Exercise science students performing hands on activity in class

College of Arts & Sciences

Public Health


Dr. Erin Holt

Associate Professor of Exercise Science, Department Chair

Department of Applied Health Sciences

Improving Quality of Life


The field of public health is continuously evolving in response to the needs of communities and populations around the world. 


The fundamental mission of public health is to improve the diverse conditions and behaviors that affect all aspects of health so that all people can attain it. That mission includes not only the practice of public health promotion and policy but also the research of public health problems and the education of future leaders who will transform that research into practices and policies to improve the health of people regionally, nationally, and globally.


“Public health is an important field that is often overlooked. Millions of people are alive today thanks to public health initiatives, such as vaccination programs, clean air and water standards and policies, change in tobacco laws and community policies surrounding tobacco use, child safety laws, and workplace safety standards. Public health touches on almost every aspect of modern life with career options spanning from government agencies to nonprofit organizations to the private sector. As the world gets a glimpse into the public health world during the global pandemic, professionals in public health work together using evidence-based approaches and strategies to better the overall health and quality of life for populations and communities locally, regionally, nationally, and globally.”

—Dr. Erin Holt, Associate Professor of Exercise Science

Male student tutoring another male student
Exercise science students doing morning yoga in Hartley plaza
Two students working on a classroom study with a treadmill
Baldwin City campus in the fall

Exceptional Experience


Small Classes

You’ll always be part of the conversation at Baker, where our small classes mean you’ll connect with your fellow students and engage in one-on-one communication with your professors. This ensures you’re fully prepared when it’s time to enter a professional field or graduate school.

Choose Your Direction

Public health majors complete a core of required courses, then choose one of three concentrations: physical activity and health promotion across the lifespan, health literacy and communication, and public health sociology and cultural competency.

Beyond Textbooks & Lectures

A hallmark of the Baker education is hands-on experience outside the classroom. We have built strong relationships with diverse agencies that host students for observation and job-shadowing experiences and internships. These include the YMCA of Greater Kansas City, Boost Physical Therapy and Sports Performance, Hy-Vee Dietitian Services, Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, Baldwin City Recreation Commission, and several hospitals.

Firm Foundation in Liberal Arts

Baker’s liberal arts curriculum develops essential skills for professionals seeking to solve the problems that apply to public health: the ability to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information to make sound decisions.


At Baker, learning takes place both inside and outside the classroom.


Our public health majors are prepared to work in fields such as these:

  • Community health
  • Health promotion and policy
  • Environmental health
  • Health communication
  • Epidemiology
  • Global health
  • Maternal and child health
  • Minority health and health disparities
  • Public health nursing
Two female students working with stethoscopes


The Department of Applied Health Sciences gives these awards with financial prizes to be applied to the following year’s tuition:

  • Mildred Hunt Riddle Departmental Recognition Scholarship for Exercise Science
  • Benjamin A. Gessner Award
  • Thomas G. Manson and Frances B. Manson Scholarship
  • Robert L. Miller Scholarship
Exercise science students examining chest on digital cadaver table


Physical Activity & Health Promotion Across the Lifespan Concentration

Health Communication & Literacy Concentration

Sociology & Cultural Competency Concentration

Public Health Course Descriptions

Meet the Faculty

Dr. Erin Holt

Chair of Applied Health Sciences Department, Associate Professor of Applied Health Sciences

B.A. Park University, M.A. Southeast Missouri State, Ed.D. Delta State University

Office: Mabee Hall 405


Dr. Kimberly Schaefer

Associate Professor of Communication Studies

B.A. University of Richmond; M.A., Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin

Expertise: interpersonal communication, communication technology, personal relationships

Office: Parmenter Hall 18


Erin Laurie

Assistant Professor of Applied Health Science

B.S. Kansas State University, M.S. Kansas State University

Expertise: Community nutrition and public health

Office: Mabee 403


Molly Anderson

Assistant Professor of Laboratory Instruction

B.S. Baker University, M.S. Johns Hopkins University

Expertise: chemical education

Office: Boyd Science Center 302


Dr. Michelle Deming

Assistant Professor of Sociology

M.A. University of North Carolina in Wilmington; Ph.D. University of South Carolina; Graduate Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies, University of South Carolina

Office: Parmenter Hall 23

Parmenter and long student center

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