IPHA Distinguished Public Health Student of the Year: Kate Kornfeind

Benedictine University Department of Public Health alumna, Kate Kornfeind, BSN, MPH ’17, was awarded the 2017 Distinguished Public Health Student of the Year Award at the Illinois Public Health Association’s Friends of Public Health Dinner held on Wednesday, September 20, 2017.  Kate was nominated for the award by Dr. Heather Sipsma and Professor Beth Bormann due to her work as Vice-President of the student group, the MPH Student Advisory Panel, as well as for her research using secondary data from the National Survey of Family Growth to examine the impact of parental education on safe sex practices among youth in the United States under the guidance of Dr. Sipsma. Congratulations to Kate!  (Article can be found here:  http://www.ben.edu/news/2017/kornfeind.cfm .)

Poster Presentations at the Illinois Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting

Benedictine University’s Department of Public Health presented two posters at the Illinois Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting on Thursday, September 21, 2017.  Master of Public Health graduate student, Remya Joseph, presented a poster about a student trip to Tanzania which was held in June 2017.  Dr. Georgeen Polyak, Associate Professor, led a group of public health students to visit the Sisters of St. Gertrude who run a clinic in Imiliwaha, Tanzania.  The students completed a rapid health needs assessment and provided water filters to local residents.

Beth Bormann, MPH, CHES, presented a poster sharing the results of a health needs assessment of a church congregation located in Downers Grove, IL.  Professor Bormann would like to continue working with the church to plan, implement, and evaluate health promotion programs at the church to improve the health of the congregation.

Webinar: Childhood Obesity and Efforts to Combat this Public Health Issue

Please join IPHA and Benedictine University for a webinar entitled "Childhood Obesity and Efforts to Combat this Public Health Issue" on Monday, March 27, 2017 at 2:00 pm (CST).

Presenters include:
Professor Beth Bormann, MPH, CHES
Sarah Ansari, MBBS
Mehreen Chaudry, cMPH
Puneet Dhanoa, cMPH
Yuhan Du, cMPH
Kyra Jackson, cMPH
Hanan Karnaf, cMPH
Laura Valcour, cBS in Nutrition

Register here:

MPH Students - Service Project at Feed My Starving Children

MPH student, Wai-Mon Thant, following her volunteering at Feed My Starving Children this past Monday, December 12, 2016, put together this video.

Neighborhood Resource Centers Engage Youth in Leadership

Learning how to build a successful team is one life skill that we continue to learn as adults and professionals. At the Henry Hyde Resource Center in Addison, this is the second of several lessons that youth are getting a head start on through the Youth Leadership Project. During this lesson, youth participants identified values for a successful team and how to use these skills in school and daily life.
The Youth Leadership Project was recently implemented by the Prevention Leadership Team (PLT), the coalition leading implementation of the Substance Abuse action plan, in collaboration with the Juvenile Justice Council and Benedictine University.
The project is designed to increase youth leadership and reduce substance use. Currently being implemented in three neighborhood resource centers in DuPage County, Masters students from Benedictine University's Public Health program are trained to facilitate the Lions Quest curriculum. Lions Quest is an evidence-based, social and emotional learning program that promotes connection to community and school, positive behavior, character education, anti-bullying, service learning, and awareness of substance abuse.
In addition to classroom lessons, participating youth will also engage in community service projects, family nights, and policy and advocacy projects. In the first year of the program, 105 youth will participate in the project.

(Benedictine University MPH Student, Nissreen Ayyad, pictured below.)

(Article and photo taken from:  Impact DuPage - Driving DuPage Forward - November 16, 2016.)

IPHA - Distinguished Public Health Student of the Year - 2016

MPH student, Amar Pandya, (Spring 2016 MPH graduate) is the 2016 recipient of the Illinois Public Health Association's Distinguished Public Health Student of the Year Award.  (Only one student receives this award each year.)

Poster Awarded with an honor at IPHA Meeting

One of the three posters that was presented at the Illinois Public Health Association's Annual Meeting (September 2016) was awarded the "Most Relevant to Theme of 'Public Health on the Cutting Edge' Award" among all of the posters.  The awarded poster was titled, "Psychological Impact of Disasters, Terrorism, and Outbreaks."

MPH Program is highlighted for National Public Health Week

Our MPH Program was highlighted in the July issue of the APHA's The Nation's Health with a picture and the events that were held during National Public Health Week from April 4 – 7, 2016.  Here is the link to the article.  (Scroll down to "Illinois.")

Congratulations to our students for their hard work!

MPH Students volunteer at Feed My Starving Children

On Friday, November 6, 2015, eleven MPH students helped pack food to feed hungry children through Feed My Starving Children (www.fmsc.org).  During their two hour packing session, 115 boxes of food were packed by a large group of volunteers, which included the MPH students, to be sent all over the world. Another packing session has been scheduled for MPH students to participate in on Wednesday, December 9, 2015. MPH students participate in at least one service project every quarter to give back to the local community as well as the global community-at-large! 


