Faculty Profiles

Our faculty are active researchers, writers and speakers; many of them internationally known for their contributions toward the advancement of their fields of study. But, most of all, they're passionate, caring teachers.

  • Angela Ekwonye, PhD, CPH

    Assistant Professor, Public Health

    Angela Ekwonye obtained her undergraduate degree in Biology and Education from University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, her master's degree in Microbiology and PhD in Health Sciences. She has taught at different levels of education and recently helped designed and developed the undergraduate Public Health program at Franklin Pierce University, New Hampshire. Her research interest focuses on understanding how spiritual and religious practices relate to mental health, personal, and academic success.

  • Elizabeth M Allen, PhD, MPH

    Assistant Professor, Public Health

    Dr. Elizabeth Allen holds a master’s degree in environmental health and a PhD in environmental epidemiology. In addition, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship focused on community engaged research methods to advance health equity and justice. Dr. Allen collaborates with students, international non-governmental organizations, and a global network of scholars in her research. Her work focuses on the impact of the environment on social, emotional, physical health.  Current projects include work on community health volunteer models, women’s empowerment in Peru, climate change, and social justice focused education.

  • Julie Mumm, DHEd, CHES

    Associate Professor, Public Health

    My primary teaching areas are the community health worker (CHW) certificate and concentration courses, the health promotion and education concentration and the public health practicum course. My research interest is around the CHW role and scope of practice. I have also worked on a lice education program with elementary schools in a local school district. I have an active role in the Minnesota CHW Alliance and am co-chair of the Education Committee. I am also active in the CHW section of the American Public Health Association and is a member of the CHW Section Policy Committee and Education y Capacity Committee at the national level.

  • Kari A. Hartwig, DrPH

    Associate Professor, Masters in Public Health in Global Health

    Kari Hartwig’s public health and international development training have shaped her interests in gender analysis of health disparities, structural inequalities in health systems, organizational capacity and sustainability, and community-based participatory research. She has worked on a number of research and evaluation projects in eastern and southern Africa and southeast Asia in addition to urban communities in the United States. Recent projects include a study of refugee women, resilience and gardening, a qualitative impact evaluation of a community based organization in Minnesota supporting low-income families and individuals emerging from homelessness, and assessing burnout among Minnesota physician assistants.

  • Leso Munala, PhD

    Associate Professor, Public Health

    Dr. Munala's educational background is interdisciplinary in nature. She has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from The Ohio State University, a Master's in Social Work from the University of Chicago and a Doctorate in Public Health from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her dissertation examined the factors affecting the quality of services provided to female survivors of sexual violence in Nairobi, Kenya. Her current research foci are in exploring and addressing violence against women in East Africa. This includes the development of policies and interventions for survivors of sexual violence , the elimination of harmful cultural practices against women and improving the quality of post-rape care services.

  • Lisa Dutton, PT, PhD

    Dean, Henrietta Schmoll School of Health; Professor, Physical Therapy

    Dutton joined St. Catherine University in 2008. During her tenure here, she has served in a variety of leadership roles, including department chair and program director for physical therapy, associate dean, and most currently as the dean of the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health.
    In 2018, Dutton received the Stanford Award from the Journal of Physical Therapy Education, which recognizes authors of a paper containing the most influential educational ideas. The article, co-authored with Debra Sellheim, PhD, explored how students experience and cope with the differences between their curriculum and clinical practice.

  • Mary Hearst, PhD

    Professor, Public Health

    My public health experience ranges from local to international, community to academic. I spent several years working at a local health department in a very challenged community. My role included internal functions of grant writing and assessment and external functions of community board and intervention participation related to reducing the effects of racism and social inequities on health. I received my PhD in Epidemiology in 2007, with an emphasis in Social Epidemiology. I spent five years focused on research before joining St. Catherine University.

    Equitable and true opportunity for all.

  • Meghan Mason, PhD, MPH

    Associate Professor, Public Health

    My research interests are in zoonotic diseases, infections that transfer from animal to human populations, and in the health of marginalized urban populations. My passion for these two topics stemmed from my time in Kenya and Chile during my MPH and PhD programs. Abroad, I am focused on the importance of free-roaming dogs in the transmission of infectious diseases, and the perceptions of the role of these animals in urban communities. In the Twin Cities, I am interested in better understanding the burden of disease in individuals experiencing homelessness. In the classroom, you will primarily find me teaching Biostatistics and Epidemiology.

  • Sean Fitzpatrick, PhD

    Associate Dean, Henrietta Schmoll School of Health

    Dr. Fitzpatrick came to St. Kate's in the Summer of 2020. Prior to that, he was a faculty member at Marian University (WI) where he led the Exercise and Sport Science program and was the Chair of the Allied Health Department. He began his career at John F. Kennedy University as a faculty member in Sport Psychology. Dr. Fitzpatrick has an ongoing research line in graduate student preparation and early career experiences in the field of Sport and Performance Psychology. Additionally, he has presented nationally on assessment issues in higher education and is an active member within the Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education (AALHE).