Public Health Professor, Community Advocate Among Connecticut Magazine’s Recognized Changemakers
Whether he is inspiring his students in the classroom or conducting critical research, Karl Minges, Ph.D., MPH, is making an important impact in the field of public health. Connecticut Magazine has included him in its 2023 “40 Under 40” list of leaders who are inspiring others and making important contributions to their fields.
January 30, 2023
By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications
When Karl Minges, Ph.D., MPH, was a high school student in his home state of Connecticut, he began reading Connecticut Magazine. He has now been recognized by that very publication, receiving one of its highest honors.
Chair of the University’s Department of Population Health and Leadership, Dr. Minges was included in Connecticut Magazine’s 40 Under 40: Class of 2023, a list of 40 leaders and changemakers under age 40 who are making important contributions across Connecticut.
A proud resident of Connecticut who has spent most of his life in the state, Dr. Minges is excited to be among those who have gone to Connecticut schools and who have invested personally and professionally in the state.
“When I got the call, a mix of elation, doubt, and a sincere sense of gratitude washed over me,” said Dr. Minges, who also serves as director of the University’s Master of Public Health program. “To be featured along with other amazing talent in the state was truly unreal. I appreciate being among those who are honored but who are also ‘products’ of the state.”
‘I firmly believe in service and advocacy’
Before teaching students at the University of New Haven, Dr. Minges was himself a student in Connecticut, attending public schools and earning his doctorate from Yale University as a National Institutes of Health Fellow. He also serves on myriad public health boards, including as director-at-large of the Connecticut Public Health Association.
As a public health researcher, educator, and advocate, he’s proud to serve his home state in a field that makes such a meaningful impact on the health of the population. He’s also grateful for Connecticut’s research infrastructure and public health structure that, he believes, enable residents to “live their fullest” lives.
“I am thankful that my work can directly translate to those who call Connecticut home,” he said. “I firmly believe in service and advocacy, as well as the ability to give back through health promotion and disease-prevention efforts, especially as geared to the most disadvantaged communities. This is both essential and extremely gratifying. I feel invested in ensuring the well-being of our communities, growing our public health workforce, and finding new ways to innovate to address population-health needs.”
‘A calling to make a difference’
The diverse 2023 40 Under 40 list features individuals from diverse backgrounds, including entrepreneurs, journalists, advocates, and musicians, who are making an impact in Connecticut and beyond. Selected by Connecticut Magazine staff and through reader nominations, the honorees inspire others to excel.
Like his colleagues who have been recognized, Dr. Minges is committed to his field and to his students at the University. He often teaches his students the three Ps – prevention, promotion, and protection – principles that, says Dr. Minges, guide the MPH program’s mission and are critical to promoting health and preventing disease in Connecticut and on the global health stage.
“Public health is a career of impact, altruism, and duty,” said Dr. Minges, who has also served a year as interim dean of the University’s School of Health Sciences. “Public health is more than a job. It’s a calling to make a difference. It’s my job to ensure that students are prepared to be pioneers when they enter the field.”
‘I love educating our students’
Indeed, Dr. Minges has made quite an impact at the University. The recipient of the first National Institutes of Health grant in University history, he has used the grant of nearly half a million dollars to explore how to reduce rehospitalization rates among patients admitted to skilled-nursing facilities. He is excited to collaborate with nursing facilities in Connecticut to pilot patient-centered efforts to enable them to improve patient outcomes.
Dr. Minges, who has authored more than 60 peer-reviewed publications, has been cited nearly 2,500 times per Google Scholar. He has also been interviewed by more than 100 media outlets locally and across the country – from NBC Connecticut to the Huffington Post – discussing everything from COVID-19 precautions to a national rise in traffic deaths.
Dedicated to improving the health of vulnerable populations, Dr. Minges is a past recipient of the annual Faculty Recognition Award for his outstanding service, research, and teaching. He is committed to sharing his passion and expertise with the next generation of public health professionals who reflect his desire to make an impact and foster the health of those in Connecticut and beyond.
“I love educating our students who have a global mindset and want to challenge the status quo in health,” he said. “I find my students are eager to engage in class discussions and co-curricular activities in both the on-campus and broader communities, as well as generate evidence-based research. They truly are committed to investing in health innovation, systems thinking, and using evidence-based approaches to solve today’s biggest challenges in public health.”