Wingate taps Wolf to lead new public health programs

by Luanne Williams
Professors Suzanne Wolf and Laura Happe talk about Wingate's new public health programs.

Wingate University has tapped Suzanne Wolf to lead its baccalaureate and master’s degree programs in public health. Approved by the Board of Trustees this spring, the programs will begin next year.

“Public health is the practice of protecting and improving the health of people and their communities. Our students will have the opportunity to study complex health issues while ultimately serving societal need through experiential learning,” Wolf says. “Wingate University is a laboratory of difference making; this program will further empower students to make a meaningful difference in their community and the world.”

An assistant professor in Wingate’s Harris Department of Physician Assistant Studies since 2018, Wolf earned her baccalaureate degree in nutritional science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her master’s degree in physician assistant studies from Pace University in New York. She will receive her doctorate from A.T. Still University this December. 

Dr. Laura Happe

Although the public health programs — an in-person bachelor’s degree and an online master’s — will not get underway until the fall of 2021, incoming freshmen may go ahead and declare public health as a major. Regional (SACS-COC) and program-specific accreditation (CEPH) applications are being prepared for submission by Jan. 1, 2021. Associate Professor of Pharmacy Laura Happe, who has a master's of public health degree in addition to her doctorate of pharmacy, and Wolf championed the idea of adding the programs with a presentation to colleagues last July. 

“The approval and launch of the Public Health Program represent a major and complementary addition to the health sciences programs at Wingate,” said Robert Supernaw, interim provost. “The master’s in public health will be offered as both a stand-alone degree as well as a dual-degree option for students pursuing other professional degrees in healthcare.”

The leader in healthcare education in western North Carolina, Wingate already offers a bachelor’s in nursing, a master’s in physician assistant studies, and doctoral degrees in pharmacy, physical therapy and occupational therapy.

Learn more about the public health bachelor’s degree or the master’s of public health. Watch a video about the programs. Or reach out to Suzanne Wolf at

June 17, 2020

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