Meet Professor Lillian Walkover
Get to know GHP Faculty, Professor Lillian Walkover
Featuring Dr. Walkover, Professor of Global Health | Interview by Isabela Ibarra
In this quarter’s spotlight, we welcome Professor Lillian Walkover. For those of you interested in starting your core global health classes, you should consider taking her class (GLBH 20) this Spring!
I asked Professor Walkover:
How did you first become involved in global health?
Professor Walkover has always been interested in health as a lens to help people think critically about life and the world around them. As we all share the common experience of having a body and becoming ill, we can start to understand and recognize patterns in our world. These patterns exist in individual lives and in groups of people, which often become replicated on a global scale and in different locations. As Professor Walkover said, global health “helps people to think critically across difference.”
As many students have experienced, Professor Walkover’s path to pursuing global health was not quite linear or simple. Originally, she had a desire of becoming a bioethicist and then a lab scientist who used her platform to advocate around health and science. During her undergraduate education, Professor Walkover participated in organizing efforts with the Student Global AIDS Campaign. These experiences helped to shape her life beyond college and allowed her to examine how the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the US compared to other countries, a key part of global health. Later on, while pursuing her PhD at UCSF, she was able to take classes that drew upon subjects like medical sociology and anthropology and studied alongside students who focused on global health, nursing, and medicine. At UCSF, she also was able to further pursue her research interest, which will be discussed in more detail below.
What are your research interests?
Professor Walkover’s research interests are centered around the transmission, valuation, and movement of health knowledge, both globally and in the US. In completing her postdoctoral project, Professor Walkover worked with Dr. Susan Bell to examine the experiences of physicians who came to the US as refugees. In the future, Professor Walkover hopes to investigate how community health worker programs have been adapted from other countries to the US. Through her research, she hopes to support efforts to address health inequities in the US and around the world.
Professor Walkover completed her dissertation on how the health manual Where There Is No Doctor has been translated and adapted for use in India. She explored how local needs and concerns were addressed through changes made to the text and that enabled the spread of this form of health knowledge.
What attracted you to UCSD, and more specifically the Global Health Program?
At UCSD, global health centers a critical social science perspective, while also drawing on the health sciences more broadly, giving students across disciplines a powerful set of tools for understanding global health. In her time getting to know the Global Health Program and the Department of Communications, she connected with the interdisciplinary aspects of both programs. In working with the GHP and the Department of Communications, Professor Walkover hopes to build a greater relationship between them and help students who are interested in both in the future.
Professor Walkover is teaching GLBH 20 this Winter and Spring Quarter. She looks forward to meeting and getting to know her students. I asked about any advice for those taking her GLBH 20 course. Listed below are some of her key points.
Advice for Students Taking GLBH 20
Explore something of interest to you (like a research interest or special topic)
Get to know your professor!
Go to office hours! It is a great way to get to know your professor, but also a way for your professor to get to know you and improve the course
Discuss what you find interesting and uninteresting, how the information you are learning relates to your other classes and experiences, and what excites your imagination!
Approach the classroom as a place where you can share ideas and connect with others to learn from their experiences and knowledge
Make use of what you have learned in class to understand and communicate about patterns that exist in the world across scale and space
Read the syllabus