Julia Kay Wolf's headshot

Julia Kay Wolf, PhD (she/her) earned her BA with a double major in sociology and psychology and minors in business management and marketing from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in 2015. She originally spent two years pursuing applied forensic science (forensic anthropology) BS with a minor in the psychology of crime and justice at Mercyhurst University (2010-2012) before finding her true passion in sociology. Wolf earned her MA in sociology from West Virginia University’s (WVU) Department of Sociology and Anthropology (SOCA) in 2017 and her PhD in 2021. Her dissertation entitled “Health Disparities by Sexual Orientation Components in the United States” uses nine years of nationally representative data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG; 2011-2019), to explore three health-related variables—self-rated health (SRH), body mass index (BMI), and access to a usual source of health care (USOC)—by three components of sexual orientation—sexual orientation identity, sexual attraction, and sexual behavior.

Wolf held various leadership positions in SOCA’s Graduate Sociology Association (GSA), and was a University Provost 3-Year Graduate Fellow (2017-2020). She taught her first class in Spring 2019 as an instructor of record for SOCA 101: Introduction to Sociology. Wolf was a graduate research assistant for Dr. Jeralynn S. Cossman while earning her MA, during the summer months while pursuing her PhD, and in her final year at WVU. She is continuing to with Dr. Cossman as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the College for Health, Community and Policy at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) as of September 1, 2021. Wolf also works as an R&D League Fellow with the City of San Antonio’s Office of Innovation.

Her education, interests, and research fall in the fields of demography, geography, medical sociology, the sociology of health and illness/wellness, and statistics–Wolf broadly considers herself an interdisciplinary population health scientist. Specifically, she studies the spatial distribution of health behaviors/outcomes and mortality across the United States and the cultural, social, and environmental (natural and built) factors that affect these place-based disparities. She is particularly interested in investigating health disparities experienced by LGBTQ+ community members.

Wolf also earned a graduate certificate in Applied Statistics in the WVU Department of Statistics and completed graduate-level classes in the WVU Department of Geology and Geography on geographic information science/systems (GIS). She is proficient in ArcMap, Microsoft Office, R (RStudio, R Markdown), SPSS, and Stata and has a fundamental understanding of CSS, HTML, JavaScript, Python, and JMP.

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