Rachel  Casiday

Rachel Casiday, Ph.D., M.Sc.

Associate Professor
School of Public Health
Department of Public Health
Office: CHS Building 1 1624
Email: rcasiday@samford.edu
Phone: 205-726-4509

Rachel Casiday crossed the ocean to join the Department of Public Health in October 2015, leaving the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Before joining the Samford faculty, she taught in programs crossing a number of disciplines, including medical and development anthropology, sociology of health, voluntary (nonprofit) sector studies, and business research methods. Casiday has research interests in the social context of risk, children’s health, and the health impacts of poverty, inequality, and the environment. Her Ph.D. research examined concepts of risk and parental decision-making about the MMR vaccine. Casiday has also done work on infant feeding, including an NGO consultancy on child malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa during the 2005-6 famine in the Sahel region, an evaluation of a multi-agency project to increase citizen participation in health service provision in Cardiff, Wales, and investigation into the impacts on the lives of communities living near coal-ash ponds in the US.  

As Samford grows its programs in public health and global health, Casiday looks forward developing service-learning, research, and evaluation opportunities in the Birmingham area and abroad. One of her graduate courses, Cultural Dimensions of Health, brings together the diverse aspects of her academic background and teaches cultural competencies in a unique way.  

Casiday spent her teenage years in Alabama but then moved to St. Louis and then further afield to the UK for 16 years.  She is mother to four children (two teenage daughters and two pre-teen sons) so moments for personal hobbies are few and far between. She enjoys hiking and other outdoor activities, sewing, and reading mystery novels.

Degrees and Certifications

  • Ph.D., anthropology, Durham University 
  • M.Sc., anthropology, Durham University
  • B.A., chemistry and international studies, Washington University in St. Louis 

Expertise

Risk perception and communication, culture, medical anthropology, epidemiology, children's health, vaccination, voluntary sector

Awards and Honors

  • Making the Connections Case Study Research. Wales Council for Voluntary Action (£4,980) (Principal Investigator), 2015
  • Evaluation of Co-Creating Healthy Change Portfolio. Cardiff Third Sector Council (£55,000) (Principal Investigator), 2014
  • Co-Creating Healthy Change: Using Anthropological Methods to Facilitate Sharing Across Groups. Event grant, Anthropology in Action (£300) (Principal Investigator), 2014
  • “Volunteering and health: What impact does it really have? A systematic review of the literature” Volunteering England (£12,000) (Principal Investigator), 2008
  • “Recruiting young adults for a cardiovascular risk screening programme” Primary Care Research Development Centre (£4,500) (Personal Research Award), 2006
  • “Regional Tobacco Control Boards – can the US model work in the UK?” National Prevention Research Initiative (£153,726) (Co-investigator), 2005
  • Public Engagement with Science Research Studentship award, The Wellcome Trust (£76,000) (Grant to support PhD Research), 2002

Publications

  • Casiday, R. (2015). Putting people at the centre of public health: How will current directions in Welsh policy impact on us? South Wales Business Review 6(1):18-19.
  • Panter-Brick, C., Casiday, R., Hampshire, K., and Kilpatrick, K. (2011). Child malnutrition and famine in the Nigerien Sahel” In Goodman, A., Pelto, G., and Dufour, D. (Eds.) Nutritional Anthropology  Biocultural Perspectives on Food and Nutrition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Casiday, R., Hampshire, K.,; Panter-Brick, C., and Kilpatrick, K. (2010). Responses to food crisis and child malnutrition in the Nigerien Sahel. In Moffatt, T. and Prowse, T. (Eds.) Biosocial Perspectives on Human Diet and Nutrition. Oxford: Berghahn Press.
  • Casiday, R.  (2010). Risk communication in the British pertussis and MMR vaccination controversies.  In Bennett, P., Calman, K., Curtis, S., and Fischbacher-Smith, D. (Eds.) Risk Communication and Public Health. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Casiday, R.  (2009). Making Decisions About Vaccines: Interactions Between Parents and ‘Experts’.  In Nathanson, J. and Tuley, L. (Eds.) Mother Knows Best: Talking Back to the Babycare Experts. Toronto: Demeter Press.
  • Hampshire, K. R., Panter-Brick, C., Kilpatrick, K., & Casiday, R. E. (2009). Saving lives, preserving livelihoods: understanding risk, decision-making and child health in a food crisis. Social Science & Medicine, 68(4), 758-765.
  • Hampshire, K., Casiday, R., Kilpatrick, K., & Panter-Brick, C. (2009). The social context of childcare practices and child malnutrition in Niger's recent food crisis. Disasters., 33(1), 132-151.
  • Casiday, R. E., Hungin, A. P. S., Cornford, C. S., de Wit, N. J., & Blell, M. T. (2009). Patients' explanatory models for irritable bowel syndrome: symptoms and treatment more important than explaining aetiology. Family practice, 26(1), 40-47.
  • Casiday, R. E., Hungin, A. P. S., Cornford, C. S., de Wit, N. J., & Blell, M. T. (2009). GPs’ explanatory models for irritable bowel syndrome: a mismatch with patient models?. Family practice, 26(1), 34-39.
  • Casiday, R. E. (2007). Children's health and the social theory of risk: Insights from the British measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) controversy. Social science & medicine, 65(5), 1059-1070.
  • Casiday, R. E., & Cox, A. R. (2006). Restoring Confidence in Vaccines by Explaining Vaccine Safety Monitoring. Drug safety, 29(12), 1105-1109.
  • Casiday, R. (2006). Uncertainty, decision-making and trust lessons from the MMR controversy. Community Practitioner, 79(11), 354-357.
  • Casiday, R., Cresswell, T., Wilson, D., & Panter-Brick, C. (2006). A survey of UK parental attitudes to the MMR vaccine and trust in medical authority. Vaccine, 24(2), 177-184.
  • Casiday, R. E., Wright, C. M., Panter-Brick, C., & Parkinson, K. N. (2004). Do early infant feeding patterns relate to breast-feeding continuation and weight gain? Data from a longitudinal cohort study. European journal of clinical nutrition, 58(9), 1290-1296.

Presentations

  • Casiday, Rachel and Booth, Jane. “Co-Production, Co-Creation and Healthy Change: A Critical Friendly Perspective.” Presentation to National Conference of Voluntary Organisations Researching the Voluntary Sector conference, September 11, 2014. Sheffield, UK.
  • Casiday, Rachel. “Uncoupling Conspiracy Theories and Science Denial,” Presentation to Conspiracy Theories and Health conference, 15 July, 2014. Durham, UK.
  • “'It’s something to do with the water:’ Intersections of Anthropology, Environmental Health and Law,” Archaeology, History and Anthropology Research Seminar, March 5, 2014. Lampeter, UK.
  • Casiday, Rachel and Hemmings, Mike. “The Compact: Power and the embedding of the Voluntary Sector in changing concepts of public governance.” Presentation to the Voluntary Sector Studies Network, May 19, 2010. Sheffield, UK.

Selected Current and Recent Research Areas

  • Evaluation of summer food programs in the greater Birmingham area (funded by United Way and Community Foundation for Greater Birmingham) 
  • Impacts of coal-ash storage on resident community health
  • Health and indigenous mico-entrepreneurship in rurual southern Belize
  • "Co-production" and community engagement in public health in Cardiff, UK. 

Involvement 

  • American Public Health Association
  • Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute
  • Society for Applied Anthropology
  • Voluntary Sector Studies Network
  • Public Health Wales Child Death Review, Expert panel member
  • National Institute for Health and Social Care Research (UK), reviewer