SALT LAKE CITY — Utah State University Wasatch Region is pleased to welcome Tzung-Shiang Ou to its faculty. Ou was hired as an assistant professor in Health Education and Promotion in the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education & Human Services. Ou joined the university on Aug. 1.
"I am grateful to have Tzung join our team,” said David Vernon, associate vice president for the USU Wasatch Region. “His expertise in behavioral health, combined with his passion, make him a valuable addition to USU Salt Lake. The students will benefit from his knowledge and experience, and I am excited to see his impact on them. In addition, he has a love for hiking in the mountains, so I think he has found a great home at USU Salt Lake to start his career as a professor."
Ou earned a doctorate degree in Health Behavior from Indiana University Bloomington and a master’s degree in community nursing from Taipei Medical University.
Ou first became passionate about health education and health behavior research during his seven-year stint as a nurse in an emergency room in Taiwan. During this time, Ou witnessed numerous patients struggling with substance use and drug overdoses, many of whom came from low-income backgrounds and who were dealing with mental health or domestic violence issues.
“I noticed the social and structural barriers that these patients faced when seeking treatment,” Ou said. “These experiences ignited my passion for health behavior research, with a particular interest in substance use studies. I am interested in applying theoretical approaches to both teaching and research in the field of health behavior.”
In addition to working as an emergency room nurse, Ou served as a project coordinator focusing on college students’ vaping behaviors and utilizing mobile health technology to collect longitudinal data, providing crucial insights into substance use behaviors and research methodologies. The research was funded by the National Institute of Health. Ou also taught personal health at Indiana University, encouraging undergraduate students to apply health-related knowledge to meaningful improvements in their lives and empowering them to make informed decisions about their well-being.
Now at USU, Ou will primarily focus his research on the application of theory and quantitative methodology to investigate health behaviors and developmental processes across the life course, with a specific emphasis on substance use/misuse and polysubstance use. Ou is excited to collaborate with other USU faculty members on research.
“The overall goal of my research is to provide tailored interventions and education– in particular substance use– that are informed by rigorous health-related research. I am also interested in applying innovative methods in health-related education.”
In his spare time, Ou loves to spend time in the beautiful mountains and natural resources that Utah has to offer.
Located in the heart of the Salt Lake Metropolitan area, Utah State University Salt Lake Center offers students the personalized attention and small class sizes of a small-town college with the resources of a large university. With degree options ranging from associate to doctorate degrees, plus technical education offerings, USU Salt Lake Center offers programs that help fuel local economies and empower individuals and their communities. Learn more at saltlake.usu.edu.
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