The Division of Social Sciences is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2022 Social Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award, Ricky Bluthenthal. Currently serving as Associate Dean for Social Justice, Vice Chair for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Professor in the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences and the Institute for Prevention Research at the USC Keck School of Medicine, Bluthenthal received a B.A. in History and Sociology from the University of California Santa Cruz and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California Berkeley.
A steadfast champion of health justice and equity for African Americans, unhoused people, sex workers, and others from marginalized groups, Bluthenthal has also long championed the identification, support, representation, and success of people of color in academia and is committed to imparting equity and justice as fundamental attributes of all careers in medicine. He has designed and taught numerous pioneering courses at USC Keck School of Medicine that require aspirant clinical practitioners to recognize and consider both the human dignity of and the social determinants that inform health outcomes for indigent, low-income, and other marginalized patients.
His exceptional career at the intersection of sociology and public health exemplifies the power of academic research, teaching, mentorship, and leadership to inform social and health justice for African Americans and others from marginalized communities.
We hope you will join us on April 20, 4–5 p.m. to honor Ricky Bluthenthal as this year’s Social Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. He will be joined in conversation by Assistant Professor of Sociology Naya Jones and Assistant Professor of Sociology Alicia Riley.
Ricky N. Bluthenthal, Ph.D., is a professor in the department of Population and Public Health Sciences (DPPHS), Vice Chair for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Associate Dean for Social Justice in the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.
Naya Jones, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of sociology at UC Santa Cruz, as well as a critical geographer and cultural worker. She is a core faculty member in the Global and Community Health Program. Through research and creative practice, she studies Black geographies of health, ecologies, and healing in the context of spatial injustice.
Alicia Riley, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of sociology and a core faculty member of the Global and Community Health program at UC Santa Cruz. As a sociologist, she studies how the health effects of structural inequality can be modified through policy. In addition to her research and teaching on health inequality, she has a longstanding interest in border health and migration.