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About Joseph Telfair

Biography, Disciplines, and Teaching Interests
Dr. Telfair is a Professor and is Karl E. Peace Distinguished Chair of Public Health. Dr. Telfair Holds both an MSW and MPH from the University of California at Berkeley and a DrPH from Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Telfair brings over 32 years of experience as a clinician, community-advocate, academic, evaluator project director, researcher, Academic Center director, and academic administrator – nationally and globally.  He has served as a member and in leadership roles on numerous Public Health, Education and Scientific working committees and advisory committees – working many sub-committees of each at the state and national levels. He is known for his research, teaching, and evidence-based practice in the areas of public health social work, social epidemiology, cultural and linguistic competency, public health genetics, elimination of health inequities, disparities and systemic poverty, community-based and rural public health practice, program evaluation, and policy issues concerning women, adolescents and persons in under resourced/underserved areas – at the local, state, nation and global levels. He also focuses on health care issues for the poor, rural, and multi-cultural/multi-ethnic populations and advocacy for persons with chronic health conditions.  He has been a public health faculty member and leader in three schools of public for nearly 26 years – focusing on practiced-based, evidence-driven public health. He has been a PI, Co-PI, co-director or director of a number of HRSA, NIH, SAMHSA, foundation and CDC funded training, evaluation or research programs and applied research and coordinating Centers.  As the current President of the American Public Health Association (2017-2018), Dr. Telfair takes a leader-as-servant approach, believing leadership is a unique and privileged opportunity to serve.

Disciplines: Community Health Behavior and Education
Teaching Interests: Community research and health education, advanced program evaluation


2018 - Present Associate Dean for Public Health Practice and Research, Georgia Southern University
2013 - Present Graduate Faculty, Georgia Southern University
2013 - Present Professor and Karl E. Peace Distinguished Chair of Public Health, Georgia Southern University Public Health, Jiann-Ping Hsu College of
Present Professor and Chair, Georgia Southern University Health Policy and Community Health, Department of

Curriculum Vitae

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Professional Service and Affiliations

2017 - Present President, American Public Health Association
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Honors and Awards

  • Graduate Minority Fellow, University of California, Berkeley (1980-1982)
  • Recipient, William Hinkley Scholarship, University of California, Berkeley (1981-1982)
  • Dean Liaison for the Graduate School of Social Welfare Student Body, University of California, Berkeley (1981-1982)
  • Chairperson Graduate School of Social Welfare Third World Caucus, University of California, Berkeley (1981-1982)
  • Student Representative Minority Concerns Committee, Johns Hopkins University, School of Hygiene and Public Health (1985-1987)
  • Fellow, Biomedical Research and Study Fellowship, John Hopkins University, School of Hygiene and Public Health (1986-1988)
  • Co-Chair, Third World Student Association (1986-1987)
  • Award in Recognition of Outstanding Contributions to Developing 'The Public Health Professional of the Future', University of Alabama Birmingham, School of Public Health (2000)
  • Faculty Award for Outstanding Public Health Service, University of Alabama Birmingham, School of Public Health (2006)
  • Phillips Memorial Lecture Teaching Award, Meharry Medical College, Hemoglobiopathy Program (2009)


  • Theoretical Perspectives of the Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health (PUBH 8136)
  • Rural Community Health Issues (COHE 7237)
  • Multi-Cultural and Social Determinants of Health (PUBH 3138)
  • Research Methods in Community and Behavioral Health (CHBE 9130)
  • Public Health Doctoral Seminar (PUBH 9630)
  • Public Health Research Capstone Integrative Experience (PUBH 7991B/7530)
  • Community Research Practicum (HEA 755)
  • Community-Based Health Education Research(HEA 759)
  • Advanced Program Evaluation(HEA 765)
  • Independent Study (1 doctoral student) (HEA 695A)
  • Independent Study (HEA 695A)


1985 - 1992 Ph.D. in Public Health Sociology/Health Issues of Children, Families and People of Color, Johns Hopkins University
1982 - 1983 M.S.W. in Children and Families, University of California, Berkeley
1982 - 1983 M.P.H. in Behavioral Science, University of California, Berkeley
1976 - 1980 B.A. in Behavioral Psychology, California State University, Northridge
1974 - 1976 A.A. in Liberal Arts, Santa Monica College

Contact Information

PO Box 8015
Statesboro, GA 30460
Phone: (912) 478-2412
Fax: (912) 478-5811


Books (6)

Book Chapters (21)