Dr. Sonali Rajan
Assistant Professor of Health Education
Columbia University
Dr. Sonali Rajan is an Assistant Professor of Health Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research is focused on identifying patterns of risk behaviors among adolescent youth; implementing and evaluating school-based health education programs; and identifying environmental-level characteristics that influence health behaviors among urban youth and communities. In line with the approach of the “whole child,” her research embraces a comprehensive definition of “health,” recognizing that the synergy between multiple health issues and the surrounding environments together inform long-term outcomes. For the past several years, Dr. Rajan has worked on the implementation and evaluation of health education and behavioral health initiatives aimed to mitigate youth engagement in high-risk behaviors and promote positive youth development, particularly among young girls. She has an emerging line of research in the area of aggression and violence prevention in schools and is focused on supporting efforts aimed at reducing the presence of firearms in K-12 school settings. Dr. Rajan earned her Bachelor of Science in Biological and Environmental Engineering from Cornell University, her Master of Science in Applied Statistics and Doctor of Education in Health Education both from Teachers College, Columbia University. She completed her post-doctoral training in the behavioral sciences at the National Development and Research Institutes and joined the faculty at Teachers College in September 2012.