Faculty Directory

Shelley White

Associate Professor of the Practice and Director of Experiential Learning


Shelley K. White, Ph.D., M.P.H., is an Associate Professor of the Practice and the Director of Experiential Learning within the Global Public Health and Common Good Program at the Connell School of Nursing, with a courtesy appointment in the Department of Sociology. She received her B.S. and M.P.H. from Boston University, and earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from Boston College. 

As an interdisciplinary scholar and global health practitioner, Dr. White focuses on health equity and human rights, the politics of health and health policy, and socio-structural determinants of health, including the influences of corporations, trade, militarism, borders, and social inequities on health. She has worked on migration and environmental justice in the US-Mexico borderlands, HIV/AIDS policy and programming in the US and sub-Saharan Africa, and on community-based development and social movement strategy in various domestic and global settings. Dr. White has served as a board member and pro-bono consultant for a number of organizations promoting global peace, justice and community development, and as Founding Chair of the Public Health Working Group on Primary Prevention of War; past Chair of the American Public Health Association's Trade and Health Forum; and past Co-Chair of the Steering Committee for Human Rights Cities: Boston and Beyond. Professor White teaches courses focused on global public health practice, health systems and policy, health equity and social justice; and she offers an experiential community-based learning course in the US-Mexico borderlands.

Selected Appointments and Awards

  • 2020 Simmons University Social Science, Education and Public Health Director’s Fellowship
  • 2019 American Public Health Association Victor Sidel and Barry Levy Award for Peace
  • 2018 Simmons University Dean’s Innovation & Collaboration Fund Award
  • 2013 Simmons University Professor of the Year Award
  • 2013 Worcester State University International Faculty Development Grant with the Council for International Educational Exchange
  • 2011 Boston College Donald J. White Teaching Excellence Award

Selected Publications

  • White, Shelley K., Valerie Leiter, Mi Le, and Caitlyn Helms. 2023. “Regulatory Scripting: Examining Participation in the FDA’s Advisory Process.”  PLOS One. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0281774
  • Kamya, Hugo A. and Shelley K. White. 2022. “Providing Services to Youth Involved in Transactional Sex in Uganda: Professional Ethics in the Context of LGBTQ+ and Gender Oppression.” Families in Society. 104(3). https://doi.org/10.1177/1044389422113342
  • White, Shelley K. and Hugo A. Kamya. 2021. “Transactional Sex, Consumer Society, and Neoliberalism in Uganda: A Political Economic Analysis of Drivers and Models of Response.” Global Public Health 17(7): 1343-1357. https://doi.org/10.1080/17441692.2021.1925943
  • White, Jonathan M. and Shelley K. White. 2019. The Engaged Sociologist: Connecting the Classroom to the Community (6th Ed). Sage Publishing. https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/the-engaged-sociologist/book252454
  • White, Shelley K. and Abigail Walters. 2018. “Assessing Risk by Analogy: A Case Study of US Medical Device Risk Management Policy.” Health, Risk and Society 7-8: 358-378. https://doi.org/10.1080/13698575.2018.1554802
  • Wiist, William H. and Shelley K. White (Eds.) 2017. Preventing War and Promoting Peace: A Guide for Health Professionals. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316551158
  • White, Shelley K. 2017. “Public Health and Prevention of War: The Power of Transnational, Transdisciplinary Collaboration.” Medicine, Conflict and Survival 33(2): 101-109. (Invited Commentary) https://doi.org/10.1080/13623699.2017.1327155
  • Valerie Leiter, Shelley K. White and Abigail Walters. 2017. “Adverse Events Reports Associated with Vaginal Mesh: An Interrupted Time Series Analysis.” Women’s Health Issues 27(3): 279-285. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.whi.2017.01.005
  • White, Shelley K. and Amy C. Finnegan. 2016. “Organizing in Abeyance: Examining the Single Payer Healthcare Movements in the Era of Affordable Care Act Implementation.” Interface: A Journal for and about Social Movements 8(1): 45-76. http://www.interfacejournal.net/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Issue-8-1-White-and-Finnegan4.pdf
  • Amy C. Finnegan and Shelley K. White. 2016. “Vermont and Healthcare Reform Organizing: Human Rights Promise and Praxis.” Journal of Human Rights Practice 8(1): 148-170. https://doi.org/10.1093/jhuman/huv020
  • White, Shelley K., Jonathan M. White and Kathleen O. Korgen (Eds.) 2015. Sociologists in Action on Inequalities: Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality. Sage Publishing. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781483368764
  • Nitkin, Mindell Reiss, Shelley K. White, and Mary Shapiro. 2015. “Professional Skills as Cornerstones of Liberal Education: Moving Students from Theory to Action.” College Teaching. 64(1). https://doi.org/10.1080/87567555.2015.1062742
  • Leiter, Valerie and Shelley K. White. 2015. “Enmeshed in Controversy: Claims about the Risks of Vaginal Mesh Devices.” Health, Risk and Society. 17(1): 64-80. https://doi.org/10.1080/13698575.2014.1000835
  • White, Shelley K. and Mindell Reiss Nitkin. 2014. “Creating a Transformative Learning Experience: Immersing Students in an Intensive, Interdisciplinary Learning Environment.” International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 8(2): Article 3. https://digitalcommons.georgiasouthern.edu/ij-sotl/vol8/iss2/3/
  • Korgen, Kathleen O., Jonathan M. White and Shelley K. White (Eds.) 2014. Sociologists in Action: Sociology, Social Change and Social Justice (2nd Ed). Sage Publishing. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781506335490
  • Wiist, William, Kathy Barker, Neil Arya, Jon Rohde, Martin Donohoe, Shelley White, Pauline Lubens, Gerry Gorman, Amy Hagopian. 2014. “The Role of Public Health in the Prevention of War: Rationale and Competencies.” American Journal of Public Health 104(6): e34-e47. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2013.301778
  • White, Shelley K., Bernard Lown and Jon Rohde. 2013. “War or Health? Assessing Public Health Education and the Potential for Primary Prevention.” Public Health Reports 128(6): 568-573. https://doi.org/10.1177/003335491312800618
  • White, Shelley K. 2012. “Public Health at a Crossroads: Assessing Teaching on Economic Globalization as a Social Determinant of Health.” Critical Public Health 22(3): 281-295. https://doi.org/10.1080/09581596.2012.685052
  • Cermak, Michael J., Jonathan A. Christiansen, Amy C. Finnegan, Aideen P. Gleeson, Shelley K. White, Darcy K. Leach. 2011. “Displacing Activism? The Impact of International Service Trips on Understandings of Social Change.” Education, Citizenship and Social Justice 6(1): 5-20. https://doi.org/10.1177/1746197910397915
  • Korgen, Kathleen O., Jonathan M. White and Shelley K. White. 2011. “Introduction: Sociologists in Action: Sociology, Social Change and Social Justice.” Special issue introduction: Theory in Action 4(2):1-4. https://transformativestudies.org/publications/theory-in-action-the-journal-of-tsi/past-issues/volume-4-number-2-april-2011/
  • Amy C. Finnegan, Adam P. Saltsman and Shelley K. White. 2010. "Negotiating Politics and Culture: The Utility of Human Rights for Activist Organizing in the United States." Journal of Human Rights Practice 2(3): 307-333. https://doi.org/10.1093/jhuman/huq009
  • White, Shelley K. 2006. “Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor” by Paul Farmer. Contemporary Sociology, 35(1): 20-21. (Invited Book Review) https://www.jstor.org/stable/i30045646