Dr. Tapati Dutta

Dr. Tapati Dutta
Assistant Professor of Public Health

Areas of expertise

  • Global health disparities
  • Health policies and prevention behavior (vaccines and other prevention methods)
  • Community engagement and intersectionalities in public health among marginalized populations
  • HIV and cervical cancer prevention 
  • Qualitative and mixed-methods in socio-behavioral research


  • Ph.D., Public Health, Indiana University, 2019
  • Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES), National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, 2018
  • Masters in Population Studies, International Institute for Population Sciences, India, 2014
  • Diploma in Participatory Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation, Wageningen University, the Netherlands, 2014
  • M.A. Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India, 1998
  • B.S.W., Visva-Bharati University, India, 1996


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About Dr. Tapati Dutta

Dr. Tapati Dutta, Assistant Professor and the Interim Chair of Public Health

A self-described "pracademic," Dr. Tapati Dutta is a social scientist and inclusion strategist in public health, with 25 years of experience in program management, socio-behavioral research, health education, and policy advocacy including her widely viewed TEDx talk 'Life Lessons via Cannibals, Sex Workers & Marginalized People.' Honed by extensive technical training in public health, social work, and participatory research, she champions academia-practice collaborative leadership, interdisciplinary problem-solving, and compassionate policy advocacy. 

Dr. Dutta's personal experiences as a first-generation-non-traditional-age-group graduate in a hetero-patriarchal background are the deepest influencers to promoting indigenous, women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ professionals and championing DEIA-centric initiatives across higher-ed. 

At FLC, she is popular for introducing storytelling as a pedagogic method and virtual global health internships. She has conceptualized and continues to practice decolonized translational research - program and policy advocacy- by applying ecological frameworks and community-based participatory methods. Her systems research reiterates community engagement for equitable health outcomes. Dutta's policy research includes gender and community-responsive policies for vaccination uptake and cervical cancer control. A significant body of her scholarship reports empowerment education and agentic transformation in Public Health education among NASNTI students. 

Exemplars of Dutta's mentored research include COVID-19 vaccination attitudes and coping among the campus community and translation of global psychometric tools and COVID-19 prevention messaging in Santhali and Navajo (Diné) dialects. She has more than 50 peer-reviewed publications.

Before FLC, Dutta's international portfolio was exemplified by leading bilateral and multilateral developmental programs. She serves on strategic thinking boards of humanitarian organizations in rural and tribal U.S., India, Uganda, Zambia, and Myanmar. Her doctoral degree is in Public Health from Indiana University (IUSPH), Bloomington. She has three master's degrees in Population Studies, Human Resource Management, and Social Work, and certifications in Participatory Research and Health Education. She received IUSPH's Mohammad R. Torabi Early Career Outstanding Alumni Award, the FLC's Featured Scholar Award in 2023, the 2021 Vision Award by the American Public Health Association, and the Indian Govt. Ministry of Education and the Netherlands Govt. NUFFIC scholarships in 1998 and 2014, respectively.

Selected publications

Dutta, T., and Keith C., Evolution of Storytelling Pedagogy in Global Health Course at a U.S. Native American-Serving Nontribal Institution from Fall 2019 to Spring 2023. Curriculum, Instruction, and Pedagogy Article section, Frontiers in Public Health (In press)

Dutta, T., Agley, J., Xiao, Y. et al. Students’ COVID-19 vaccine behaviors, intentions, and beliefs at a US Native American-Serving Nontribal Institution (NASNTI). BMC Res Notes 16, 175 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13104-023-06439-.

Khurshid, K., Dutta, T., Khan, K.S., Haider, S.A., Ahmed, U.A., Jatoi, H., Tahir, M., Sarfraz, R., Pasha, A., Khan, M., & Ali, M. (2022) Addressing Stigma Among Persons Living with HIV Through the Sujaag Project in Pakistan: A Socioecological Analysis. Journal of Social Issues, 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1111/josi.12547 .

Dutta T., Agley J., Meyerson BE., Barnes PA., Sherwood-Laughlin C., Nicholson-Crotty J. (2021) Perceived enablers and barriers of community engagement for vaccination in India: Using socioecological analysis. PLoS ONE 16(6): e0253318. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0253318This study has been cited on the Wikipedia page ‘Vaccination in India’ (No. 15). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaccination_in_India

Dutta, T., Agley, J., Lin, H. C., & Xiao, Y. (2021). Gender-responsive language in the National Policy Guidelines for Immunization in Kenya and changes in prevalence of tetanus vaccination among women, 2008–09 to 2014: A mixed methods study. Women's Studies International Forum (Vol. 86, p. 102476). Pergamon. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wsif.2021.102476 .This study has been cited on the Wikipedia page ‘Gender disparities in health’ (No. 23). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_disparities_in_health

Dutta, T., Meyerson, B. E., Agley, J., Barnes, P. A., Sherwood-Laughlin, C., & Nicholson-Crotty, J. (2020). A qualitative analysis of vaccine decision makers’ conceptualization and fostering of ‘community engagement’ in India. International Journal for Equity in Health, 19(1), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-020-01290-5 .  This study has been cited on the Wikipedia page ‘Vaccination in India’ (No. 14)  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaccination_in_India

Gassman, R. A., Dutta, T., Agley, J., Jayawardene, W., & Jun, M. (2019). Social media outrage in response to a school-based substance use survey: Qualitative analysis. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21(9), e15298. https://www.jmir.org/2019/9/e15298/, Doi: 10.2196/15298

