AsherLev T. Santos
Assistant Professor, Public Health
Years at CSUSM?
What brought you to CSUSM?
The new Master of Public Health program, and the teaching focus of the CSU system
What do you teach?
I teach the global health concentration classes as well as the “Public Health 101”, intro course
Please tell us about your research.
I am an institutionalist and don’t focus on individual health, but population health. I look at the institutional and policy built environment to see how that impacts health outcomes. With my international relations training, I’ve focused my public health research on global health diplomacy, how global institutions and organizations influence responses to issues of global health importance. I am particularly interested in the health and non-health cooperative relationships between developing countries to address global health issues, and the institutions these countries have created to foster this cooperation – also known as South-South Cooperation. My area studies focus have been focused on Brazil and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries but has also included other BRICS countries, Japan, and Southeast Asia.
What is the biggest challenge in your job?
Right now, it is balancing program development, teaching, research and my community engagement. There doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day.
What is the greatest reward of your job?
I like the teaching aspect of the job. I like what I study, but also like sharing what I’ve learned with my students – getting students get excited and interested in global health issues so we can learn more together. I just give them the tools to engage in this learning.
What is your short-term goal?
My short term goals revolve around the program: get an international training component underway.
What is your long-term goal?
I would like to develop our global health program focus areas. This will help channel our global health students through their thesis process, but will also help build our program portfolio around topical areas that could become a Global Health Center for the CSU system that have a few main areas: Global Health Diplomacy & South-South Cooperation, Migration, something else?
What is your favorite movie, food, book, hobbies??
Yoga. I like to hike in the mountains under trees – I guess I’m in the wrong part of the state. Book – that’s a hard one to narrow down. In general, I’m a big sci-fi and fantasy reader – It beats Calgon any day. TV/Movies – if it has a spaceship and/or some sort of wizard I’ll watch it. You got a superpower – bring it. I’m a Whovian, and a Trekkie, and can recite the lines of the movie Dune scene by scene. I grew up with Star Wars as a kid. I played with the toys and slept in Star Wars sheets. Maybe this kid still does.
What would you like to do when you retire?
Not have to rush everywhere, not worry about time. Then again I guess when one retires, time – and how much of it left – is the only thing that one really worries about, huh?