School of Public Health

Tracey E. Barnett, PhD, appointed as founding chair of the Department of Quantitative and Qualitative Health Sciences

Tracey Barnett


The School of Public Health is pleased to announce the appointment of Tracey E. Barnett, PhD, as the founding chair of the Department of Quantitative and Qualitative Health Sciences. Barnett brings a wealth of experience and expertise in the field of public health, making her a valuable addition to the leadership team.

With over 20 years of experience in public health, Barnett has made significant contributions to the field. Before joining the school, Barnett earned her PhD in sociology from Western Michigan University with concentrations in medical and applied sociology, as well as a Master of Arts in Sociology. Barnett has held positions as an assistant professor in the Department of Behavioral Science and Community Health and associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Florida, and later became director of the social and behavior sciences concentration. Barnett's most recent academic appointments are to the University of North Texas Health Science Center’s School of Public Health, where she served as both associate dean for academic affairs and professor and chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology.

Barnett’s research portfolio includes health risk behaviors for both adolescent and adult populations focusing on tobacco use, smoking cessation for adults and prevention strategies related to emerging trends like hookah and electronic cigarette use among youth populations. She is currently the co-investigator of two research projects on exploring artificial language and machine learning to advance health equity and improve educational guidelines in substance use disorders and developmental disabilities. She is an active member of the American Public Health Association, the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health and the Delta Omega Honor Society in Public Health.

Along with the dean and fellow chairs, Barnett will establish a school of public health that meets the unique regional public health needs of San Antonio and South Texas. Her extensive and multifaceted professional journey positions her as a valuable leader in shaping the future of qualitative and quantitative research at the school. 

We are grateful to Helen Hazuda, PhD, professor emeritus in the Department of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio’s Long School of Medicine, for chairing the search for the School of Public Health’s inaugural department chairs, and the members of the search advisory committee for conducting a thoughtful and comprehensive search for this pivotal position.

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