Dr. Taylor Neher, Assistant Professor
What originally encouraged you to teach and work in the public health space?
Growing up I always knew that I wanted to work in the health arena but was unsure what that looked like. I have Type 1 Diabetes or juvenile diabetes. I participated in a lot of community health activities growing up that I always really enjoyed and I wanted to figure out how I could run them and make sure that they were reaching the right people. This passion continued on while I was in my undergraduate degree at Boise State University working with Dr. Sarah Toevs and Dr. Caile Spear. They both introduced me to the ideas of public health and community health. With their help, I was able to work on community initiatives and research projects that solidified my desire to work in public health and be able to make an impact on the communities I care about most.
What brought you to Boise State University?
I am an Idaho native and did my undergraduate at Boise State University so, naturally, I always wanted to come back home and be a Bronco again! When I left Boise State University and went to Texas A&M University for my Masters in Public Health, the possibility of coming back home was never a thought because of the current programs offered. But luckily, Boise State had other plans and continued to grow its public health programs into a masters program and now the doctorate program. I could not be more excited to be teaching at my alma mater and living back in the Treasure Valley.
What course or topic are you most excited to teach and why?
Community assessments, alongside being one of my favorite research methods, is one of my favorite classes to teach. Teaching students how public health practitioners can have meaningful impacts on our community is always the best. Our students will be able to go out and change the lives of Idahoans and beyond with the right tools, which includes understanding how to support our communities’ visions for health and their available resources, which are all key components to community assessments and evaluations.
What sort of research or project (current or future) are you excited about?
I am excited to be a 2023-2024 Research Grantsmanship Fellow this year at Boise State University and to be able to work on my funding portfolio. My research interests include mental health, particularly in groups such as youth, young adults, parents and those impacted by incarceration. My previous research projects included working in the carceral system, aging populations, HIV and mindfulness mobile applications.
What do you enjoy doing for fun?
Well, I have 6 month old twin boys, so currently all of my fun is focused around showing them the world around them. We love being outside, going on the greenbelt, camping and traveling as much as we can!