Meet our Faculty: Thistle Elias


Thistle Elias was motivated to join the faculty of BCHS once she had the opportunity, as a staff member from another department, to work alongside BCHS faculty on Bridging the Gaps. After seeing their commitment to respectful, thoughtful community-engaged and partnered work, she wanted to study alongside our faculty.

Share your latest research/teaching/community-engagement experience:

I am very excited that the Experiential Poverty Exercise developed for BTG-Pittsburgh has been adapted and piloted at UCLA this fall – all thanks to an APHA presentation in 2019 we did with then student Jessica Thompson, and articles we’ve been able to share about this work and preparing students for current and future work with low-SES communities and addressing structural and systemic inequities! Current master's student and staff member Brandi Boak has shared in authorship on those manuscripts, as well as community partners on these efforts and others pending – a win all around!

What is a favorite BCHS memory that you have?

As a doctoral student, seeing BCHS's Patricia Documet wearing wobbly antennae in her office for no discernable reason gave me a terrific jolt of happiness in a stressful time.

How do you amuse yourself outside of work?

Any opportunity to hike a good rocky hike or stand-up paddleboard – not enough opportunities, but each one is a huge mental health vitamin! (Commercial: Go to Lake Arthur). In between, cycling anywhere (even for errands, but especially to yoga) makes me happy. Does that count as amusement?

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