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In the Shadows of the 7 Hills of Kampala

In the second episode of the fall season, Monica Swahn, professor of health promotion and physical education and dean of the Wellstar College of Health and Human Services, was the featured guest. As a psychiatric epidemiologist and public health scholar, she discussed her work in sub-Saharan Africa, focused on youth health-risk behaviors and how alcohol exacerbates the risk for violence, injuries and HIV.

Given rapid urban migration and population growth in Uganda, the number of vulnerable youth who live in the slums in Kampala is exceeding the availability of government services and support. Basic public health research that describes key risk and contextual factors can identify the most vulnerable and guide low-cost interventions to improve quality of life among those who live the urban disadvantage.

Swahn joined Kennesaw State University in 2021 as the Wellstar College dean after previously serving as a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Population Health Sciences at Georgia State University. During her 14-year-tenure, she also was the associate vice president for research and the associate dean for research for the College of Health and Human Sciences. Prior to Georgia State, Swahn spent 10 years in several positions within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including the Office of the Chief Science Officer. 

Swahn has published more than 100 scientific reports and her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the CDC and the World Health Organization. Her international work was recognized by the Sheth Distinguished Faculty Award in 2019. She holds a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh.

Learn more about Dr. Swahn!

Research Video

Episode Video