Kiviniemi named to new post in SPHHP

Published July 23, 2015

Marc Kiviniemi has been named director of undergraduate public health initiatives for the School of Public Health and Health Professions.

His appointment, effective July 13, was announced by SPHHP Dean Jean Wactawski-Wende.

In this role, Kiviniemi, associate professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of Community Health and Health Behavior, will initially lead development of a minor in public health and facilitate development of undergraduate public health courses. In addition, he will guide the planning process for a possible future undergraduate public health major.

“The School of Public Health and Health Professions builds on an almost 100-year tradition of UB contributions to public health research and practice,” Kiviniemi says. “Nationwide, there is a growing workforce need for individuals with training in public health and substantial student interest in undergraduate public health education. Given UB’s history of excellence in public health scholarship and graduate education, we are well positioned to address this need. I’m honored to have the opportunity to guide our creation of these programs.”

Kiviniemi joined the UB faculty in 2007. His research focuses on understanding how people make decisions about engaging in health-related behaviors, how individuals process and respond to information about their health, and how to communicate that information most effectively.

“Public health is central to many issues facing our society — the obesity epidemic, infectious diseases, aging populations, environmental pollution and health care reform — to name just a few,” Kiviniemi says. “Our undergraduate public health programs will provide the knowledge, perspectives and ways of thinking that ensure our students are equipped to understand and address these societal needs. Our students will be prepared to be educated citizens and public health leaders in a world that increasingly demands both.”

Kiviniemi has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and a doctorate in social psychology from the University of Minnesota.