Sabrina Oesterle, a light skinned woman with a long gray and brown braid and glasses, smiles at the camera wearing a blue denim shirt with wrist tattoos showing

Sabrina Oesterle to lead Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center

Sabrina Oesterle, previously a research professor at the University of Washington (UW), has been appointed director of the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center (SIRC) in the School of Social Work at Arizona State University’s Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

“It will be my goal to build on SIRC’s existing strengths in health disparities and preventative intervention research to create a healthy, intellectually thriving and financially sustainable research center,” said Oesterle, who prior to her ASU appointment was assistant director of the Social Development Research Group at UW. “I am particularly excited to do this work in collaboration with SIRC’s Community Advisory Board to assure that our research is informed by the needs and cultures of the local communities of the Southwest.”

A research unit of the Watts College, SIRC works with communities of the Southwest to focus on teen alcohol and drug abuse prevention, as well as to help prevent, reduce and eliminate health disparities in those communities.

James Herbert Williams, director of the School of Social Work, knows the SIRC’s mission well. He serves as the center’s interim director.

“Dr. Oesterle is a talented researcher and scholar who shares a great deal in common with the team of nationally and internationally recognized researchers, faculty and scholars she is joining here at ASU,” Williams said. “As SIRC director, she will play a pivotal role in involving local communities in the center’s research to benefit those communities.”

Oesterle has co-authored several articles that recently appeared in the academic journals Prevention Science, American Journal of Public Health, Journal of Adolescent Health, Journal of Social Work in the Addictions, and American Journal of Community Psychology, among others.

Oesterle received her doctoral degree in sociology from the University of Minnesota and her master’s degree in sociology from Portland (Oregon) State University. She also participated in a master’s program in sociology with minors in social anthropology and economics at Universität Tübingen in Tübingen, Germany. 

Written by Linda Obele