Skip to main content

Accessibility menu

Skip to main content Skip to footer

Profile for Emily Whitney

Emily Whitney profile photo

Contact me

Emily Whitney

Associate Professor
Public/Community Health Edu
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Emily Whitney

Associate Professor

Public/Community Health Edu

Brief biography

Dr. Whitney is an assistant professor of Health Health Education and Health Promotion as well as a Master Certified Health Education Specialist.

She received her doctoral degree from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Her research interests include college student health, veterans’ health issues, and underage/adolescent drinking. Dr. Whitney’s recent research has focused on the health and wellness needs of student veterans as well as motivational interviewing.


Research and publishing

Health Literacy
Social Capital/Community Capacity
Underage/Adolescent Drinking Issues
College Student Health
Veteran Health Issues



Zack Beddos, Department of Teacher Education, Brigham Young University; Jenna Starck, Exercise & Sport Science; and Keely Rees and Emily Whitney, both Public Health & Community Health Education; co-authored the article "No One Works in Isolation Here: The Socialization of Physical Education Teachers Into a Professional Learning Community" in "Journal of Teaching in Physical Education," published on Oct. 23 by Human Kinetics, Inc.

Submitted on: Oct. 25, 2023


KJ Newkirk, Mikka Nyarko, Anders Cedergren, Keely Rees and Emily Whitney, all Public Health and Community Health Education; Willem Vanroosenbeek, Pride Center; and Casey Tobin, Psychology; co-authored the book "Be the Change: Putting Health Advocacy, Policy, and Community Organization into Practice in Public Health Education" published on Oct. 14 by Oxford University Press . Advocacy has become a key part of public health degree programs across the country. Many programs have added policy and advocacy courses into curricula in response to new emphases in accreditation requirements, yet few public health textbooks comprehensively cover the advocacy skills that health professionals need to effect change. Be the Change is an affordable introductory resource on public health advocacy, policy, and community organizing for both undergraduate and graduate students within the health and social sciences. Using a conversational and reader-friendly style, the authors draw on their experience as diverse advocates and practitioners in the field to synthesize the purpose, strategies, and tactics used in successful advocacy campaigns in public health. In each chapter, they highlight case studies of actual advocacy campaigns alongside concrete strategic recommendations for implementing change at the local, state, and federal levels. Full of useful stories and advice, Be the Change amplifies the important advocacy work happening around the United States, from traditional health organizations to grassroots community activists, and provides readers with the tools and inspiration to put advocacy into practice every day. REVIEWS: "Few people truly understand how policy shapes our health. In simple language, Be The Change helps practitioners understand this critical connection and provides them with strategies from real world success stories to determine where they can act most effectively." -- Larry Cohen, Founder, Prevention Institute and author, Prevention Diaries "A timely and practical playbook, Be the Change offers students the how-to skills for change-making. An essential read for all students who want to make the world a better place." -- Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, MPH, Flint pediatrician and author of What the Eyes Don't See "As a public health researcher, I know that racism, not race, is a fundamental cause of racial health inequities. Structural racism is a fixable problem, and policy makers have the power to enact solutions. This book is a tool to educate and empower public health changemakers, providing them with context, wisdom, and inspiration to build our shared vision of an antiracist future." -- Rachel Hardeman, PhD, MPH, Founding Director, Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity, University of Minnesota School of Public Health

Submitted on: Nov. 11, 2022


Eta Sigma Gamma - Beta Phi; Anders Cedergren, Dan Duquette, Keely Rees, Lori Reichel, Katie Wagoner and Emily Whitney, all Health Ed., Health Promotion;and Catherine Gangi, MPH - CHE; presented "3rd Annual Health Education Advocacy Experience in Madison, WI" at Health Education Advocacy Experience on Feb. 27 in Madison, WI. HEHP and Eta Sigma Gamma provided a two day advocacy training for 35 public health education graduate and undergraduate majors. Students then visited over 30 offices of Senators and Assembly persons discussing and educating on the importance of communicable disease prevention, control and funding for the state of Wisconsin.

Submitted on: Mar. 13, 2017


Lydia Rivera and Bethany Starry, both BS. Community Health Education; Anders Cedergren, Keely Rees and Emily Whitney, all CL-45; and Catherine Gangi and Lauren Lube, both MPH- Community Health Education; co-authored the article "From Classroom to Capitol: Building Advocacy Capacity Through State-Level Advocacy Experiences" in "Health Promotion Practice" published on Nov. 6, 2016 by Sage. This commentary provides insight from Community Health Education and Master of Public Health students on the benefits of participating in a state-level Advocacy Experience and provides a theoretical framework for increased advocacy intention among students as a result of participating in a state-level Advocacy Experience. Providing students the opportunity to translate what they learn about advocacy in the classroom into advocacy in action with policy makers is vital to the career development of our future health education professionals and is key to increasing advocacy capacity within our profession.

Submitted on: Nov. 7, 2016