Jessica Ruglis is currently a W.K. Kellogg Health Scholar Postdoctoral Fellow at Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. Jessica holds a PhD in Urban Education, with a specialization in Education Policy, an MPH in Community Health Education and an MAT in Secondary Science Education. Her research and writing is organized around interests in how the social world gets under ones skin. She is interested in both the health consequences of this embodiment and the social and public policies that structure asymmetries in people’s lifeworlds. Jessica’s work theorizes and examines how social inequalities in education grow to be social determinants of health.

Jessica has experience as a middle and high school classroom teacher, an athletic coach and instructor, mentor, and as faculty and staff in graduate education and public health programs. She has served as legal consultant for expert testimony in State Supreme Court cases dealing with high stakes testing and diploma denial, and in municipal cases involving of child welfare. Her research and writing focuses on the relationships between education and health, social costs of contemporary education policy, social determinants of health, adolescent health and development, community health, intersecting and intergenerational forms of human insecurity, educational dispossession, school dropout, alternative forms of youth civic engagement and resistance, and social theory. Jessica’s current writings include
pieces that (re)theorize school dropout and introduce a new model for understanding how education influences health (See: JHU CBPR Powerpoint).

Jessica has served as a Senior Advisor and Research Associate on the Polling for Justice and Corporate Practices as a Determinant of Disparities in Health participatory action research projects at CUNY. For her dissertation research, she conducted a youth-led, participatory action research qualitative study entitled ProjectDISH (Disparities in Schooling and Health). Working together with a group of ten young people in New York City, they developed the research questions and methods of the study and also conducted and analyzed data and participated in study dissemination. The findings generated from this study introduced evidence that schooling experiences influence health in ways beyond just the benefits that an education credential confers. In her postdoctoral work, she is building off this prior research and currently is conducting a mixed method, community based participatory research project in collaboration with the Baltimore Algebra Project to investigate the relationship between educational experiences and social determinants of health in schools and health outcomes, including stress levels. The ProjectDISH: Baltimore research collective is utilizing four research methods for their study: focus groups, x-ray maps (developed in Ruglis’ dissertation), the Polling for Justice survey, and salivary cortisol. During her postdoctoral work she also serves as an Editorial Fellow of the peer-review journal Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action and on the Board of Directors for
Equity Matters of Baltimore City. Equity Matters is non-profit organization that is part of the Joint Center for Social and Economic Studies’ national Place Matters initiative.

Links to Websites
1. Kellogg Health Scholars Program website :
2. Equity Matters website:
3. Joint Center Place Matters website:
4. ProjectDISH (Disparities in Schooling and Health) Keynote: