Chief Administrative Officer/Chief Finance Officer
Read more about Joe Weisenburger
As CAO, Joe Weisenburger provides leadership and management for administrative teams that include Finance, Information Technology, and Facilities. Weisenburger helps develop the school’s policies and procedures, as well as promote it values and vision.
As CFO, Weisenburger oversees the school’s $120 million-a-year budget, strategizing and forecasting to keep the school and its research, education, and engagement mission attainable and sustainable. Deeply connected to the school’s goals and work, Weisenburger strives to make it affordable for students.
Read more about Timothy Beebe
Timothy Beebe is Mayo Professor and Head of the Division of Health Policy and Management at the School of Public Health. He is also an adjunct professor of health services research in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine & Science.
His primary expertise is in the field of survey methodology, where he has a 30-year track record of testing new data collection methods in both general population and physician samples. Beebe’s other research interests focus on patient-reported outcomes measurement, developing and testing health measures, health care policy, health care access for vulnerable populations, and learning health systems research, a form of health services research that is defined by its embeddedness in health systems.
Read more about Dianne Neumark-Sztainer
As Head of the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer has overall responsibility for ensuring that the division’s research is addressing problems of public health concern and being translated into action, and that its teaching program is highly relevant and applicable to the division’s mission of building a healthier future for all. She is dedicated to meeting the needs of the public through research, training, and outreach.
Neumark-Sztainer’s research focuses on the prevention and reduction of weight-related problems, including obesity, poor dietary intake, inadequate physical activity, disordered eating behaviors, and body dissatisfaction. Her qualitative, epidemiological, and intervention research has primarily focused on young people from ethnically/racially diverse and low-income backgrounds. Neumark-Sztainer has received numerous awards for her research, including her recent induction into the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center’s Academy for Excellence in Health Research.
Read more about Joseph Koopmeiners
Joseph Koopmeiners is Head of the Division of Biostatistics, which focuses on the development of statistical methods for biomedical research and collaborates with University research partners on projects involving HIV/AIDS, heart and lung disease, and cancer, among many other public health challenges. Division faculty, students, and staff are involved in over 100 research grants and contracts totaling more than $150 million.
Chief of Staff
Read more about Susan Rafferty
As chief of staff, Susan Rafferty serves the School of Public Health by working with leadership to better identify, articulate, and advance the school’s strategies and key initiatives, and by supporting the success of all members of SPH for a stronger organization. She provides direct leadership for Communications, Human Resources, and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusiveness.
With a JD from William Mitchell College of Law, Rafferty began her career at the University in 1998 as a labor and employment attorney in the Office of the General Counsel. Seeking to have a broader impact preventing and remedying workplace issues before they became lawsuits, Rafferty transitioned to leadership roles in the University’s Office of Human Resources with oversight of employee relations, compliance, and policies functions. In 2014, drawn by the prevention-focused mission of public health to protect and improve the health of entire communities, she joined SPH as Director of Human Resources before becoming Chief of Staff in 2016.
Chief Development Officer & Director of Advancement
Read more about Jessica Kowal
Jess Kowal has been involved in healthcare and higher education fundraising for more than 13 years. Jess has presented and served as a panelist for system level fundraising, foundation board mergers and best practices for major gifts, planned gifts and restricted fundraising. She is a member of Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, Association for Fundraising Professionals New Jersey and the Advisory Board Philanthropy Leadership Council. Jess is also a past member of Council of Advancement for Support of Education.
Jess has led philanthropy efforts at two large Southern New Jersey non-profit organizations, Stockton University and Inspira Health. During her nine-year tenure at Stockton University, the endowment increased by almost 250% from $10.9 million to nearly $39 million. She helped to complete their first comprehensive campaign 25% over goal at $25.3 million and created their major gift and annual giving programs. Recently, at Inspira Health, Jess undertook the most ambitious capital campaign in the health system’s history; with final campaign totals surpassing $23 million. She led a successful foundation board merger, created a system level fundraising model, reduced cost per dollar raised from $0.78 to $0.23 and increased dollars raised per full time employee to more than $2 million.
Jess has broad and diverse fundraising experience, particularly around implementing best practices, campaign management, strategic planning and program development. She has led transformational change at her two prior organizations by creating an institutional culture of philanthropy, building advancement programs from scratch and assembling high performing teams.
Jess received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. She also holds a master’s degree from Stockton University and is a 2019 graduate of the AHP’s Madison Institute Healthcare Philanthropy Residency program.
Director of Communications
Read more about Sarah Bjorkman
Sarah Bjorkman has served as the Director of Communications at the School of Public Health (SPH) since 2017, where she leads all communications and marketing functions, including brand strategy, public relations, executive and philanthropic communications, and social media. She guides a team of skilled professionals as they increase the school’s visibility and support the school’s mission by communicating the value and impact of public health.
Sarah joined the School of Public Health in 2014 as the Marketing Director, leading the school’s brand transformation and linking the school more closely to its core values. Prior to joining SPH, Sarah managed brand and internal communications at the University of Minnesota Extension. She also previously worked in the private sector, providing education, technology, and entrepreneurial solutions to estate planning attorneys.
Lauren L. Eldridge
Director of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
Read more about Lauren Eldridge
Lauren Eldridge is the director of diversity, equity and inclusion. Lauren has worked at SPH since 2017. She believes in speaking truth to power and centering the marginalized. Lauren provides leadership and oversight for the DEI activities across the school, including strategic planning and implementation, training, and programming. She helps the school to operationalize its values by working with administrators, faculty, staff, students, and alumni. She has a bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University, a master’s degree from Old Dominion University, and is working on a PhD at the University of Minnesota. Lauren is a native Chicagoan and currently lives in Minneapolis with her dog, Jinx.