Worthen, Miranda E

Worthen, Miranda E

Associate Professor, Public Health & Recreation


Preferred: miranda.worthen@sjsu.edu


Preferred: (408) 924-2977

Please email me instead.


  • Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley

  • M.Phil. Oxford University

  • B.A. Harvard University


Pronouns I use: she, her, hers.

My work focuses on evidence-based and science-based research and programming to support a diversity of populations, with an emphasis on ensuring that the vulnerable are able to fulfill their entitlement for health, including transgender individuals and women pregnant with fetuses

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Words Matter to Public Health


I am an Associate Professor at San José State University and serve as the Research Coordinator of the SJSU Human Rights Institute. I teach epidemiology courses and global health. My research focus is at the intersection of public health and social justice, often with a focus on war-affected people. My current work examines disparities in college student experiences from a student-centered perspective. (See, for example, a recent paper I co-authored with former students Justin Menchaca and Michelle Laine on an intersectional approach to understanding depression in college students.)

I conduct participatory research, focusing on partnership development for transformative social impacts. One current partnership is on the COVID-19 Inequities Study. Check out our team's new blog: Wellness During COVID-19.

Another current project I am working on is the People's Budget of San José, a partnership between community-based organizations in San José and the Human Rights Institute. Several Public Health undergraduate interns have been critical to the success of this project, which is a multi-disciplinary, mixed methods study.

Prior to beginning at San José State, I was the Co-PI on a participatory action research study with young mothers in West Africa who had been child soldiers. That work has been widely cited, including in the UNICEF Paris Principles. I also directed a mixed-methods study aimed at understanding reintegration challenges for U.S. Veterans.

This year, my article "The transformative and emancipatory potential of participatory evaluation: reflections from a participatory action research study with war-affected young mothers" won the Sanjaya Lall Prize from Oxford Development Studies and is available Open Access here.

You can view a video abstract for my article "The Solace of an Uncertain Future" here