Josie Carrier is a double major in Sociology and Mathematics at Union University in Jackson, TN. Originally from a rural Appalachian town in northeast TN, she always knew that substance abuse was a problem in her region but didn’t realize the scale of the opioid epidemic until she took a Social Problems class at Union. By then, she had rediscovered her passion for mathematics and realized that a career researching issues in rural areas like her hometown was a feasible possibility. She then decided to pursue Discipline-Specific Honors in sociology, a program that allows her to work on her thesis during upper-level coursework outside of capstone class and thus produce a more well-developed project. She plans to attend graduate school, pursuing a PhD in sociology with emphases in health and quantitative methods or a graduate degree of some kind in social epidemiology.
Josie is working on two different projects as a SUMR Scholar: one with Dr. Evan Anderson and one with Dr. Michael Blank and Dr. Donna Coviello. Dr. Anderson is leading a mixed-methods program evaluation of the Philadelphia Police Assisted Diversion program, which Philadelphia is using to combat the opioid epidemic. Dr. Blank and Dr. Coviello are leaders in the PATH for Triples Study (PFT), which identifies HIV positive patients with mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Josie is assisting with data analysis tasks and using data from this study and others to further her current research questions and/or develop new ones.
When she’s not reading about drugs or playing with numbers, Josie enjoys winning tournaments with Union’s debate team, quality time with friends, and reading about other things.