Shaniece Criss

Shaniece Criss

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

swipe to see more

Dr. Shaniece Criss is an Associate Professor in the Health Sciences Department and Director of the Master of Arts in Advocacy and Equity Studies at Furman University. She is a community-engaged qualitative researcher addressing health equity and health communication. 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 and South Carolina Hospital Association. She also serves as a community advisor for the Jolley Foundation and Greenville County Schools. Most recently, she created the @DrShaniece Instagram account to educate others about public health. For her professional and community endeavors, she was recognized as one of eleven leaders from across the state 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.

With a passion to implement effective interventions and policies, she earned her doctorate from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Master of Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where she was awarded a Presidential Public Service Fellowship. She has a Master of Public Health from Emory University and an undergraduate degree in communication from Oglethorpe University. 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 is committed to connecting with others. At Furman, she is a fellow of Riley Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative, Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities, and Shucker Leadership Institute. Her past advisory and board service includes: the 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.