Dutta, T., Haderxhanaj, L., Agley, J.D., Jayawardene, W. and Meyerson, B.E. (2018). The association of individual and intimate-partner level factors with cervical cancer screening among women in Kenya. Preventing Chronic Disease, 15. http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd15.180182This study has been cited on the Wikipedia page ‘Gender disparities in health’ (No. 56). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_disparities_in_health

Dutta, T., Meyerson, B.E., & Agley, J.D. (2018). African cervical cancer prevention and control plans: A scoping review. Journal of Cancer Policy, Vol 16, pp 73-81 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcpo.2018.05.002This study has been cited on the Wikipedia page ‘Cervical cancer’ (No. 105). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cervical_cancer

Magala, I., Dutta, T., & Nalubega, R. (2018). Factors affecting utilization of HIV care services among men in TASO Masaka, Uganda: An exploratory study. J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 1(1):9-11. https://www.boffinaccess.com/open-access-journals/clinical-hiv-and-aids-journal/chaj-1-102.pdf. DOI: 10.31021/chaj.20181102


Selected presentations

Dhaske, G., & Dutta, T. Aesthetic Equity for Anti-Racist Social Work Education: Bridging the Implicit and Explicit Curriculum, Oral presentation #1468629 Council for Social Work Education Conference, Teaching Methods and Learning Styles track, October 26–29, 2023 Atlanta.

Keith C., & Dutta, T. Socio-Culturally Inclusive COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Translation in Navajo (Diné) Language, Braille, and Podcast at a Native American Serving Non-Tribal Institution. 50th Annual Symposium on the American Indian, Indian Symposium CRN 31253, Northeastern State University, April 10-15, 2023, Tahlequah.

Kosovich, J.J., Dutta, T., Boland, S., & Schneider, M. Community Equity Indicator (CEI): A Tool to Scan Determinants of Health Inequities in Colorado. Abstract ID#: 76601, Track/Subtheme: Emerging Issues in Research Translation & Implementation, 73rd Annual Conference Society for Public Health Education, The New Age of Civil Rights, Advocacy & Equity, March 21 - 24, 2023, Atlanta. 

Dutta T., Agley J., & Xiao, Y. College Student COVID-19 Vaccination Prevalence and Context: A ‘Pulse’ Survey Conducted Before and After Formal Statewide Rollout, School Health and Wellness area, Session: COVID and School Health, American Public Health Association’s 2022 Conference, Nov 3-6, 2022, Boston (Abstract#: 912109)

Dutta, T., Agley J., “Making Sure Students are At the Center”: Case Study of a Native American-Serving Non-Tribal Institution’s Collegiate Leadership During COVID-19, 2022 Scientific Meeting of the American Academy of Health Behavior, March 13-16, 2022, St. Louis.

Dutta, T., Meeker E., Partnerships: An Effective Health Education Method for Diverse Students, 73rd Annual Conference Society for Public Health Education, March 22-25, 2022, St. Louis (Abstract# 65624).

Dutta, T., Magala I., Thomson, A.M., Peg, S., Nalubega, R,. Identifying HIV treatment seeking barriers among HIV+ men in TASO-Masaka, Uganda: Findings from a multi-staged participatory research, for the session ‘HIV/AIDS,’ American Public Health Association’s 2020 Annual Meeting & Expo, San Francisco, USA, October 24 -28, 2020. (Abstract #, 464603)

Dutta, T., Gassman, R., Agley, J.D., Jun, M.C., King, R., Jayawardene, W. Examining public concerns of a school-based health behavior survey: A qualitative analysis of Facebook comments, American Public Health Association’s 2019 Annual Meeting & Expo, Philadelphia, Nov 2 - 6, 2019. (Abstract # 445425).

Dutta, T., Meyerson, B.E., Barnes, P., Agley, J.D., Sherwood-Laughlin, C., Nicholson-Crotty, J. Decision makers’ conceptualization and fostering of community engagement for improved adoption and uptake of existing and emerging vaccines in India. American Public Health Association’s 2019 Annual Meeting & Expo, Philadelphia, Nov 2 - 6, 2019. (Abstract #, 445812).

Dutta, T., Meyerson, B.E. African country-level cervical cancer prevention and control plans: A review analysis. 31st International Papillomavirus Conference. HPV 2017, Cape Town, South Africa, February 28 - March 5, 2017.


In the news

Grants and awards

  • HyFlex Distance Learning Initiative: Bridging the Rural Digital Divide, United States Department of Agriculture (Awarded ~$1m), 2020-2023

Boards and committees


  • Board Member, Shanta Foundation
  • Board Member, Foundation for Sustainable Community Development (FSD), Uganda 

Lifetime member

  • International Papillomavirus Society

Peer Reviewer

  • Preventing Chronic Disease journal
  • Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice
  • Advances in Social Work
  • Abstracts submitted for the APHA's 2017, 2018, and 2019 Annual Meetings

Community outreach

  • TEDx Indianapolis Women speaker
  • Member, Working Group on Ethics of International Health Program, Center for Service and Learning, IUPUI.
  • Member, HIV Modernization Movement, Indiana.
  • Member, Giving Back to Africa, Indiana.
  • Global Ambassador, Student Immersion and Global Health Experiences, School of Public Health, Indiana University.
  • Contributor, Africa edition of EHospice, a web-based resource on hospice and end-of-life care.
  • Voluntary writer, WILpower, the newsletter of Walchandnagar Industries Ltd, India.
  • Coordinator, e-discussion at UNAIDS' Solution Exchange on Strengthening biomedical HIV prevention research for women and girls, India.
  • Moderator, e-group, Gender Competence, and Community Life Competence.
  • Volunteer, Delhites' National Initiative in Palliative Care, India.