Faculty and Staff Features Public Health

Getting to know Sandi Phibbs

Meet CPHHS’ Sandi Phibbs, who teaches online MPH students and supports OCHI as a manager of innovation, evaluation and research.

By Kathryn Stroppel

Sandi Phibbs teaches online MPH students and supports the Oregon State University Center for Health Innovation (OCHI) as manager of innovation, evaluation and research. She has worked at OSU as a graduate instructor in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences and the Graduate School since 2018. Prior to this, she was an Assistant Professor of Public Health in the Department of Health Science and Recreation at San Jose State University. Sandi completed her post-doctoral training from 2015-2017 and focused on the health effects of ageism and mental health among older adults. 

What inspired you to get into this field? 

I read “Demon in the Freezer” by Richard Preston and was hooked. 

What do you love about public health? 

I love that practicing public health is both an art and a science; it requires both systems thinking and systematic inquiry, as well as the ability to maintain trusting relationships in the community. I also love public health’s core value of health equity and social justice. 

Why did you want to come to Oregon State? 

Once I visited the campus, I knew I wanted to be here. As a doctoral student, I felt that the faculty were truly invested in my education. Now, as a member of the professional faculty and MPH online faculty, I enjoy the opportunities to pass on what I learned here.  

What do you enjoy the most about teaching? 

I enjoy the challenge of finding new or creative ways to help students engage with concepts. It sounds corny, but I enjoy being a part of their academic journey, too. 

What’s been the proudest moment of your career so far? 

A former student called me for career advice two years after she had graduated. She said that my class was what led her to choose public health as her major and as a career path. 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? 

“You think too much. Be careful when you think too much that you don’t forget how to live.”  

What’s one surprising thing about you many people don’t know? 

I bake really good pies. 

What are your favorite activities outside of work? 

Playing outside with or without my dog Lily, baking, reading and having adventures with friends.