Faculty and Staff
Manisha Joshi, Ph.D., MPH, MSW
Dr. Manisha Joshi is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work. She has a Ph.D. in Social Welfare from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice and also holds a Masters degree in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health and an MSW from the University of Delhi, India. She holds a joint appointment in the College of Public Health at the University of South Florida (USF), and she is the coordinator/faculty advisor for the MSW/MPH concurrent degree program at USF.
The primary aim of her research is to advance knowledge about health of women, a marginalized population around the globe. Her particular focus is on violence against women (VAW), a significant public health issue in the U.S. and in international settings such as Haiti and India. Violence against women encompasses multiple forms of violence, including violence by an intimate partner (i.e., intimate partner violence [IPV]), the most common form of VAW, and violence including rape/sexual assault perpetrated by non-partners (i.e., non-partner violence [NPV]), a form of violence believed to be common in poor and disaster-affected settings. The Socioecological Model and Syndemics Theory frame her research program. The socioecological model postulates that VAW is grounded in the interplay of individual (e.g., education, ethnicity), relationship (e.g., relationship between family members), community (e.g., neighborhoods), and sociocultural and environmental factors (e.g., social/cultural norms, health policies, geography). Syndemics Theory posits that heath concerns, including violence, that women experience cannot be addressed independently of sociopolitical and structural factors that affect them. A combination of these frameworks helps highlight priority groups and guides interventions to address VAW and its health effects. Within the Socioecological and Syndemics Theory framework, she has developed a research program with specific goals that focus on two areas: (a) health effects of IPV and NPV (e.g., psychological trauma, sexually transmitted infections including HIV); and, (b) evidence-based interventions to address IPV and NPV and their multiple health effects.
Dr. Joshi is involved in a variety of women’s health-related projects in the U.S., Haiti, and India. In 2018, Drs. Joshi and Rahill (Multiple PIs) received the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Grand Challenges grant for their study titled Krik Krak: Mental Health for Pregnant Haitian Teens (https://gcgh.grandchallenges.org/grant/krik-krak-mental-health-pregnant-haitian-teens). In 2016, Dr. Joshi (PI) and her team were awarded the prestigious India-US 21st Century Knowledge Initiative Award 2016-2019 (formerly known as Obama Singh grant) to establish a unique Indigenous Studies Field School for Global Exchange in Northeast India in partnership with Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU) in Arunachal Pradesh, India, and RIWATCH, a community-based research organization in Arunachal Pradesh, India (http://www.usief.org.in/Institutional-Collaboration/2016Grant-Recipients.aspx; funded by United States Department of State and University Grants Commission, India). Currently, she also serves as a co-investigator in an R24 grant (2013-2018) - SHARE Haiti: Syndemics HIV/AIDS Research and Education (http://grantome.com/grant/NIH/R24HD077946-02) funded by the National Institutes of Health [National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)]. Dr. Joshi works with both qualitative and quantitative data and has published her work in several peer-reviewed journals including the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH), the Psychology of Women Quarterly (PWQ), Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved (JHCPU), Journal of Affective Disorders (JAD), and Social Work in Health Care (SWHC) and others.
Dr. Joshi teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate level courses including social work macro practice, research and statistics, and introduction to social work. She is an advocate for global social work education and in 2014, she developed and led the first study abroad program (titled: Sociocultural context of Indigenous People’s health in Northeast India) for the School of Social Work at USF. In 2016 and 2018, this course was offered again and had participants from a variety of disciplines including Social Work, Anthropology, Public health, Gender Studies, and Microbiology. The richness of students’ experiences is captured in the blog that they maintain throughout their journey (for details please visit https://indiafield.school.blog/blogs/). Following the success of the India Program, Dr. Joshi along with Dr. Iraida Carrion developed a Study Abroad program to Spain which focuses on the health of people in Barcelona/Madrid and Alicante. In summer 2017, they took their first group of students to Spain and then successfully completed the second program in 2019. In 2019, given her many contributions to teaching and education, she received the USF Student Success/Academic Excellence Award and the USF Ambassadors Apple Polishing Award sponsored by the USF Alumni Association. In 2016, Dr. Joshi was honored with the USF system wide (i.e., across all USF campuses) Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award 2015-2016. In addition to teaching and research she has served as an appointed member of the Council on Global Learning and Practice of the Council on Social Work Education for 3 years (2016-2019). She is a member of the Council on Social Work Education, Society for Social Work Research, and the American Public Health Association and frequently presents at as well as volunteers for the different activities organized as part of their conferences (e.g., proposal/abstract reviewer). In addition, she uses her knowledge about strangulation as a form of violence to train domestic violence shelter workers, case workers, counselors, advocates, law enforcement officials, attorneys, legal interns and volunteers to improve response to victims and to improve evidence collection in domestic violence cases.