48.  

Trainer, S. Hruschka, D. Williams, D. Brewis, A., 2015.  Translating Obesity: Navigating the Front Lines of the “War on Fat.”American Journal of Human Biology, Translating Human Biology. 27(1): 61- 68.

Research Activity

Recent Research:

2017-2019       Breast Health and Weight Issues, (Co-I), an international, cross-cultural, collaborative project examining women’s health and self-image, including attitudes about breast health and size how this impacts body image and life satisfaction. Dr. Viren Swami & Dr. David Barron (Perdana University, Malaysia-Co-PIs).

2017-2019       Older and Wiser BITs: Citizen Scientists in the Valley of the Sun, (Co-I) a collaborative social science project using citizen scientists to understand body and aging concerns, forms of body talk seniors engage in and how this may empower or undermine health efforts. Dr. Cindi SturtzSreetharan (PI)

2017-2018       Fat Talk in Cross-Cultural Settings, A cross-cultural study in 7 countries,leveraging linguistic methods to explore how negative ‘body talk’ operates in self-image, sociality, and wellbeing. Dr. Brewis & Dr. SturtzSreetharan (Co-PIs)

2016-2019       Fat in Four Cultures, A comparative, ethnographically-focused study examining how and why obesity and its stigma is experienced differently in everyday lives in four different countries. Dr. Alexandra Brewis Slade (PI)

2014-2016       The Post-Bariatric Lives Project, (Co-I) Longitudinal ethnographic and survey study of the role of stigma, social support,  and identity across the years following bariatric  surgery to understand the interpersonal bases of weight regain (based at Mayo Clinic) Dr. Alexandra Brewis (PI).

2014-2017       FitPHX Energy Zones, (Co-PI), a study and program in partnership with the City of Phoenix Mayor’s office and Maricopa County Department of Public Health to redesign public libraries as physical spaces that help children learn health and modify behaviors using ASU interns peer-mentors. Dr. James Levine (Co-PI)

2013-2014       Active @ASU –HealthVault Project, (Co-I), A study and program to provide and evaluate an integrated system for students to track their everyday health behaviors through a portal and database that provides feedback on their personal student pages. Dr. Alexandra Brewis Slade (PI)

2013-2014       Fat by any other name (Co-I), A study to identify the desirability of weight-related terms for students in clinical and social settings. (Dr. Alexandra Brewis Slade (PI)

 

 

Courses

Fall 2020
Course Number Course Title
CHS 280 Exptl Comm Hlth & Research
Spring 2020
Course Number Course Title
CHS 294 Special Topics
Fall 2019
Course Number Course Title
CHS 294 Special Topics
Spring 2019
Course Number Course Title
ASB 484 Internship
ASB 499 Individualized Instruction
Fall 2018
Course Number Course Title
ASB 484 Internship
NTR 499 Individualized Instruction
Spring 2018
Course Number Course Title
ASB 484 Internship
ASB 499 Individualized Instruction
Fall 2017
Course Number Course Title
ASB 484 Internship
Summer 2017
Course Number Course Title
ASB 300 Food and Culture
SSH 403 Cross-Culturl Stds Global Hlth
ASB 443 Cross-Culturl Stds Global Hlth
ASB 484 Internship
Spring 2017
Course Number Course Title
ASB 484 Internship
ASB 499 Individualized Instruction
Fall 2016
Course Number Course Title
ASB 484 Internship
ASB 584 Internship
SSH 590 Reading and Conference
SSH 790 Reading and Conference
SSH 792 Research
SSH 799 Dissertation
Summer 2016
Course Number Course Title
ASB 484 Internship
Spring 2016
Course Number Course Title
ASB 484 Internship
ASB 499 Individualized Instruction