Briana Mezuk, PhD
Director, Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health
University of Michigan – School of Public Health
Dr. Mezuk is the Director of the Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She completed her undergraduate training at the University of Pittsburgh, her doctoral training at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and a fellowship with the Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholars Program at the University of Michigan. Since 2008 she has led a research partnership with the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues and several urban school districts, beginning with Chicago.
Using large administrative datasets of debate participation linked to school records, she has examined how debate relates to academic achievement. These studies have shown that debate participation is positively associated with school performance and college readiness, even after accounting for self-selection into the activity. Her interest in this work was inspired by her own experience as a high school and college policy debater at Pitt, and her role as a coach with the Baltimore Urban Debate League while she was a graduate student.