Dr. Samantha Winter is an assistant professor at the Columbia School of Social Work. Broadly, Dr. Winter’s research focuses on women’s health, violence against women, and women’s access to space and health-related services in informal settlements in East Africa. Dr. Winter is working on projects that examine social and environmental determinants of women’s health and access to health-related services in informal settlements in East Africa; the effect of psychoeducation on mental health and self-efficacy outcomes in informal settlements; links between climate, violence and health in informal settlements; the role of social cohesion and networks in women’s health and access to health-related services in informal settlements; and the effect of violence-prevention interventions in reducing intimate partner violence and improving mental and physical health outcomes for women in informal settlements.
Dr. Winter holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil and environmental engineering and master’s and doctoral degrees in social work. Dr. Winter recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship in global public health through the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. She believes in interdisciplinary approaches to understanding and addressing complex social, environmental, and technical challenges. Some of Dr. Winter’s previous work includes projects focused on women’s access to water, sanitation, and hygiene and the social and environmental factors that influence that access, as well as women’s physical and mental health outcomes—including experiences of gender-based violence—in informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya, and on women’s empowerment, perceptions of gender norms, efficacy, and gender-based violence among women who participate in health groups and women’s sports in southeastern Kenya. In addition to research, Dr. Winter teaches courses focused on human behavior in the social environment, violence against women, women’s health, and environmental justice and climate equity.