Jill Sonke, PhD, is director of research initiatives in the Center for Arts in Medicine at the University of Florida (UF), director of national research and impact for the One Nation/One Project initiative, and co-director of the EpiArts Lab, a National Endowment for the Arts Research Lab. She is an affiliated faculty member in the UF School of Theatre & Dance, the Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases, the Center for African Studies, the STEM Translational Communication Center, and the One Health Center, and is an editorial board member for Health Promotion Practice journal. With a specialization in the arts and health communication, Jill served in the pandemic as a senior advisor to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vaccine Confidence and Demand Team on the COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence Task Force.
Jill studied dance at Interlochen Arts Academy, the Florida State University, in London, Paris and Athens with teachers of the Horton and Duncan techniques including Bella Lewitsky, Lynda Davis, Milton Meyers, Joy Kellman, Lori Belilove, Julia Levine and Hortense Koluris. She has been a principal dancer and soloist with Lori Belilove & the Isadora Duncan Dance Company in New York and a guest performer and choreographer with Dance Alive! and Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theatre.
With 28+ years of experience and leadership in the field of arts in health and a PhD in arts in public health from Ulster University in Northern Ireland, Jill is active in research and policy advocacy nationally and internationally. She is an artist and a mixed methods researcher with a current focus on population-level health outcomes associated with arts and cultural participation, arts in public health, and the arts in health communication. She is the recipient of a New Forms Florida Fellowship Award, a State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship Award, a NISOD Excellence in Teaching Award, a UF Internationalizing the Curriculum Award, a UF Most Outstanding Service Learning Faculty Award, a UF Public Health Champions award, a UF Cross-Campus Faculty Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and over 350 grants for her programs and research at the University of Florida.