Kymberle Sterling Joins the Rutgers Institute for Nicotine & Tobacco Studies and Rutgers School of Public Health
Kymberle Landrum Sterling, DrPH, has joined the Rutgers Institute for Nicotine & Tobacco Studies as the associate director for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in July 2023. She will also join the Rutgers School of Public Health as an associate professor in the Department of Health Behavior, Society, and Policy and Assistant Dean for Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion for Faculty & Talent Development.
Sterling’s research focuses on adolescent and young adult tobacco use, tobacco-related health disparities, and tobacco regulatory sciences, with particular emphasis on cigars. She also has expertise in mixed methodology data collection and analysis, discrete and volumetric choice experiments, and latent variable modeling techniques. Currently, Sterling’s National Institutes of Health-funded research projects examine the impact of tobacco regulatory policy on cigar and other tobacco use among young adults, particularly flavored products, and patterns of use among racially and ethnically diverse populations.
In her roles as associate director and assistant dean, Sterling will oversee efforts to enhance diversity in research, faculty, and staff development at the Rutgers Institute for Nicotine & Tobacco Studies and the Rutgers School of Public Health, respectively.
“We are honored that Dr. Sterling joined our team,” says Cristine Delnevo, director of the Rutgers Institute for Nicotine & Tobacco Studies. “She is one of the leading experts in the field and her research has informed federal tobacco control policies, specifically FDA’s expansion of its regulatory authority to cigars. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience and most importantly, passion and commitment to supporting inclusive and equitable opportunities in academia and public health. I am confident that Dr. Sterling will be an incredible asset to the Institute and the School.”
Sterling is also an active member of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) where she served on the Bylaws Task Force and as an Advisory Board Member for the Tobacco-Related Health Disparities Network. In 2023, she was also named a fellow of SRNT and delivered the Health Equity Plenary Session at the Society’s annual meeting.
“Dr. Sterling will play a major role in school leadership as assistant dean for justice, equity, diversity, & inclusion for faculty & talent development,” says Perry N. Halkitis, dean of the Rutgers School of Public Health. “She will work with Dr. Teri Lassiter, assistant dean for diversity, equity, & inclusion, to further expand our diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and anti-racism efforts. In particular, Dr. Sterling will work with Dr. Lassiter, Dr. Jaya Satagopan, associate dean for faculty affairs, and I, to continue to support all faculty in their recruitment, development, and retention with a particular emphasis on underrepresented minority faculty members.”
“She is not only an outstanding researcher but also an inspirational teacher who will play a critical role in advancing the teaching mission of the Department,” Paul Duberstein, chair of the Department of Health Behavior, Society, and Policy.
Sterling earned her Master of Public Health degree from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and her doctoral degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health.
Prior to joining Rutgers, Sterling was an associate professor in the Department of Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center School of Public Health and was the first Black women awarded tenure at the University of Texas School of Public Health. She previously worked as a public health research scientist at Battelle Memorial Institute and served as an associate professor in the Division of Health Promotion & Behavior in the School of Public Health at Georgia State University.
“I am thrilled to join the Rutgers Institute for Nicotine & Tobacco Studies and the School of Public Health. My colleagues at the Institute are nationally and internationally recognized for their commitment to reducing and striving to eliminate tobacco-related morbidity and mortality,” says Sterling.
“I look forward to conducting tobacco-related research at the Institute that has meaningful impacts on the health of people from racial and ethnic minority groups and continuing to teach and mentor the next generation of tobacco control and public health scholars.”