2015 APHA Annual Meeting, Chicago

BenU's MPH program was proud to present a dozen posters and oral presentations from students, alumni, and faculty at the 2015 APHA Annual Meeting. Here are some highlights of presentations, the BenU social event at The Gage, and the joint Illinois social event at the Chicago Cultural Center. The program now looks forward to growing more research and the opportunity to hopefully present at APHA 2016 in Denver, Colorado. Onwards and upwards! 

MPH students attend the Downers Grove Sanitary District's Annual Open House on Saturday, October 3, 2015! 


Eleven MPH students attended the Downers Grove Sanitary District's (http://www.dgsd.org/) Annual Open House on Saturday, October 3, 2015!  The group received a personalized tour of the water treatment process.  The tour began with a brief video overview of the treatment process (http://www.dgsd.org/images/DiagramofWWTCProcess.pdf) and then the group was able to see many of the different stations as well as view how energy efficient all the operations are! Click here for a virtual tour: http://www.dgsd.org/wwtc/virtualtour/virtualtour_files/v3_document.htm.  In addition, the group learned about the Biosolids Program where biosolids are given away to residents for landscaping fertilization.  Learn more about their Biosolids Program here: http://www.dgsd.org/biosols.htm.  Many thanks go to the staff of the Downers Grove Sanitary District for their organized open house.  Special thanks go to Brian and Sam who were excellent tour guides!"

MPH Students tour DuPage County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management


On Saturday, June 20, 2015, MPH students were given a personal tour of the facilities of the DuPage County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (OHSEM), https://www.dupageco.org/ohsem/.Sabit Abbasi, Emergency Management Specialist, provided a brief presentation about the department, its organizational structure, its mission and vision. Students were then given a tour of the offices, emergency operations center, radio room, and the underground bunker where the department was previously housed. Many thanks to Sabit for a wonderful and informative tour!

MPH Program is represented at the Illinois Public Health Association's Integrated Public Health and Healthcare System Preparedness Summit

The Benedictine MPH Program was well represented at the Illinois Public Health Association's Integrated Public Health and Healthcare System Preparedness Summit held from June 16 –18, 2015 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center in Schaumburg, IL (https://www.ipha.com/event/details/1/integrated-public-health-and-healthcare-system-preparedness-summit).

Adjunct Faculty

Kristin Hartsaw, MPH, CHES presented about Engage DuPage: Enhancing Access to Care for Underserved Populations. This session will describe the genesis and implementation of Engage DuPage, a community-based, access to care program. This program aims to leverage existing community resources to address a specific need, improper Emergency Department utilization at a local hospital, while more broadly focusing on access to care issues for low-income, community residents. The program will illustrate the role local health departments may play in assuring access to care through public-private partnership. The presenters will highlight the program's identification of need, planning/logistics, workforce development skills, initial outcomes and lessons learned. 


David Milen, PhD MSPH, MS, BA, AAS presented about Multi-Agency Communication: Face-to-Face.  This session will allow participants to understand the importance of effective interagency collaboration and communication. Topics will include examination of the information technology use of alternative communication systems, as well as the importance of information sharing. Suggestions and lessons learned will also be provided regarding communication failure prevention and sustainability

Full Time Faculty


Elizabeth Bormann, MPH CHES presented a poster titled "Collaboration to Provide Public Health Students Practical Experience Before Graduation." This poster illustrated the success of a collaboration with the University's Student Health Services during the 2014 –2015 academic year to provide additional experience for MPH students before internship.

MPH Student


Gayatri Raol, current MPH student, presented a poster titled "Public Health and Hospital Design, Development, and Use of Knowledge Management and Knowledge Management Software in Emergency Preparedness Program Development and Maintenance." This poster has been presented at several conferences throughout the state of Illinois.

Congratulations to all!

MPH Student Advisory Panel is featured in American Public Health Association publication

The MPH Student Advisory Panel's National Public Health Week activities were featured in the American Public Health Association's monthly publication, The Nation's Health! Scroll down to find Illinois and read about all that the MPH students completed the week of April 6th: http://thenationshealth.aphapublications.org/content/45/5/20.full .

MPH Adjunct Faculty Member - Published Article

Sarah Hashmi, adjunct faculty in MPH, published an article in European Respiratory Journal titled "Video directly observed therapy for treatment of tuberculosis is patient-oriented and cost-effective."

For more information, please click on the hyperlink in the above title.

