Shannon Monnat, Lerner Chair in Public Health Promotion and Population Health, director of the Center for Policy Research, and professor of sociology in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, presented the 2023 Beal Distinguished Lecture in Rural Sociology on Oct. 30 in Iowa State’s Memorial Union.
Monnat’s presentation, “Population Health in Rural America: Contemporary Trends, Causes, and Complexities,” addressed rural and urban mortality rates since 1990. She identified where these rates have increased, discussed the major causes of death that have contributed to rising rural mortality, and pinpointed potential explanations for these trends. Monnat wrapped this discussion in the context of the drug overdose epidemic and COVID-19, looking at these health crises’ impacts on the U.S. rural-urban continuum.
A recording of Monnat’s lecture is available online.
Expert on rural health
Monnat is a rural demographer and population health scholar whose research examines trends and geographic differences in health and mortality, with a special interest in rural health and health disparities. She is a leading national expert on structural and spatial determinants of drug overdose and other deaths of despair. Her most recent research has focused on geographic differences in COVID-19 experiences and impacts.
She has published over 70 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and she regularly writes policy briefs for non-academic audiences. Monnat has been the principal investigator or co-investigator on externally funded projects totaling over $12 million, including from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Justice, United States Department of Agriculture, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Institute for New Economic Thinking.
Beal Lecture honors emeritus professor
The George M. Beal Distinguished Lectureship in Rural Sociology was created in 2014 to celebrate and honor the life of George M. Beal, emeritus professor and former chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice. Beal devoted his career to addressing significant issues and trends impacting rural community and people.