About Me

I’m a fifth year Assistant Professor of Public Health Policy and Administration at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health. While working at one of the newest schools of public health in country is not without some heavy lifting, it has also afforded me some great opportunities to engage in innovative teaching about policy for the promotion of health equity and in research that cuts across traditional public health boundaries.

My research is focused primarily on the intersection of public health, technology, and behavior (corporate, institutional, and personal). Within this, I have a specific interests in social media, tobacco control, and food technology. I’m interested in the ways that novel technologies (of the non-medical device sort) impact people’s wellbeing.  I also have a strong interest in qualitative research methods for making sense of visual social media data. My work has been published in journals like Digital Health, Food Policy, Substance Use and Misuse, Climatic Change, and Environmental Communication. The work I do is public health policy with a strongly interdisciplinary perspective.

I take teaching as a serious responsibility owed to the next generation of public health practitioners. Teaching students about the political process, power, and advocacy is critical both to their own success and to meeting national public health goals.  I’m also a strong believer in mentoring and providing research opportunities for students. To quote John K Samson, “I believe in you and your PowerPoints.”

I earned my PhD in Health and Public Policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2013. While I was there, I spent three years a fellow with the Center for a Livable Future. They were also generous enough to fund my dissertation work on NGO responses to the link between meat consumption and climate change. This work led me to thinking about food technology, which in turn led me to thinking about technology and public health more broadly. Before heading back for my PhD, I worked in tobacco and cancer control policy for a number of years tracking state level legislation for the NCI’s (now sadly defunct) State Cancer Legislative Database Program. I also have a Master’s of Public Policy from George Washington University.

You can get in touch at Linnea.Laestadius at gmail.com.

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