Jason A. Smith

My research interests are in public health law. I am particulalry interested in public health as a normative justification for state action. My recent work explores this in the areas of the First Amendment and, more locally, California's approach the the health effects of climate change. I am also interested the history of public health in the United States, particulalry epidemics through US history. I have been particularly interested in issues of gay male subjetivity and the role of culture in understanding the AIDS epidemic and its effect on gay culture.

In the past I have worked on public health law problems in obesity and food policy; school bullying; and health disparities facing East Asian communities.


Teaching Philosophy

My goal as an educator is to help students develop the confidence and skills necessary to achieve their goals whether that is working in health care or in any other field. I want my students to learn the value of persistence, vision, inquisitiveness, confidence, and solidarity. I believe these values are critical to working effectively in the modern health care sector and in public health. My teaching focuses less on subject-matter knowledge and more on problem-solving, team work, thinking critically, and ethics.

My approach to course-design is heavily-influenced by the work of L. Dee Fink and the use of backward design principles. I prefer to rely on case-based approaches to instruction and problem-based learning approaches.


Spring 2017

I am not teaching this quarter

Summer 2017

HSC 4500 Supervised Field Placement

Fall 2017

HSC 3720 Medical Humanities


I earned my law degree from Northeastern University School of Law and my degree in theology from Harvard Divinity School. I live in Oakland, CA with my partner. I spend my free time camping and hiking in the Sierra backcountry and am interested in contemporary art.