Associate Professor; Director of Graduate Studies
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Heritage Hall 460Q
(205) 934-0825

Research Interests: Religion and HIV/AIDS, Health Inequalities, Minority Health, Mental and Behavioral Health, Epilepsy, Health-related Quality of Life

Teaching Interests: Medical Sociology, Sociology of Mental Health, Minority Health, Religion and Health, Global Health, Health Systems, HIV/AIDS, Social Change, Global Sociology

Office Hours: By appointment


  • BA, University of Michigan
  • MA, University of Michigan
  • PhD, University of Cincinnati
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship in Health Policy and Outcomes Research, University of Cincinnati

I have held teaching and research positions in sociology, public health, and medicine for over a decade. My passion and career goal has been addressing the health needs of vulnerable populations — the economically disadvantaged, minorities, stigmatized, and chronically-ill. I have endeavored to advance this goal through transdisciplinary research, education, and community engagement.

I specialize in quantitative and applied research methods. I have published studies in health, medical, and social science journals on topics ranging from racial disparities in HIV/AIDS to quality of life in epilepsy and mental disorders. My research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, state agencies, and private foundations. I have published expert reviews and served on national and international scientific review panels. I have unique cross-disciplinary career insights to share with graduate students in medical sociology.

My other passion is teaching about global issues — political, economic, cultural, and health-related. Before my doctoral studies in sociology, I studied languages and international relations. I lived in Germany and travelled in Europe during a transformative period marked by the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the collapse of the Soviet bloc, Germany’s reunification, and Eastern Europe’s democratic and market transitions. I still regularly visit Europe and have also travelled in Asia. My goal is to bring my broad and diverse experiences and knowledge into the classroom and encourage lively exchange of ideas from global and sociological perspectives.

  • Social Change
  • Global and International Sociology
  • Sociology of Health and Illness
  • Sociology of Mental Health
  • Sociology of Mental Health
  • Contemporary Sociological Theory
  • Global Health
  • Religion and Health
  • Szaflarski, Magdalena. Engaged Scholarship Fellow. "Congregations' Responses to Community Health Needs." Hartford Institute for Religion Research/Lilly Endowment, Inc., 2014-2015. ($20,000)
  • Magdalena Szaflarski, Co-Investigator. "Behavioral and Social Factors Impact Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Obesity in HIV-infected Women." (PI: Willig). Mid-South Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center for Health Disparities Research, 2013-2015. ($100,000)
  • Magdalena Szaflarski, Academic PI. “Engaging Black Churches in HIV Prevention Efforts in High-Risk Cincinnati Neighborhoods.” Community Health Grant, Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training (CCTST), University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center, 2012-2013. ($18,000)
  • Magdalena Szaflarski, Co-Investigator/Local PI. “Immigration Effects on Substance Abuse, Mental Health, and Treatment Gaps.” (R01; PI: Cubbins), National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2009-2012. ($158,951)
  • Magdalena Szaflarski, Principal Investigator. “Religious Organizations’ Responses to HIV/AIDS.” (R21). National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 2007-2010. ($425,100)
  • Magdalena Szaflarski, Principal Investigator. “Religious Organizations’ Responses to HIV/AIDS” — ARRA Summer Student Internship Supplement. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 2009. ($11,874)
  • Magdalena Szaflarski, Consultant. “Socioeconomic Status and Functional Outcome after Stroke.” (K23; PI: Kleindorfer), National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, 2006-2011.
  • Magdalena Szaflarski, Collaborator. “Spirituality and Will to Live in Patients with HIV/AIDS.” (R01; PI: Tsevat), National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health, 2004-2008.