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Shaniece Criss

Associate Professor of Health Sciences; Director of the Master of Arts in Advocacy and Equity Studies (MAAES)

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Dr. Shaniece Criss is a health science associate professor, public health qualitative researcher, and the director of the Master of Arts in Advocacy and Equity Studies at Furman University. As a founding member of the Big Data for Health Equity Research Collaborative, she works with university researchers from across the U.S. to investigate how societal issues impact health. At Furman, she partners with the Institute for the Advancement of Community Health and serves as a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach.

Dr. Criss is an elected official on Travelers Rest City Council and serves on the board of directors for Prisma Health. For her professional and community endeavors, she was recognized as one of “The Top 50 Women Leaders of South Carolina” from the Women We Admire national news site and one of eleven leaders with the “Women Vision SC” Award from ETV. In addition, she was named a “ChangeMaker” by Multiplying Good, inducted into the Greenville County Schools Hall of Fame, and received the UNCF Mayors’ Ball Community Award.

As a public health practitioner, Dr. Criss served as producer and host for a national television show for the Ministry of Health in Guyana during her Peace Corps service. She also held positions at ICF International, Centers for Disease Control, and CNN. She graduated from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health with a Doctor of Science (ScD) degree, Harvard Kennedy School with a master of public administration, Emory University with a master of public health, and Oglethorpe University with an undergraduate degree in communication.

She is committed to connecting with others. At Furman, she is a fellow of Riley Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative, Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities, Cothran Center for Vocational Reflection, and Shucker Leadership Institute. Her past advisory and board service includes: the South Carolina Hospital Association, Racial Equity and Economic Mobility (REEM) Commission, Public Education Partners, Greenville Women Giving, Together Women Rise, YMCA Teen Services, LiveWell Greenville, Greenville County Human Relations Commission, and Travelers Rest Municipal Elections Commission.


  • Sc.D., Harvard University, T. H. Chan School of Public Health
  • M.P.H., Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health
  • M.P.A., Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government
  • B.A., Oglethorpe University


Dr. Criss utilizes community-engaged qualitative research to address health equity and health communication. Please see her Curriculum Vitae for details.