Are you fascinated by links among cells, society, and health? Are you interested in championing community health, health equity, social and environmental justice? Then you may wish to prepare for a career in public health at the Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health.

The Zilber School is Wisconsin’s only school of public health accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. Our highly trained faculty are passionate educators leading research programs and engaging communities to impact an array of emerging and entrenched public health issues. The Zilber School offers both undergraduate (starting spring 2019) and graduate programs that respond to the increasing student and market demand for individuals with degrees in public health.

The Zilber School currently has 27 full-time faculty across the five major public health areas (biostatistics, community and behavioral health promotion, environmental health, epidemiology, and public health policy). Since its founding in 2009, Zilber School faculty have attracted more than $10 million in grants that cover critical research into issues like air pollution and autism, cancer, cardiovascular disease, health disparities, infant mortality, mass incarceration, nutrition, tobacco and e-cigarettes, water health, and more. Our students obtain a highly interdisciplinary education from one of the nation’s top universities for research and community engagement.

About Public Health

Public health is concerned with protecting the health and well-being of entire communities and populations. It is the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health and well-being through the organized efforts of society. Public health also works to eliminate social inequities in health – we address how the advantages and disadvantages that people experience based on their social circumstances influence population health. Whereas medicine mostly treats people once they become sick, those of us working in public health strive to prevent people from getting sick or injured in the first place.

Public health asks:

  • What makes some people healthy and others less healthy?
  • How can we create a society in which everyone has a chance to thrive?

From conducting scientific research to advocating for policies and educating about health, public health professionals work to ensure conditions in which all people can thrive. These include the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems that shape these conditions of daily life (referred to as social determinants of health). Thus, public health covers a wide range of factors that affect population health and well-being, such as economic and social policies, poverty, environmental hazards, access to quality healthcare, health-promoting behaviors, and genes.

The Zilber School embraces its mission to advance population health, health equity, and social and environmental justice among diverse communities in Milwaukee, the state of Wisconsin, and beyond through education, research, community engagement, and advocacy for health-promoting policies and strategies. We educate current and future public health professionals in the science, practice, critical thinking, and leadership skills necessary to promote population health and reduce health inequities.


Degree Programs

The Zilber School of Public Health offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs. Undergraduates who do not major in Public Health may still take public health courses to satisfy university general education requirements: PH 101 and PH 306 meet the Social Sciences (SS) GER, and PH 303 meets the Natural Sciences (NS) GER. Our graduate degree programs include four doctoral programs and the Master of Public Health (MPH) degree with five tracks. Please contact to learn more about our programs.





Public Health Courses

NameRankDegreeSchoolGraduate FacultyEmeritus Faculty
Amy Harley Interim Dean/Assoc. Dean/ Associate Professor PhD, MPH, RD The Ohio State University Yes No
Amy Kalkbrenner Associate Professor PhD, MPH University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Yes No
Chiang-Ching (Spencer) Huang Associate Professor PhD University of Michigan Yes No
Elise Papke Special Senior Lecturer DrPH University of Illinois Chicago No No
Ellen Velie Professor PhD University of California at Berkeley Yes No
Emmanuel Ngui Associate Professor DrPH, MSc University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Yes No
Keith Dookeran Associate Visiting Professor PhD, MBA, MD University of Illinois Chicago No No
Kurt Svoboda Associate Professor PhD S.U.N.Y at Stony Brook Yes No
Lance Weinhardt Associate Professor PhD Syracuse University Yes No
Linnea Laestadius Associate Professor PhD, MPP Johns Hopkins University Yes No
Lorraine Halinka Malcoe Associate Professor PhD, MPH University of California at Berkeley Yes No
Meng Xiong Assistant Visiting Professor MPH, ABD The George Washington University No No
Michael Laiosa Associate Professor PhD State University of New York, Upstate Medical University Yes No
Musa Yahaya Teaching Faculty II PhD Southern Illinois University Carbondale No No
Nour Taha Lecturer MS Suffolk University No No
Paul Florsheim Professor PhD Northwestern University Yes No
Phuong (Phoenix) D. Do Associate Professor PhD The RAND Graduate School Yes No
Renee Scampini Teaching Faculty II PhD University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee No No
Rose Hennesey Garza Assistant Visiting Professor PhD University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee No No
Todd Miller Associate Professor PhD University of Maryland Yes No
Xiaobei (Shel-bay) Dong Assistant Professor PhD University of Maryland Yes No
Young Cho Associate Professor PhD University of Illinois Chicago Yes No