Dr. Brandon Crawford is an Assistant Professor in Applied Health Sciences who recently joined us at IUB. Dr. Crawford shares a little bit about his career path, current research projects he is excited about, and some advice for students interested in a career in sexual and/or reproductive health research:
How did you get to where you are today? What has your career path been like?
I received my undergraduate education at a small liberal arts college in West Texas, but I didn’t really develop my passion for research until I started graduate school. I ended up in graduate school a little bit by happen-stance, but as soon as I started, I knew I wanted to do research in academia. The very first research paper I wrote for a class was on the complexity of abortion attitudes. I started pursuing research in child maltreatment and child welfare for my thesis, but shortly thereafter, I met my partner who was a new professor in Public Health. We actually talked about my abortion complexity idea on our first date and then started collaborating together on it as a backburner project for both of us. In my doctoral program, I continued to do research related to child welfare and child maltreatment exposure with a focus on some sexual and reproductive health outcomes. My partner and I then got a multi-year grant to develop new abortion attitude measures, which now consumes the majority of my research efforts.
What did you study when you were an undergraduate student? How did that shape your subsequent graduate study or your professional career?
I majored in Sociology with a minor in Religion. I started out as a Religion major and in my search for a minor, I stumbled onto a Sociology class. From the start Sociology just clicked! My background in Sociology continues to provide the foundation and framework for my research agenda in both what questions I ask and how I seek to answer them.
What current research project(s) are you involved in or particularly excited about?
Although I am three years into the abortion attitudes project I still find it very exciting. There are so many subprojects that there’s always more questions to be asked and answered. I am also excited about having some time to get back to my child maltreatment and child welfare research.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
That is a tough question. I love a lot of things about my job and outside of maybe being a professional golfer, I don’t know that there is really another career I would choose. If I had to pick one it would probably be research. Whether it’s teaching about the research process, conducting research, or disseminating the findings, I enjoy it all.
What advice do you have for students who are interested in a career in sexual and/or reproductive health research?
Be creative and proactive in looking for opportunities. Don’t pass up on an opportunity just because it doesn’t exactly align with what you are interested in.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?
I enjoy running. My partner and I have run somewhere around 15 half marathons and a couple of full marathons. I enjoy playing and watching golf, although I don’t play as much these days!