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
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.
Our public health majors are prepared to work in fields such as these:
- Community health
- Health promotion and policy
- Environmental health
- Health communication
- Global health
- Maternal and child health
- Minority health and health disparities
- Public health nursing
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
Physical Activity & Health Promotion Across the Lifespan Concentration
Health Communication & Literacy Concentration
Sociology & Cultural Competency Concentration
Public Health Course Descriptions
Meet the Faculty
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
Instructor, Director of Library Science
B.A. Westminster College, M.S.I. University of Michigan
Office: Library 208
Dr. Erin Holt
Associate Professor of Exercise Science
B.A. Park University, M.A. Southeast Missouri State, Ed.D. Delta State University
Office: Mabee Hall 404
Assistant Professor in Applied Health Sciences
Office: Mabee Hall