Faculty for Public Health

GVSU's Master of Public Health program is strengthened by its experienced and accomplished faculty team - their diverse research, scholarship, and community connections help engage students and bring a wealth of knowledge into the classroom. 

Learn more about the dedicated faculty of Public Health, M.P.H. 

Ranelle Brew, Ed.D, MS, CHES

Dr. Ranelle Brew serves as Program Director for the Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) program and is a prominent member of the professional public health community.

Dr. Ranelle Brew teaches as an Associate Professor for the Public Health program at Grand Valley State University and serves as the Chair of the Department and Program Director. Her Doctoral and double Master degrees are from Columbia University in Education and Health Sciences respectively.
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Katie Barnhart, Ph.D., MPH

Dr. Katie Barnhart has been a valued member of the Public Health Department and MPH program since 2015.

Dr. Kathryn (Katie) Barnhart is an Assistant Professor for the Public Health program at Grand Valley State University. She received her PhD in Health Behavior, with a minor in mixed methods inquiry, from Indiana University Bloomington’s School of Public Health.
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Azizur Molla, Ph.D., MPH

Dr. Azizur Molla is an accomplished member of the GVSU Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) faculty team and brings a global connection to the classroom.

Dr. Azizur Molla is a Professor for the Master of Public Health program in the College of Health Professions at Grand Valley State University. He is a medical anthropologist with experience in community health, environmental health, program evaluation, health education and promotion, and research methods.
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Sarah Nechuta, Ph.D., MPH

Dr. Sarah Nechuta joined the GVSU Public Health faculty team in 2019, and brings a wealth of epidemiological knowledge and skills to her classroom teaching.

Dr. Sarah Nechuta is an Assistant Professor for the Master of Public Health program at Grand Valley State University. She received her PhD in Epidemiology from Michigan State University. During her doctoral training she completed a perinatal epidemiology fellowship funded by a T32 training program from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

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Karen Niemchick, Ph.D., MHS

Dr. Karen Niemchick serves as MPH Practicum Coordinator and brings a wealth of knowledge and teaching experience to the classroom.

Dr. Karen Niemchick is an Assistant Professor, and serves as Practicum Coordinator for the MPH program at Grand Valley State University. She received her PhD in epidemiology from Walden University. 
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Julia VanderMolen, Ph.D., M.Ed.

Dr. Julia VanderMolen energizes the classroom with her passion for public health, and has received many teaching awards in the process.

Dr. VanderMolen is an Associate Professor for the Public Health program at Grand Valley State University.  She received her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Career and Technical Education from Western Michigan University. She has an M.Ed. in Educational Technology from Grand Valley State University, an M.A. in Health Science from the University of Alabama, a M.S. in Biology from Clemson University and a B.S. in Biology from Western Michigan University.

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Heather Wallace, Ph.D.

Dr. Heather Wallace brings a wealth of expertise, on many public health related issues, to our M.P.H. program

Dr. Wallace is an Assistant Professor for the Public Health program at Grand Valley State University where she advises and teaches students in Health Promotion. Dr. Wallace is an interdisciplinary scholar having received degrees in Sociology, Public Health and Gerontology. Her areas of expertise include rural aging, rural cancer control and prevention, and health behavior.
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