Laura Poms, PhD

Laura Poms
Titles and Organizations

Currently serving as Director of Mason Core

Contact Information

Phone: 703-993-9853
Building: Peterson Hall
Room 5603


Laura Wheeler Poms is a Professor, Undergraduate Program Director, and Graduate Program Director in Global and Community Health at George Mason University.  She is an occupational health psychologist focusing on how an individual's work environment influences physical and mental health. Her research interests also include the scholarship of teaching and learning, with an emphasis on student self-efficacy, active learning and STEM education.  She is the co-author of Understanding Epidemiology, now in its second edition, which is one of the only textbooks specifically designed to teach epidemiology to undergraduate students. She is a George Mason University Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning faculty fellow, working with colleagues to implement active learning strategies in STEM courses. She was a 2018 Mason Teaching Excellence Award winner and a 2016 College of Health and Human Services Master Teacher Award winner.

University Service

  • Member, Center for Well Being Learning Community, George Mason University, 2014-present
  • Eta Sigma Gamma Faculty Co-Advisor, 2014-2016
  • Group Leader, SIMPLE faculty development project, George Mason University, 2015-2017

Community Service

  • Chair and Representative, School Health Advisory Committee, Fairfax County Public Schools, 2010-2015


Research Interests

  • Occupational health and stress
  • Employee motivation
  • Work-family balance


Poms, L.W., Fleming, L. C., and Jacobsen, K.H. (2016). Work-family conflict, stress, and physical and mental health: A model for understanding barriers to and opportunities for women’s well-being at home and in the workplace. World Medical and Health Policy, 8(4), 444-457.

Poms, L.W., Fleming, L.C. & Jacobsen, K.H. (2012). Parenting practices and tobacco use in middle school students in low and middle income countries. Journal of School Health, 82(8), 353-363.

Nelson, J., Poms, L.W., & Wolf, P.P (2012). Developing efficacy beliefs for ethics and diversity management. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 11(1), 49-68.

Weinstein, A.A., Kallman, J., Stepanova, M., Poms, L. W., Fang, Y., Moon, J., Nader, F., & Younossi, Z.M. (2011). Depression in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and chronic viral Hepatitis B and C. Psychosomatic, 52, 127-132

Poms, L.W., Botsford, W.E., Kaplan, S. A., Buffardi, L.C. and O’Brien, A.S. (2009). The economic impact of work and family issues: Childcare satisfaction and financial considerations of employed mothers. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 14(4), 402-413.


Poms, L.W. & Dawson, R. S. (2014). Understanding epidemiology. San Diego, CA: Cognella Academic Publishing. (second edition forthcoming, Fall 2017)


"Students as Scholars Curriculum Development Grant (2014-2017)." Multiple year grant to support the redesign of the BS in Community Health curriculum to support a scaffolded approach to developing undergraduate research skills.

"Commonwealth Public Health Training Center," Health Resources and Services Administration, 2010-2015. Pawloski, L. (Principal Investigator), February 2012-May 2014. Role: Co-Principal Investigator. $427,156. 

Honors and Awards


  • Master Teacher Award, College of Health and Human Services, George Mason University
  • Graduate Public Health Award, 2011, College of Health and Human Services, George Mason University




  • PhD, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, George Mason University
  • MPH, Epidemiology, George Mason University
  • MA, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, George Mason University
  • MA, Public Communication, The American University
  • BA, Psychology, The College of William and Mary