Samantha Hurst, Ph.D. is a Clinical Professor in the UCSD Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Longevity Science. As a medical anthropologist, Dr. Hurst’s mission of work emphasizes the goal of partnership with community collaborators as cultural health colleagues and as primary drivers of the knowledge that will assist in improving health and health equity for their own communities.
Dr. Hurst is renowned for her expertise in applied frameworks that emphasize a justice-based and health equity approach to research, distinguishing her contributions to public health. She is deeply committed to teaching, offering courses in qualitative methods and mixed methods research design within the Masters of Public Health Program (MPH) and the Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health (JDP). Her instruction extends to a specialized course on "Public Health Anthropology" in the MPH curriculum, which delves into the principles of health justice, highlighting the universal right to equitable healthcare access regardless of racial, ethnic, gender, or socioeconomic status.
A pivotal aspect of Dr. Hurst's work is her research and teaching focus on Allyship. This area is integral to her approach, defining it as a framework that fosters a shared responsibility and a culture of co-learning between academic and community partnerships. Through this, she champions knowledge democracy and acknowledges the critical expertise found within real-life communities, aiming to bridge the gap between academic research and community needs. Her Allyship model is designed to ensure that research outcomes are not only academically rigorous but also socially relevant and beneficial to all stakeholders involved.
Dr. Hurst also integrates a bio-cultural ethics approach into her roles as both an ally and collaborator. This approach underpins her commitment to ethical practices in research, teaching, and collaboration, ensuring that her work not only advances academic knowledge but also serves the broader community in meaningful ways. Through her dedication to health equity, Allyship, and ethical research practices, Dr. Hurst exemplifies the role of an academic leader committed to fostering an inclusive and just public health landscape. For over two decades she has been a part of community projects focusing on unique U.S. and international ethnic/cultural communities - American Indian, Australian Aborigine, First Nation [Canada], Maori [New Zealand], Somali-Americans Refugees, Yoruba [Nigeria], and Jigjiga, Ethiopia [Somali].
Dr. Hurst received her Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and completed her Post-Doctoral Fellowship training in Cultural Psychiatry and Medical Anthropology at the Alcohol Research Center at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla.