Sonali Rajan, Ed.D. | Health Education

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Health Education

In the Department of Health & Behavior Studies

Sonali Rajan, Ed.D.

Assistant Professor of Health Education

Sonali Rajan, Ed.D.

Dr. Sonali Rajan is an Assistant Professor of Health Education in the Department of Health and Behavior Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University.  She joined the faculty in September, 2012.  In coming years, Dr. Rajan will be providing leadership in helping to develop a school health education track within the program.  Dr. Rajan's research interests include identifying patterns of risk behaviors among vulnerable youth; developing, implementing, and evaluating school-based health education programs; and using bioinformatic methods to help provide evidence for the relationship between improved health and academic outcomes among youth.

Dr. Rajan earned her Doctor of Education in Health Education and a Master of Science in Applied Statistics, both from Teachers College, Columbia University.  She also has a Bachelor of Science in Biological and Environmental Engineering from Cornell University.  From 2010 through 2012, Dr. Rajan completed her post-doctoral training via the Behavioral Science Training program at the National Development and Research Institutes.

Examples of Dr. Rajan's work include her current collaboration with Dr. Kelly Ruggles at the Center for Health Informatics and Bioinformatics at NYU to identify trends in adolescent risk behaviors over time using large public health data sets.  She is also working closely with Dr. Katherine Roberts on a school-based nutrition program (developed by the Ironwill Foundation), to evaluate the efficacy of this initiative at countering the obesogenic school environment.  She continues to collaborate extensively with colleagues at the National Development and Research Institutes and at the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research at NYU.  In 2009 Dr. Rajan co-authored an after-school curriculum for adolescent girls, entitled Girls on Track, in collaboration with the non-profit organization Girls on the Run, International.  This curriculum currently reaches over 10,000 girls each year and specifically emphasizes social emotional coping skill development in the context of pressing adolescent health issues.  Dr. Rajan continues to collaborate with Girls on the Run in New York City on a number of initiatives and remains focused on the advocacy of efforts that promote improved health and educational opportunities among young girls.

Selected Publications

Rajan, S., Namdar, R., & Ruggles, K.V. (2014). Aggressive and violent behaviors in the school environment among a nationally representative sample of adolescent youth. In press at Journal of School Health.

Ruggles, K.V. & Rajan, S. (2014). Gun possession among American youth: A discovery-based approach to understand gun violence. PLOS ONE, 9(11): e111893.

Aronson, I.D., Marsch, L.A., Rajan, S., Koken, J., & Bania, T.C. (2014). Computer-based video to increase HIV testing among emergency department patients who decline. AIDS and Behavior [published online].

Leonard, N.R., Rajan, S., Aregbesola, T., & Gwadz, M. (2014). HIV testing patterns among urban YMSM of color. Health Education and Behavior [published online].

Ethan, D., Basch, C.H., Rajan, S., Samuels, L., & Hammond, R. (2013). Nutrition content analysis of grocery store circulars in low- versus high-income neighborhoods in New York City. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 11(1), 537-547.

Aronson, I.D., Rajan, S., Marsch, L.A., & Bania, T.C. (2013).  Interactions between learning and HIV testing following a technology-based intervention. Health Education and Behavior [published online].

Rajan, S., Basch, C.H., & Ethan, D. (2013). Observational data collection of environmental and behavioral characteristics: Strengths, limitations, and implications for health communication. Journal of Mass Communication and Journalism, 3:e141.

Rajan, S., Leonard, N.R. Fletcher, R., Casarijan, B., Casarijan, R., & Cisse, C. (2012). Ambulatory autonomic activity monitoring among at-risk adolescent mothers. Journal of Mobile Technology in Medicine, 1(3), 25 - 31.

Rajan, S. & Basch, C.E. (2012). Fidelity of after-school program implementation targeting adolescent youth: Identifying successful curricular and programmatic characteristics. Journal of School Health, 82(4), 159-165.

For a more detailed publication list, please see Dr. Rajan's faculty page: 

Professor Rajan's Courses

HBSS 4160 Introduction to Biostatistics for Community Health Educators

  • Offered Fall

HBSS 4161 Environmental Health

  • Offered Spring

HBSS 6510 Research Seminar

  • Offered Fall & Spring

HBSS 7501 Dissertation Seminar

  • Offered Fall & Spring

HBSS 6520 Advanced Seminar for Doctoral Dissertation Data Analysis

  • Offered Spring
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