UofL associate dean for public health practice to lead community engagement efforts


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Monica Wendel, DrPH, MA, joins the University of Louisville School of Public Health & Information Sciences (SPHIS) as associate dean for public health practice and associate professor of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences.

    “Monica will lead the school’s efforts to become increasingly engaged in our local community. She brings an extensive set of experiences with community-based participatory approaches to applied research and has been extremely well funded in those efforts. She also will play a role in expanding the practicum placement opportunities for our students. This is of great importance as we begin our undergraduate programs this fall,” said Craig Blakely, PhD, MPH, dean and professor of the UofL School of Public Health & Information Sciences.

    Throughout her career, Wendel has served in research, teaching, and administrative roles, most recently as assistant dean for Community Health Systems Innovation, and director of the Center for Community Health Development at Texas A&M University System Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health. She taught at Blinn College from 2001-2007, before joining the faculty at Texas A&M University faculty in 2010.

    She’s been part of numerous nationally funded research projects and contracts, including a five-year $5 million Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded Center for Community Health Development designed to increase her former institution’s capacity to conduct prevention research in central and south Texas. She also is an evaluator for a $2.4 million contract from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to assess the Texas Medicaid Transformation Waiver. In addition, she is principal investigator for the Madison Outreach and Services through Telehealth (MOST) Project, which aims to expand rural residents’ access to mental health counseling and substance abuse services through telehealth technology, as well as expand outreach to Latino residents through development of a community health worker program.

    Wendel has helped author more than 20 peer-reviewed journal articles, multiple editorials and technical reports, three book chapters and two books, Rural Populations and Health: Determinants, Disparities and Solutions and Behavior Theory in Health Promotion Practice and Research.

    Her work has garnered several honors, including the School of Rural Public Health Dean’s Award for Excellence in Public Health Practice; induction in the Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society; and the New Board Member of the Year, United Way of Brazos Valley.

    She is a member of the American Public Health Association and serves on the Publications Board, National Rural Health Association, American Evaluation Association and the Campus-Community Partnerships for Health.

    Wendel received her DrPH from the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health.

    Julie Heflin
    Julie oversees digital content for the Office of Communications and Marketing. She began her UofL career on the Health Sciences Center campus in 2007. Prior to this, Julie was a journalist with WFPL (Louisville Public Media), and occasionally filed reports for National Public Radio.