Prof. Michael Mink heads new Sac State program
New Master’s in Public Health


A native of Virginia, Sacramento State Prof. Michael Mink started his academic career with a strong southern pedigree – a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the College of William and Mary, and a master’s in public administration and public policy from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

That led to a 10-year stint in public administration and non-profit management, a career path that he says he felt good about at the time. “But I didn’t love it,” Mink recalls. So he went to work for the Atlanta Community Food Bank and something clicked – he found his passion for public health.

“This is it! This is what I love,” recalls Mink, who went on to earn a PhD in health promotion, education, and behavior from the University of South Carolina. Mink, who joined Sacramento State as a full professor of health science last August with significant experience as a program administrator and practitioner, is leading the University’s establishment of new master’s program in public health.

Launching a new master’s in public health is a great opportunity to leverage Sacramento State’s status as California’s Capital University, Mink says, a unique opportunity to combine health promotion and policy leadership while addressing regional needs.

“We’re very excited because our program is a great match with faculty expertise and their ability to address the public health needs of the community – and we’re here in the state capital of the largest state in the nation,” Mink says.

There will be an emphasis on preparing students to take on leadership roles, focusing on health promotion and policy.

“On the health promotion side, students will prepare to go out into the field and implement health education and social marketing campaigns to reduce health risks and protect communities,” Mink says.

“On the policy side, we will be preparing students to work with legislators, policy leaders and at the executive level within organizations to change policies and regulations that affect public health.”

Mink is in his 14th year as a professor, having served as the public health academic program coordinator at all three of his previous stints, including Armstrong Atlantic State University (since subsumed under Georgia Southern University) in Savannah, Ga.; George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.; and the Southern Connecticut State University. Since 2008, he has served with the accreditation body for public health programs as a site visitor on teams approving accreditation.

Mink, this semester, is ensuring the new master’s in public health program successfully achieves the requisite program review and approvals at the campus and system levels.

The program officially will be advertised this coming fall, with the first round of admissions expected next spring and course instruction slated to begin in fall 2020. The first cohort is expected to number about 30.

The program will cater to working professionals and will be taught in a hybrid format, with some of the program trainings and related activities projected to take place at the Sacramento State Downtown location at 304 S Street.

“Some of the course work will be delivered and executed online, creating a degree of flexibility,” Mink says. “Students will able to finish in two years.”

Mink believes the new master’s program will be a huge success.

“We’re going to prepare our students to have really large impact on public health outcomes, not just in California but across the nation,” Mink says. “This has the potential to be a national model.”

—Public Affairs and Advocacy