Meet staff members for the University of Wisconsin Master of Public Health Program.
Ajay Sethi, PhD, MHS
MPH Faculty Director
Contact Ajay if you have any questions related to the MPH Program. He is happy to discuss anything with you and point you in the right direction to have your specific needs met.
Ajay has been with the MPH Program since 2014. He is an infectious disease epidemiologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Population Health Sciences. He teaches several popular electives: PHS 801 Infectious Disease Epidemiology, PHS 713 Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS, and PHS 721 Conspiracies in Public Health.
Ajay moved to Madison in 2008, lived in Cleveland prior to that (2003 to 2008), Baltimore prior to that (1994 to 2003), and the Washington DC-area before that (birth to 1994). He received his PhD and MHS from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and completed his undergraduate education at the University of Maryland, College Park. Outside of 601 WARF (his office, if you want to stop by and say ‘hello’) and campus, Ajay enjoys being outdoors hiking, biking, kayaking, and serving the needs of his dog Bentley, a Chinook, which include daily head and belly rubs and visits to the dog park.
Barbara Duerst, MS
MPH Deputy Director
Contact Barb for help with her course, if you have questions about our accreditation process, and if you are looking for information regarding almost any of our committees.
Barb received a baccalaureate degree in nursing from Edgewood College and a Master's Degree in community health nursing and administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She began her career in Green County where she served as a public health nurse and eventually the Health Officer in the local health department. She spent 11 years working at the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health, part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's School of Medicine and Public Health, on a variety of programs that promoted access to quality, affordable healthcare for Wisconsin's rural residents. While at the WORH she worked with several of the state’s health professions schools and training programs to prepare students to work in interdisciplinary teams in rural areas. She served as a Family Living Educator in University Extension where she focused her programming on nutrition and families in stress and transition.
Barb joined the MPH Program team in 2006 with over 20 years of experience in the field of public health through her work providing direct services, outreach, teaching, community assessment, curriculum development, field placement development, preceptor training, evaluation, and program management. Barb serves as the Deputy Director of the MPH Program. Her responsibilities include administering the program and accreditation, which is basically keeping things running smoothly and on schedule. She also teaches one of the core MPH courses, PUBLHLTH 780: Evidence-based Decision-making, and a few other courses as well. One of the things she enjoys most about her position with the MPH Program is the opportunity to get to know the MPH students and their personal and professional interests. She looks forward to helping public health students to find the perfect educational, experiential, and didactic opportunities that will help them grow both personally and professionally and gain experiences that will contribute to their future career goals.
Barb lives in Monticello, Wisconsin with her husband, dog, Rosie and cat, Georgie. She has two adult daughters, both attending college. She volunteers at her local homeless program, plays in her church’s chime choir, and serves on the board of the local long-term care facility. She also volunteers at the local food pantry as food security is a passion of hers.
Student Services Coordinator – Dual Degree Programs
Contact Mindy for: questions on dual degree programs, advising issues for dual degree programs, outreach/recruiting, MPH Student Organization, or MPH website.
Mindy earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Edgewood College, with a goal of becoming a kindergarten teacher, before changing her path and ultimately earning a Master of Science in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis with a focus in higher education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She worked in admissions and recruiting for several years before joining the MPH Program in 2013. She's grateful to be part of a team that is passionate about their work and eager to work with students, all while having fun and taking on each day with a sense of humor. She looks forward to meeting prospective students every fall while she's on the road recruiting, assisting these students through the admissions process, and ultimately welcoming a new cohort of students each year. Seeing students move through the program from start to finish, while working through the ups and downs, then graduating a whole new person ready to take on the world of public health never seems to get old.
Mindy grew up in a small town in southern Wisconsin, but now considers herself officially a Madisonian, and is grateful to be raising her two daughters with her husband in this fabulous city. In her spare time, she loves hosting parties, cooking, road trips, and hanging out with all her favorite people. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Upper Sugar River Watershed Association because the environment is important.
Student Services Coordinator - MPH Exclusive Program
Contact Kate for help with admissions and orientation questions, program requirements for MPH exclusive students, quality assurance, Alumni relations and donations to the MPH program.
Originally from Green Bay, Kate received a baccalaureate degree in communication and business administration from UW-Stevens Point. She received her Master in Public Health from St. George’s University in 2013. While receiving her MPH, Kate focused on maternal and child health care, developmental disabilities, health care access and policy. Kate joined the MPH Program in 2018 as a Student Services Coordinator. She enjoys being able to guide students through the graduate school process and is inspired by the students passion and excitement for public health. In addition to her position in the MPH Program Kate works for the Path of Distinction in Public Health at the School of Medicine and Public Health.
After working for two years at a farmstead for people with Autism, Kate is passionate about creating accessibility for people with developmental disabilities and volunteers at Arts for All in Madison. She is also a lover of all things nature and sits on the board for the Upper Sugar River Watershed Association. Hiking, paddling, gardening and bird watching are among her favorite activities. Kate lives in Black Earth and enjoys the easy access to both nature and Madison.
Contact Terrie for help with anything curricular related. Dates and deadlines, questions about enrollment, drops, adds, troubleshooting any type of enrollment issues.
Terrie joined the MPH Program in February 2012. She grew up in Lansing, Michigan and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, from Central Michigan University. After graduation, she took a job with AC Nielsen (You know, that old TV ratings firm) and did on-the-job training in Chicago. She was transferred to Charlotte, North Carolina at the end of her training, and lived there for a year, until moving to New Jersey where she worked at a market research company in Princeton.
After five years in New Jersey, the Midwest was calling. So, Terrie moved to Madison because she had heard it was a “cool town”. Once she settled in Madison, she never planned to leave and then she met a guy who lived in Cleveland, Ohio. So it was, that she got married on a Saturday, packed her apartment on a Sunday, and moved on a Monday. During the ensuing years, a whole bunch of other stuff happened, including working at a small animal hospital for 14 years as a receptionist/administrative assistant before finally landing back in Madison.
She’s happy to be here and happy to work for the MPH Program with a bunch of amazing coworkers and students! Along with administrative duties, Terrie also takes the lead on the admissions process and is the Curricular Representative for both Public Health and Population Health courses. One of Terrie’s favorite parts of her job is trouble shooting within the Student Information System. So when students have any issues with enrollment, or anything else in SIS, they should contact her and she’ll get it figured out. She’s still married to that “guy”. They love dancing, (Swing, Cajun, Contra) and their Galgo Espanol. Sweetest dog on the face of the earth, but also very weird!