I was born in South Korea and have a Bachelor degree and my first Master’s degree in health education from Ewha Women’s University in Korea. Then I immigrated to Hawaii. While working as a bilingual staff member in an immigrant health center, I earned my second Master’s degree in Public Health (MPH) focusing on health administration and planning at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The experience in a health center provided me with an opportunity to see the importance of the social and cultural aspects of health. After completing my MPH degree, I wanted to better understand the roles of social forces in health, with particular focus on migrant and minority population. To do this, I pursued my Master and Ph.D. degrees in Sociology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
In 2006 I joined the faculty of the Sociology Department at Sam Houston State University, and now I am a Professor in the Sociology Department at SHSU. My research is focused on health and health care issues of underserved and unprivileged populations, such as children, women, the elderly, the poor, ethnic minorities and immigrants, and those who live in developing countries. My research has addressed disparity issues, focusing on the roles of social contexts, such as health policy, the health care delivery system, culture, and local and ethnic community resources, as well as individual characteristics. My research has been published and presented in both national and international academic journals and conferences. In 2016, I received the Excellence in Research Award of the Southern Rural Sociological Association.
Currently, I am involved in several research projects including (1) the impacts of colonialism, nuclear testing, military occupation, and migration on dietary change in the Pacific; (2) health care in rural Texas; and (3) consumer engagement with sustainable seafood in the Canadian context.
Classes Taught: Introduction to Ethnic Studies, Social Statistics, Sociology of Health and Illness, Seminar in Medical Sociology, Research Methods in Sociology, Seminar in Sociological Research, and Applied Research Methods.
Research Interests: Immigrant and Minority Health; Rural Health; Food, Diet, and Health.
- Choi, J. and Constance, D. H. 2019. Marshallese Migrants and Poultry Processing. Journal of Rural Social Sciences. 34(1): 1-29.
- Winson, A. and Choi, J. 2017. Dietary Regimes and the Nutrition Transition: Bridging Disciplinary Domains. Agriculture and Human Values. 34: 559-572.
- Choi, J. Reiter, M. and Theodori, G. 2015. The Impact of Rurality, Community Attachment, and Community Involvement on Health Among Rural Texans. Journal of Rural Social Sciences 30(1): 1-24.
- Choi, J. 2013. Reconstruction of Health Seeking Behaviors: A Comparative Study of Three Asian-Pacific Immigrants. Qualitative Health Research 23(4): 517-530.