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Associate Professor

Jill Owczarzak, PhD, MA, is a medical anthropologist who explores how cultural, social, and political forces shape health disparities.

Contact Info

624 N. Broadway, Hampton House 739

Research Interests

HIV prevention and treatment; implementation science; qualitative methods; health experiences; substance use
Experiences & Accomplishments
University of Kentucky
University of Kentucky
Bucknell University
I am a medical anthropologist with expertise in qualitative research methods whose research focuses on the translation, dissemination, and implementation of evidence-based programs and gender, drug use, and HIV prevention and treatment. I have conducted Implementation Science studies that explored effects of organizational characteristics and implementation fidelity on the effectiveness of the HIV prevention intervention SISTA. I also developed a model of HIV prevention intervention development that uses a "common factors" approach to empower nongovernmental organizations in Ukraine to develop culturally tailored HIV prevention interventions for people who use drugs in Ukraine. I have led several other studies in Ukraine that explore stigma and HIV care engagement for Ukrainian women; women's access to drug treatment and other services; and the role of place and social networks on HIV risk among people who use drugs. In addition to these projects, I also collaborate with other research on topics that include HIV care engagement among re-entrants to the community from correctional settings in South Africa and community-based harm reduction programs in Baltimore.

I am also actively engaged in the training and education of research staff, current and past postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and other faculty in qualitative research methods and data analysis. I am the director the MHS in Social Factors in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society. I teach several qualitative data methodology analysis courses for the JHSPH and broader public health community, including Theory and Practice in Qualitative Data Analysis and Interpretation for the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Using Software in Qualitative Research and Analysis, and Ethnographic Fieldwork. I work with postdoctoral fellows, junior faculty, and doctoral students to mentor and train them in the integration of qualitative methods into research projects on a broad range of topics related to HIV and its prevention. I also collaborate with faculty in the design and implementation of research projects that incorporate qualitative methods and perspectives.

Pronouns: she/her
Honors & Awards
Excellence in Teaching, JHSPH, 2017-2022
Jeffrey A. Kelly Research Development Award, the Medical College of Wisconsin (2012)
Outstanding Medical Student Teaching, Global Health Pathway, the Medical College of Wisconsin (2011)
Margaret Lantis Award for Excellence in Original Research by a Graduate Student (2007)
Lambda Alpha Anthropology Honors Society (2004)
Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society, Bucknell University (1999)
Magna Cum Laude, Bucknell University (1999)
Honors in Anthropology, Bucknell University (1999)
Select Publications
Selected Publications
  • Owczarzak, J., Kazi, AK., Mazhnaya, A., Alpatova, P., Zub, T., Filippova, O., and Phillips, SD. 2020. “You’re nobody without a piece of paper:” Visibility, the State, and Access to Services among Women Who Use Drugs in Ukraine. Social Science and Medicine.
  • Owczarzak, J. Weicker, N., Urquhart, G., Morris, M., Park, J., and Sherman, S. 2020. “We know the streets:” Race, Place and the Politics of Harm Reduction. Health and Place 64.
  • Owczarzak, J., Nguyen, T., Mazhnaya, A., Phillips, S., Filippova, O., Alpatova, P., Zub, T., Aleksanyan, R. 2019. Outcome Evaluation of a Bottom-Up, "Common Factors" Approach to Developing HIV Prevention Interventions in Ukraine. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 199:18-26. DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2019.02.015
  • Owczarzak, J. Phillips, S. and Cho, W. 2018. "Pure" Drug Users, Commercial Sex Workers, and "Ordinary Girls": Gendered Narratives of HIV Risk and Prevention in Post-Soviet Ukraine. Culture, Health & Sexuality. DOI: 10.1080/13691058.2017.1421708
  • Owczarzak, J., Broaddus, M., and Tarima, S. 2018. Effectiveness of an Evidence-Based HIV Prevention Intervention when Implemented by Frontline Providers. Translational Behavioral Medicine. doi:10.1093/tbm/ibx041
Statewide Ethnographic Assessment of Drug Use and Services (SEADS Project)