Kristin Osiecki, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, CLI
Public Health
+1 507 258 8229
(507) 258-8066


Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Rice University, Houston, TX, 2013 - 2015
PhD Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2013
MS Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2011
BS Health Education, University of Illinois at Urbana, 1989

"In these days of difficulty, we Americans everywhere must and shall choose the path of social justice…, the path of faith, the path of hope, and the path of love toward our fellow man."
-Franklin D. Roosevelt


My professional experiences in government, non-profit and private industry have influenced my academic career. Space and place matter, requiring a multidisciplinary approach to investigate dynamic and complex public health issues in our communities. Furthermore, the built and physical environment, the human-made spaces that surround us, such as pollution, land use, age of housing, or food deserts shape the way in which we live, work, and play. Health disparity research confirms that poor, minority individuals living in urban and rural areas experience higher negative health outcomes after taking into consideration personal health behaviors. I am passionate about making a difference through innovative teaching in the classroom and improving the quality of life in our communities.


I am motivated to learn and evolve as an educator to provide engaging and integrative curriculum to encourage students to build a foundation in theory while developing critical thinking skills. My interdisciplinary academic background in the public health field allows me to approach dynamic public health issues from a variety of perspectives. I teach core classes such as environmental health, epidemiology, research methods and public health policy but also new technologies, for example, geographic information systems and data mining. My experience includes the development and implementation of courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels both in the classroom and online.


I look at the effectiveness of incorporating experiential learning strategies into the classroom which includes: a combination of theory and application, assessments that make connections between learning and real world situations, and reflection to develop personal insights. If students are provided an opportunity to participate in real-life public health projects, will they become engaged learners? Also, public health is rooted in individualistic knowledge, attitudes and behaviors. Does reflection help students reconcile their personal beliefs to address an issue from a population perspective? My public health research focuses on collaborating with multidisciplinary teams to solve complex public health issues in our communities by approaching the problem from different perspectives. I investigate the mechanisms and mediating factors to assess the associations between disease incidence and social and environmental covariates in disadvantaged communities. I use statistics and geographic information system (GIS) methods to look at spatial associations of significance between social factors and environmental burden.


Brewer, M., Kimbro, R.T., Denney, J.T., Osiecki, K.O., Moffett, B., Lopez, K.L. (2017) Do neighborhood social and environmental context impact race/ethnic disparities in childhood asthma? Health & Place, 44, 86-93.

Kranjac, A.W., Kimbro, R.T., Denney, J.T., Osiecki, K.O., Moffett, B., Lopez, K.L. (2017) Comprehensive portraits and child asthma disparities. Accepted and In-press Maternal and Child Health.

Osiecki, K., Jenkins, W., Mueller-Luckey, G., Zahnd, W., Crumly, D., Fogleman, A., and Rodriguez, C. (2017) Rural Environmental and Health Disparity Measures: Are Rural Areas Inaccurately Portrayed and Under Represented By Current Indices? Poster Session Winner (Health and Mortality) at the Population Association of America Conference, Chicago, IL.

Osiecki, K.M., Brewer, M. (2015). Adapting the CalEnviroScreen cumulative impact model to assess environmental burden, social vulnerability and disease in the Houston Metropolitan Area. Presentation at the American Public Health Association Conference, Chicago, IL.

Osiecki, K.M., Denney, J.T., Brewer, M., Kimbro, R.T. (2015). Environmental Justice for All: Assessing Cumulative Impacts to Understand the Relationship between Environmental Burden, Social Vulnerability and Disease. Presentation at the Population Association of America Conference, San Diego, CA.

Denney, J.T., Osiecki, K.M., Brewer, M., Griffin, R.J., Lefer, B.L., Saint Onge, J.M. (2014). Into the great unknown: Using medical records to understand the distribution of health risks. Presentation at the American Sociological Association Conference, San Francisco, CA.

Osiecki, K.M., Kim, S., Chukwudozie, R.E., Calhoun, E.A. (2013). Utilizing exploratory spatial data analysis to examine health and environmental disparities in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Environmental Justice, 6,81-87.