David Stupplebeen has contributed to the public health field as a researcher, practitioner and educator. Of mixed heritage himself (white, Korean and native Hawaiian), Stupplebeen is interested in studying health outcomes among mixed-race populations and other groups that have been overlooked.
After getting his bachelor's degree from SF State with a major in political science and minor in international relations in 2007, Stupplebeen worked at the Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center, where he performed research and led social networking initiatives. "You need the academic side to figure out health needs and the organizations to translate that information into interventions." This work inspired him, he said, to pursue an advanced degree in public health in order to "make the invisible visible." "There is an omission of certain populations from conversations and research," Stupplebeen said. "If you don't see yourself in the sciences, you don't know what actions to take."
As a graduate student majoring in public health, Stupplebeen has collaborated on studies to improve health care access and outcomes for underserved populations. He worked as a research assistant for Project AFFIRM, a study examining transgender identity development and resilience through SF State's Health Equity Institute
This fall, Stupplebeen will enter the doctor of public health program in community-based and translational research at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, where he will continue to study mixed-race health issues. In the future, Stupplebeen said he wants to do both academic and community-focused work. "It's important that the community-based organization side and the academic side get bridged," he said.