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Val Leiter

Val Leiter is currently the chair of Simmons' Sociology department - but that is far from the only thing keeping her busy. Along with Liz Scott in Biology, Val has been instrumental in the formation and growth of the college's Public Health program, one of fifteen programs nation-wide to be recognized by the Association of American Colleges & Universities, the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research, and the Healthy People 2020 Taskforce as a "successful undergraduate public health program." Her expertise in medical sociology has also landed her the position of co-editor of the 9th edition of The Sociology of Health & Illness: Critical Perspectives, one of the most reputable and widely used course books among those interested in health care. Much of Val's own research involves children and youth with disabilities: she has presented on youth with disabilities transitioning from Special Education, organized a session on Intersectionality in Disability Studies at last spring's Eastern Sociological Society meeting, and her book, Their Time Has Come: Youth with Disabilities on the Cusp of Adulthood, is due out in March 2012. She happily involves students in her work, keeping an eye out for students with the interest and aptitude to join ongoing projects. Always thinking creatively and collaboratively, Val is designing classes on urban sociology and food politics, plus a new research project that maps inaccessible Boston sidewalks.