Our Team

Center Leadership

Jonathon P. Leider, PhD

Center Director

Office: C302 Mayo
Phone: 612-625-0908
E-mail: leider@umn.edu

Read about Jonathon

Dr. Leider is the founding director of the Center for Public Health Systems, as well as a senior fellow in the SPH Division of Health Policy and Management and associate faculty at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has published more than 120 peer-reviewed manuscripts in the areas of public health systems, the public health workforce, and public health finance. He is the director of evaluation for the Region V Public Health Training Center. He holds a PhD in health policy and management from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Rachel Schulman, MSPH, CPH

Center Manager

Office: C302 Mayo
Phone: 612-625-0908
E-mail: schumlan@umn.edu

Read about Rachel

Ms. Schulman is the center manager for the Center for Public Health Systems. She has a deep interest in building strong and resilient public health systems. Previously she served as the Cities Readiness Initiative coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Health and as a senior program analyst with the National Association of County and City Health Officials. She holds an MSPH in public health policy from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a BA from Wesleyan University.

Center Staff


Harshada Karnik, PhD, MPP, MS

Office: C302 Mayo
Phone: 612-625-0908
E-mail: harshada@umn.edu

Read about Harshada

Dr. Karnik is a researcher at the Center for Public Health Systems. Her research interests include public health workforce development, particularly in rural / frontier areas, health equity, and social determinants of health. She has experience in program/impact evaluation, designing surveys and choice experiments, facilitating primary data collection in minority / BIPOC communities, and working with larger data sets. She has also used qualitative research methods. She holds a PhD in applied economics and master’s in public policy from the University of Minnesota.


Chelsey Kirkland, PhD(c), MPH, CHW

Phone: 612-625-0908

Read about Chelsey

Ms. Kirkland is a researcher for the Center for Public Health Systems. She is experienced in public health research including workforce development, social determinants of health, health equity, physical activity, and community health workers. She holds a graduate qualitative research certificate from Kent State University and is a mixed methodologist. Ms. Kirkland also holds a BS in exercise science, an MPH, and is a doctoral candidate at Kent State University in public health with a specialization in prevention science.


Skky Martin, PhD(c), MA

Phone: 612-625-0908

Read about Skky

Skky Martin is a researcher at the Center for Public Health Systems. Her research interests include health disparities, social determinants of health, and the interrelationship between public health and medical education. She has experience in qualitative methods and analysis, writing surveys, and using STATA to create and analyze quantitative datasets. Ms. Martin holds a master’s degree in sociology and a Certificate in Public Health from Loyola University Chicago. She is a doctoral candidate at Loyola University of Chicago in sociology. Her dissertation specializes in medical sociology and health education, focusing on the ways in which patients, providers, and medical schools experience and conceptualize racial and ethnic disparities in maternal health.


Jason Orr, PhD(c), MPH

Phone: 785-341-0192
E-mail: jorr@umn.edu

Read about Jason

Mr. Orr is a researcher with the Center for Public Health Systems and is experienced in policy analysis, mixed-methods research, and systems design & analysis. He holds a BS in chemical engineering and an MPH from Kansas State University and is a doctoral candidate in systems engineering at Colorado State University. He has academic interests in public health services frameworks (e.g., Foundational Public Health Services), collaborative service delivery (i.e., cross-jurisdictional or cross-sectoral collaboration), and other transformation and innovation initiatives for public health systems.


Yasmin Odowa, BA

Phone: 612-625-0908
E-mail: odowa@umn.edu

Read about Yasmin

Ms. Odowa is a project manager with the Center for Public Health Systems. She has experience working in local and state public health agencies in program management and infectious disease surveillance. Her professional interests include understanding how to build an ethnically and racially diverse public health workforce and ways to ensure the retention of governmental public health staff. She holds a BA in biology, society, and environment and is currently pursuing an MPH at the University of Minnesota.


Victoria Schoebel, MPH

Phone: 612-625-0908
E-mail: vschoebe@umn.edu

Read about Victoria

Ms. Schoebel is a researcher for the Center for Public Health Systems. She is an experienced mixed-methods researcher that strives to translate research into policy and practice. Her professional interests include: enumerating and strengthening the public health workforce, identifying and addressing behavioral health needs, and supporting the needs of sexual and gender diverse individuals. She holds an MPH in epidemiology from the University of Michigan.

Affiliated Faculty and Staff

Rebecca Wurtz, MD, MPH

Director of Public Health Administration and Policy
Office: C305 Mayo
Phone: 612-625-1387
E-mail: rwurtz@umn.edu

Read about Rebecca

Dr. Wurtz is an infectious disease physician and informaticist. She worked as a clinician and public health officer in tuberculosis control for the City of Chicago and Cook County (IL). She was the deputy medical director for the Illinois Department of Public Health. As the chief medical officer for various IT start-up companies, she worked on electronic disease surveillance systems, immunization registrations, and medical vocabularies.  She currently serves as director of Public Health Administration and Policy (PHAP) and E-PHAP MPH programs at the School of Public Health. She was elected to the Academy of Distinguished Teaching Faculty and has won awards for outstanding contribution to graduate and professional education and for mentoring and advising. For the center, she focuses her efforts on innovation in education and training.

Elizabeth Wrigley-Field, PhD, MA

Assistant Professor, Sociology
Office: 1156 Social Sciences Building
Phone: 612-624-7602
E-mail: ewf@umn.edu

Sarah Trachet, CPA

Financial Manager
Office: D385 Mayo MMC 729
Phone: 612-624-0454
E-mail: scatt001@umn.edu

Read about Sarah

Ms. Trachet is an analyst and grant administrator in the SPH Division of Health Policy and Management. She has over 25 years of experience overseeing large scale, complex grants and contracts. She has implemented several new system processes across the University and provides training courses on reporting to mid- and upper-level management administrators. Up until recently, she managed HPM’s T32 Training Grant. Prior to HPM, she was in Central Administration for 15 years. The best part of her job is that she gets to see students from matriculation to their retirement. As part of the training grant requirements, she has to follow-up with alums to see how they’ve contributed to the discipline. During this process, she gets the privilege of seeing students navigate the many challenges associated with a PhD program and then blossom into major players in the field.

Center Students

  • Shantanu Mallick, BA
  • Denisha Demeritte, BA
  • Jovin Lasway, MA
  • Umesh Ghimire, MS
  • Celestine Siameh, PhD(c), MSc
  • Kyeongki Park, MA
  • Abby Vogel, BS, BA

Previous Students

  • Sarah Vermeland, BS – 2022
  • Safia Abdinur, MPH (c), BS – 2022
  • Nicholas Farmer, MPH, BS – 2022
  • Kirrthana Jegathesan, MPH, BS – 2022
  • Jake Abrahams, MPH – 2022
  • Emily Johnson, MPH, BS – 2021
  • Yasmin Odowa, MPH (c) BA – 2021
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