Luma Issa Masarweh-Zawahri , PhD

Research Associate
Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

Dr. Masarweh-Zawahri (AlMasarweh) is a Research Associate at the Begun Center. Dr. Masarweh-Zawahri combines her public health, epidemiology, and sociology backgrounds in her multidisciplinary teaching and research. In her past and current work, she uses mix-methods to understand and improve life for vulnerable populations, including but not limited to Native Americans, Arab Americans, women veterans, immigrant descendants, and, more recently, individuals with substance use disorders and co-occurring mental disorders.

She also worked on various health policy projects in several team-based settings at the RAND Corporation and USAID. She has also served as an Adjunct Faculty member with over 6 years of experience teaching introductory Sociology courses and advanced courses on Prejudice, Discrimination and Inequality, and Social and Cultural Diversity. Dr. Masarweh-Zawahri has presented the findings from her research at national and regional conferences in various subfields of sociology and published these results in professional journals (some publications under AlMasarweh). She also serves as the co-chair of the Committee on Status of Ethnicity, Race, and Racism at the Eastern Sociological Society (ESS).

She was awarded her Ph.D. in Sociology with specializations in Medical Sociology and Aging and the Life Course from Case Western Reserve University. Her doctoral research explored the transnational lives of second-generation Arab Americans. This research posed relevant questions regarding the second generation’s desire, frequency, and identifications and behaviors to connect with their parental homelands, at the intersection of experiences of discrimination in the U.S. and their involvement in familial and religious institutions. Luma also earned a master’s degree in Sociology and a B.S. in Public health-Epidemiology from Brigham Young University-Provo.

Q: Why is your work at the Begun Center important to you, to our community, and to the
I believe in using my research background and skills to improve our knowledge of health and social disparities. At the Begun Center, I believe I will have the opportunity to use research and data to shift policy, improve outcomes, and create sustainable change in our community and elsewhere.

Q: What is a cause about which you are particularly passionate?  I am committed to helping vulnerable populations by improving their social and medical access to resources in order to overcome health disparities, and racial, ethnic, and religious inequalities.