Getting to Know Center Faculty: Dr. Dale Mantey

Published: October 26, 2022

Headshot 2021

Faculty blogs can be a great student resource for new learners and faculty seeking to gather valuable information about their mentors and colleagues. A conversation I recently had with Dr. Dale Mantey was full of valuable information, and I am grateful to be able to share it with you.

Dr. Mantey began his work at UTHealth School of Public Health in Austin as a postdoctoral fellow and is now an Assistant Professor of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences in the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living at the School of Public Health Austin Campus. His work centers around the health of adolescents, more specifically, the prevention of youth substance (tobacco and cannabis) use and abuse.

Dr. Mantey is a Texas native of Rockdale, a small town between Austin and College Station. He grew up in a Tejano (multicultural) home, which gave him an early and very personal perspective on the ways that environment and culture – including home, neighborhood, and community - impacted how he viewed and interacted with the world around him. To this day, he still carries this knowledge deeply as he examines how people’s environments influence their choices, behaviors, and health, a concept widely recognized as social determinants of health or foundations of community health.

From Head Start to doctorate, Dr. Mantey is a product of Texas public schools and the first in his family to attend college. Dr. Mantey applies that experience to his research, teaching, and service. “Navigating higher education as a low-income, first-generation college student was incredibly difficult; I felt perpetually behind. My aim is to level that playing field for the next generation.”

Since completing his doctoral degree and post-doctoral fellowship training at the UTHealth School of Public Health Austin Campus, Dr. Mantey has applied his knowledge and firsthand experience to assist in many campaigns with the goal of improving the lives of young people. Such work includes a project titled CATCH My Breath which involves giving parents the tools to address vaping and other health crises with their children. Dr. Mantey also contributed support as a Graduate Assistant to the 2016 Surgeon General's report on the dangers of e-cigarettes. As part of his future research endeavors, he hopes to expand his research to include cyberbullying and the impact of income inequality on adolescent health.

Aside from the public health training he has received thus far, Dr. Mantey believes his most significant strength is his appreciation for the state of TexasThat is, the cultural variety across UTHealth School of Public Health campuses is a reflection of the cultural variety across Texas, which is a valuable asset to its students, faculty, and staff.

For any students with questions or looking for insight, I recommend you get in contact with Dr. Mantey, or someone you know that has a similar passion for their work, if only to start a conversation and seek advice about how to do the work you are interested in doing. As Dr. Manty said, “Sometimes the hardest thing to do is wait because it feels like apathy…like watching an egg. It looks like it's not moving and then one day it hatches.”

Dr. Dale Mantey is a new faculty member at the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living at the UTHealth School of Public Health Austin Campus.  He earned his Ph.D. in Health Promotion/Behavioral Science from the UTHealth School of Public Health Austin Campus.  He completed both his BA in History and Psychology and his Masters in Public Administration (MPA) in the state of Texas at Angelo State University and Texas State University, respectively.