Robert W. Strack, PhD
Director of Graduate Studies
I have been a part of the Department of Public Health Education faculty team at UNCG since the fall of 2001. While I am currently a UNCG Spartan, years ago I was also a Spartan as an undergraduate student pursuing a Marketing degree from Michigan State University. After working for several years I pursued and completed an MBA from Indiana University followed by a PhD in Health Education and Behavior from the School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. It was during my doctoral education, completed in 1986, that I formed my interest in understanding the social issues influencing the health of adolescents. Under the guidance of Dr. Murray Vincent I completed my dissertation, entitled 'Development of a Context Evaluation Model: A Qualitative Assessment of a Community-Based Health Initiative," where I researched a community's response to a community-based intervention targeting adolescent pregnancy. Through reading, deep academic conversation and immersion in this community's response to their adolescent pregnancy issue I developed an appreciation of the social ecological model's contribution to our understanding and a personal conviction that social issues are more effectively impacted through a combination of policy, systems and individual-level change strategies.Research and Teaching Focus
My research has primarily focused on the health and social issues of youth and adolescents which specifically includes research interests in: Photovoice methodology, program planning and evaluation, adolescent programming and health promotion advocacy and policy. Over the years I have taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in the Department of Public Health Education at UNCG including: Program Planning and Evaluation, Community Health Research and Evaluation, Adolescent Health, Health Policy, Applied Program Planning, and the Masters of Public Health (MPH) Community Health Internship. I plan to continue my efforts in cultivating local and national research projects that will work with institutions to foster healthy communities as well as positive development opportunities and healthy outcomes for our youth.Current Research
Picture Me Alcohol Free: Engaging Youth in Community-Based Prevention
This NIH-NIAAA (SBIR) research project proposes to test the feasibility of developing an online training program, Picture Me Alcohol Free (PMAF), intended to empower youth to become active participants in community-based efforts to reduce underage alcohol use and related consequences. The Picture Me Alcohol Free project is focused on using an existing ethnographic process (Photovoice) and instructional technology (online course) to develop a web-based strategy that can be used by schools, after-school programs and communities. Once fully developed the Picture Me Alcohol Free program will be used by youth with adult facilitators as a forum for raising community awareness and engaging policy makers on the topic of underage alcohol use. The ultimate goals of the PMAF project are to increase local efforts to: 1) reduce the availability of alcohol, 2) improve effectiveness of law enforcement, and 3) change social norms in communities regarding underage use.On a Personal Note
On a personal note, I am an avid road cyclist and mountain biker, camper, nature lover and political junkie who enjoys spirited debate. I have two children, Claire and Sage, whose growth inspires me daily and am married to a wonderful partner, JoAnn.
Is it Me or is it We ?
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