This Fall we welcomed Dr. Lillian Walkover who came to us most recently from her tenure as as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Global Health in the Department of Sociology at Drexel University where she worked with her mentor Dr. Susan Bell on a study of the experiences and career paths of physicians who enter the US as refugees. Dr. Walkover also spent about a decade in the San Francisco Bay Area working for a non-profit public health publisher before she began her PhD in Sociology at UC San Francisco. She also spent three years living in different parts of India working in an HIV-focused non-profit. She returned later for dissertation research, based in Delhi.
Dr. Walkover’s has a joint position with the Global Health Program which she plans on connecting with Communication through her new courses, research, and advising.
Dr. Walkover was attracted to the Department of Communication because of its interdisciplinarity along with “a shared commitment to theoretically informed, power-sensitive analysis of the world we live in and how we understand it”.
“I felt like all the parts of my background were welcomed here, and that I would have the opportunity to learn from a range of colleagues and students…Everyone’s research is fascinating. I am particularly excited to work with and learn from Lilly Irani on South Asia studies, Boatema Boateng on the production, travels, and regulation of knowledge, and Kelly Gates and other colleagues in Science Studies. Working across Global Health and Communication will also give me the opportunity to work with and learn from faculty and students across a range of departments.”
Dr. Walkover’s current book project is an exploration of the translation and adaptation of the community health guide Where There Is No Doctor for use in India tying into her next project, a study of the adaptation of Community Health Worker programs in the US. This project will be grounded in San Diego, and the rich history of promotores programs here, as well as the wide range of ways communities across the US have learned how to care for themselves with the help of community health worker models from abroad.
Dr. Walkover will be teaching COGR 201L: Qualitative Analysis of Information Systems, a graduate methods seminar focused on interview-based research conducted over video, phone, and in written exchanges. The course will draw on grounded theory and situational analysis, as well as other critical qualitative traditions. Dr. Walkover will also be teaching Introduction to Global Health (GLBH 20) and developing a new course on Community Health Workers (GLBH 215). In the future, she looks forward to teaching a range of Communication and Global Health classes, including courses that draw on both fields as well as bringing more of her work with the interdisciplinary Structural Competency Working Group, which develops and leads trainings for health practitioners to recognize and respond to social structures as determinants of health and illness, to UCSD.
“This is an incredibly important moment to think critically about communication, global health, and the intersection of the two. While joining a new institution in the middle of a pandemic has been surreal at times, I have felt incredibly welcome and supported. I look forward to continuing to meet people virtually and eventually to gathering in person again.”