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Send Dr. Bhagat an Email
Dr. Krishna Bhagat is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health. Her Bachelors degree is from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where her majors were Sociology and Gender and Women's Studies, with a minor in South Asian Studies. From there, she went on to earn a Masters in Public Health from Boston University in International Health and Social and Behavioral Sciences. Her doctoral training is in Behavioral and Community Health from the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Bhagat has experience managing large-scale research studies at an independent research company called NORC at the University of Chicago. She is also very passionate about addressing public health issues that affect societies across the globe and spent four years helping to develop, lead, and teach for an immersive Global Public Health program for undergraduate students. She is specifically interested in raising awareness about how public health intersects with gender and creating programming that empowers women around the world.
Dr. Bhagat's research interests include examining taken-for-granted public health 'stories' from a more critical lens so that we can work together to promote health in more holistic, effective, inclusive, and safer ways. Often, when it comes to factors related to our health, we mistake association for causation when in actuality, the relationship between different variables is much more complex than that. One example of this is the relationship between health and weight. It is readily assumed that over-weight and obesity lead to ill-health when in fact the connection between these two variables is hardly linear or isolated. Acknowledging this evidence, Dr. Bhagat's current research project includes working with students and community partners to design and deliver a novel non-weight centered health promotion program aimed at encouraging community members to have healthier relationships with themselves, their bodies, food, and physical activity.
Dr. Bhagat is also the on-campus student adviser and works closely with the Public Health Student Organization. She is happy to set aside time to speak with students about their progress in the department, career aspirations, or opportunities to be involved in research or service projects in public health.
Other than her work, Dr. Bhagat enjoys spending time with her family -including her two crazy kiddos-, running, and working on projects around the house.
Send Christopher an Email
Chris Duffrin is a Professor of Public Health at Benedictine University. Prior to joining the faculty at BU, Dr. Duffrin held positions at Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, as Fellowship Director and Associate Professor, and as Director of Grants Development at Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine. He has also held various administrative positions in higher education, including, Dean, Associate and Assistant Dean, and Director of Grants Management. Prior to entering his academic career, Dr. Duffrin had a career in prehospital medicine, serving as an EMT and Paramedic, and working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Economic Development Administration, and Western Illinois Regional Council on flood relief mitigation efforts. In addition, he served in the State Division of EMS in Ohio, where he designed and coordinated the development of the first EMS grants program, state trauma system, and EMS for Children system. His area of research interest is in health education for minority and low literacy patient populations, health workforce development, rural health, and improving clinical outcomes in rural systems of care. He holds the PhD in Higher Education, MS in Community Health, MEd in Educational Leadership, and is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES), and has been a certified Paramedic /EMT since 1984.
Send Dr. Gorr an Email
Alan Gorr is Professor of Public Health. His professional interests include health promotion, international health manpower development and ethics. His professional preparation include BA from University Iowa, MA from University of Toronto, PhD from University of Iowa and MPH from University of Illinois at Chicago.
Gorr began his career at Augustana College Rock Island where he became Chair of Professional Studies and initated the Health Education Program. He then moved to the University of Illinois at Chicago where he was an Associate Professor in the Center for Educational Development (now the Department of Medical Education). The Center was a partner with the World Health Organization. While there he advised several nations at the health ministry level and worked as a consultant in Egypt, Sudan, India, and Myanmar. Gorr helped design the PhD in Nursing and the Health Education program for the School of Public Health where he held joint faculty appointments. He was co-editor of the Handbook of Health Professions Education.
At Benedictine University he became Chair of Public Health and then Dean of the College of Education and Health Services. While chair he initiated the online MPH program as well as Health Policy, Social Context of Health Care, and updated the Ethics course. He is the founder and director of the Benedictine University's MPH program in cooperation with Dalian Medical University in China.
Dr. Ho taught as an adjunct faculty member before joining Benedictine as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2016. He received his Doctor of Public Health degree in Biostatistics, with an emphasis in statistical genetics and large-scale computing, from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2010). His Master of Public Health in Biometry is from San Diego State University (2004), and he holds a Biology degree from the University of California, San Diego (1999).
As a Senior Lead Statistician Dr. Ho has collaborated with eminent international PIs and led teams of statistical programmers, statisticians, and epidemiologists at a variety of institutions (UNC, UCSD, NIH, NIEHS, CDC, SRA International Inc., Agility Clinical Inc.) for more than 10 years, and he has authored and co-authored over a dozen peer-reviewed articles.
His biostatistical experience in all three major areas of public health—academia, government, and private industry—offers invaluable insight to guiding Benedictine students toward a sector that best fits their career goals.
With superior technical expertise in online communication, SAS, R, and various Big Data analytical tools and languages, Dr. Ho looks forward to expanding Benedictine's analytical course offerings, collaborating with other departments, as well as continuing to teach for the Benedictine University's MPH program at Dalian Medical University in China.
Dr. Ho's special research interests include applying Big Data to further understanding public health, including epigenetic variables for personalized medicine, and social media impacts on health outcomes and choices. He is also interested in determinants of health that emphasize mind-body research.
Send Jennifer an Email
Send Dr. Polyak an Email
Phone: (630) 829-6217
Georgeen Polyak is an Associate Professor at Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois.She teaches courses in health systems, health policy, and coordinates on campus student internships.Her primary research interest is in public health services and systems.She has published studies on the performance and funding of public health agencies.Prior to her teaching position, she was Director of Public Health for the Village of Oak Park, Illinois and worked at the Will County Health Department. She is a site reviewer for the Public Health Accreditation Board. She received her doctorate in Public Health Sciences from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Send Dr. Trask an Email
Jeffrey Trask is the department chair for the Masters in Public Health program and Assistant Professor at Benedictine University. He holds a Doctorate in Philosophy in Community Health with a Specialization in Health Policy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he also completed his undergraduate work, and he earned his Master of Science in Education Administration from Eastern Illinois University.
In his professional career, Dr. Trask worked at Carle hospital in the human resources and volunteer departments. During his graduate education, he worked with the Charleston Public Health Department, teaching tobacco cessation courses, and for Eastern Illinois University Health Center as a Health Education Coordinator. In addition, while an Associate Pastor at New Covenant Fellowship, he founded the Champaign County Christian Health Center (CCCHC), a free clinic that provides healthcare services to the uninsured. His many other professional accomplishments include: Board Chair for the Illinois Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, Treasurer for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Advocacy for Justice Committee; Former Board President for Christian Community Health Fellowship (CCHF); and former board member for the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA).
Send Dr. Woodson an Email
Dr. Markisha Woodson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health. She received her Ph.D. in Community Health from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She had been the Prevention Education Coordinator at Lewis University Center for Health and Counseling Services prior to coming to Benedictine. Her research interests include a focus on the ability of underrepresented groups to survive and thrive in their environments.
Caroline Pluta, M.S.
Graduate Admissions Counselor