Oct 29, 2020  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog

Public Health Program

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Program Director: Professor Patricia Siplon (Political Science)

Associated Faculty:

Christopher Desjardins (Assistant Professor of Mathemtatics and Statistics)
Dagan Loisel (Associate Professor of Biology)
Mark Lubkowitz (Professor of Biology)
Adrie Kusserow (Professor of Anthropology)
Candas Pinar (Assistant Professor of Sociology and Publich Health)
Nicole Podnecky (Assistant Professor of Biology)
Melissa Vanderkaay Tomasulo (Associate Professor of Psychology)

Public health is a program that encourages and empowers people from across disciplines to work together to discover the causes of the world’s health problems and develop strategies and solutions to promote, not just an absence of illness, but healthy, thriving communities and populations. 

The field of public health is concerned with not only access to health care, but also the ways in which society is structured to foster or block access to environments and resources that promote health for everyone.  For this reason, a major focus, and one which our program emphasizes, is health equity.  Health equity is the goal of affording everyone the opportunity to a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible

Saint Michael’s is rooted in a passion for bettering our world and an academic tradition of interdisciplinary work, giving students an ideal place to engage in the inquiry and action needed for success in public health. The College provides a path for a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts in Public Health. 


Students may also choose to earn a minor in any of three areas: Global Health, Public Health, and Health Equity.

The minor in Global Health allows students to explore the international distribution of health outcomes, resources, and burdens, and the systems responsible for this distribution. Students will increase their understanding of global systems of health care delivery, and of other important systems such as international trade, governance, migration and cultural norms that underpin the forces that shift and block changes in health outcomes.  Examination of these systems will help students understand important global phenomena, from the movement of global pandemics to the world wide maldistribution of medication and health care workers to the increasing health impacts of catastrophes like political violence and climate change.

The minor in Health Equity provides a unique opportunity for students to examine the challenge of unjust distribution of health care and resources for living healthy lives, both globally and locally. Students in this minor will develop skills to tackle topics such as race-based inequality in health outcomes; linkages between poverty and disease; and the intersecting ways that multiple forms of discrimination provide barriers to health care access.

The minor in Public Health brings together courses and experiential learning opportunities in several fields, including biology, sociology, political science, statistics, and anthropology. The coursework empowers students to examine population-level health challenges, explore mechanisms for preventing disease, and develop skills in communication and outreach to engage the public in these efforts. This minor provides a unique opportunity for students to examine the big, complex systems and challenges in public health, both globally and locally. Students will develop skills to tackle topics such as the history of the Global AIDS Pandemic; the origins and impacts of lead poisoning in Flint, Michigan; or health system design in Scandinavia.

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