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UTA Faculty

Dr. Stephanie Spohr

Dr. Stephanie Spohr


"I have spent many years as a student and now find myself on the other side of the (digital) classroom hoping to share my experience, enthusiasm and dedication to the field of public health with the next generation of public health professionals."

Degrees Held:

  • Ph.D. in Public Health Science – University of North Texas Science Center, 2017
  • M.A. in Clinical Psychology – Minnesota State University – Mankato, 2012
  • B.A. in Psychology & Criminal Justice – Hamline University, 2009

Career Highlights

My career in public health has focused on behavioral research and policy, data analytics, healthcare management focusing on process improvement, and grants management. My research interests include health behavior change (mental health, substance use and preventive health) for disadvantaged populations. I have focused on brief interventions to increase motivation for behavior change and the behavioral mechanisms of change for in-person and technology-based interventions. I have independently evaluated various mechanisms of behavior change such as motivational interviewing intervention fidelity and electronic cues to action, as predictors of a successful outcome.

At the Veterans Health Administration, I align national program policy with evidence-based practice and clinical practice guidelines for weight management. I work to standardize communication and information sharing among 140 VA Medical Centers, ensure uniform data collection and reporting for 100,000 veterans annually, develop IT integration of services to improve access (web, mobile applications, and telehealth), and develop engaging veteran-centered curriculum for weight management. I have worked successfully on several community collaborative projects and grants, including a $2.55 million HRSA-funded Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program and a $16 million CMS-funded Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program seeking to transform healthcare and care transitions. I am also actively involved in professional organizations, including serving in various leadership roles with the American Public Health Association for five years.

Recently published work:

Spohr, S. A., Taxman, F., & Walters, S. T. (2017). Being successful on probation: The Reasons for Change survey. Evaluation and Program Planning, 61, 144-149.

Marshall, B., Spohr, S. A., Taxman, F., & Walters, S. T. (2017). Adverse childhood events and HIV risk among probationers. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.

Spohr, S. A., Suzuki, S., Marshall, B., Taxman, F., & Walters, S. T. (2016). Social support quality and availability affects risk behaviors in offenders. Health and Justice, 4(2).

Spohr, S. A., Nandy, R., Gandhiraj, D., Vemulapalli, A., Anne, S., & Walters, S. T. (2015). Efficacy of SMS text message interventions for smoking cessation: A meta-analysis. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 56, 1-10.

Spohr, S. A., Taxman, F., Rodriguez, M., & Walters, S. T. (2015). Motivational interviewing fidelity in a community corrections setting: Treatment initiation and subsequent drug use. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 65, 20-25. Special Issue: Motivational Interviewing in Substance Abuse Treatment.

Spohr, S. A., Taxman, F., & Walters, S. T. (2015). The relationship between electronic goal reminders and subsequent drug use and treatment initiation in a criminal justic

e setting. Addictive Behaviors, 51, 51-56.

In which online programs do you teach?


Which class do you teach online?

KINE 3352: Introduction to Public Health Epidemiology

What do you want students to take away from your classes?

They should understand how public health practice and science come together to protect the health of the public. They’ll also recognize the factors that affect the health of a community, including how disease spreads, the legal aspects of epidemics, and how data is used to drive public health decision making.

Why did you start teaching?

I started teaching because I see myself as a lifelong learner. I have spent many years as a student and now find myself on the other side of the (digital) classroom hoping to share my experience, enthusiasm and dedication to the field of public health with the next generation of public health professionals. I also look forward to learning from my student’s innovative ideas and fresh perspectives on public health issues.

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