MPH News - APHA Annual Meeting - November 2015 - Chicago

The MPH department received some great news and kudos yesterday from APHA, where five (of six) abstracts were accepted for presentation at the annual meeting this November in Chicago. Four of the abstracts were student research projects. Here are the titles and the students involved:

(1) Tobacco-Free Campus Initiative at Benedictine University

Rebecca Carlstrom, Sukaina Hussain, Susan Cheng (Student Award Section)

(2) HPV and Anal Intraepithelial Neoplasia among Men who have Sex with Men at a Private Clinic in Chicago, IL

Megha Gandhi, Julia Dyer, Susan Cheng (Student Assembly) - oral presentation

(3) Trends in Birth Outcomes in Illinois from 1984 to 2004

Ayaaz Habibullah, Susan Cheng (Maternal and Child Health)

(4) SSRI/SNRIs and Opiate/Opioid poly pharmacy toxicity deaths in Cowlitz County in Washington State 2010-2013

Patrick Gallaher, Susan Cheng (Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs)

(5) Tobacco-Free Campus Initiative at Benedictine University

Susan Cheng (Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs - Policy Section)


First 1,000 Days of Life - Community Forum


On Wednesday, March 4, 2015, the College of Education and Health Services presented a community forum about the First 1,000 Days of Life in conjunction with the DuPage County Health Department and Positive Parenting.  MPH students, along with students from Nursing and Nutrition, participated in a health fair on various health topics before the forum.  Pictured (from left to right) are: Dorian Tagai, Sharvil Boda, Becky Conneen, Marielle Kopasz, Sonali Patel, Neha Khan, Professor Beth Bormann, and Afrah Hussain.

Strength of the MPH Program Propels Growth

Benedictine University’s Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) program recently established the Gamma Omega chapter of the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health. The National Council of Delta Omega approved the application via electronic vote.
The M.P.H. program also recently welcomed two new faculty members, Jeanette May, Ph.D., and Jude-Marie Alexis Smalec, Dr.P.H. May has worked in health care for the past 25 years with a focus on chronic disease, wellness and population health. Smalec has more than 20 years of experience in public health, including stints at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and UNICEF. Read more about the new faculty here.
Additionally, Jason Horay, a Benedictine adjunct in the online M.P.H. program, was recently selected one of WELCOA’s (The Wellness Council of America) Top 100 Health Promotion Professionals. Horay is the health promotion coordinator for the North Carolina Medical Society) Employee Benefit Plan.  (...read more here....)

International Student of the Year


MPH student, Afrah Hussain, Co-President of the SAP, was awarded the International Student of the Year at the Festival of Asia on Friday, February 20, 2015!  Congratulations, Afrah!


Lee Krizka comes to speak to students in the MPH 609 (Cultural Context of Health) course on Wednesday, November 5, 2014.

Lee Krizka

Lee spoke about living with a disability and provided a demonstration of how her service dog, Merlot, assists her in her activities of daily living.  To access Lee's biography and read about her presentation, please click here.


"...I was able to develop strong, professional relationships with the (Benedictine) faculty..."


Click here to read David Libert's testimonial as to why he chose to come to Benedictine's MPH program.

Benedictine MPH Faculty and Alumni Participate in the DuPage County Community Health Assessment

DuPage CHD MAPP 2014 6 participants

Four MPH alumni and two MPH faculty put applied their knowledge and skills in service to the Local Public Health System Assessment  sponsored by the DuPage County Health Department in October, 2014. Sarah Troll, MPH (2013) was one of the main organizers of the event. Alumni Rabia Mukhtar, MPH (2014), Guadalupe Lopez, MPH (2014),and  Krystal Kleinschmidt, MPH (2008) also contributed to the success of the assessment process. Dr. Susan Cheng, MPH faculty member, provided her expertise in the discussions on evaluation and research. Dr. Georgeen Polyak, chair of the public health department at Benedictine University, was one of the volunteer facilitators. Dr. Polyak commented, "It is very gratifying to see our alumni and faculty applying their public health skills to help improve the health of the community." The Local Health Public Health System Assessment is a part of Impact DuPage, a group of community leaders and organizations working together to determine community needs and priorities that will improve the well-being of the DuPage County community.

Healthy Lawns Symposium, Friday, October 31, 2014

Healthy Lawns 2014

MPH faculty member, Dr. Susan Cheng, and MPH alum, Rebecca Carlstrom, present their work on environmental issues at the Healthy Lawns Symposium.  Click on the following to see the visual part of the presentation:  Epidemiological Studies on Environmental Stressors from Tobacco to Pesticides.

Benedictine student is Illinois Public Health Association’s Student of the Year

Rebecca Carlstrom has yet to complete her graduate studies in Benedictine’s Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) program, but she’s already made several important contributions… Read More



The Master of Public Health program at Benedictine University is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).

The final accreditation report is available upon request. To obtain a copy of the report please contact Susan Cheng, PhD at scheng@ben.edu or 630-829-6181.

For Admissions Inquiries:

Caroline Pluta, M.S.
Graduate Admissions Counselor
(630) 829-6311

For Graduate Tuition Information:

Current Graduate Tuition and Fees at Benedictine University


Department of Public Health
Benedictine University

Jeffrey Trask, Ph.D.
Department Chair

Mary Spengler, MOT
Program Coordinator

Email: mspengler@ben.edu
Phone: (630) 829-6215

Hours: 9:00 a.m. -  5:00 p.m.

By Mail:
Benedictine University
5700 College Road
Kindlon Hall, Room 258
Lisle, IL 60532

Fax: (630) 829-6281