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Sophie Wenzel, MPH, DrPH

Assistant Professor of Practice
  • Associate Director, Center for Public Health Practice and Research
Sophie Wenzel
Department of Population Health Sciences
VA-MD College of Veterinary Medicine
Virginia Tech
205 Duck Pond Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Sophie Wenzel is an assistant professor of practice and the associate director for the Center for Public Health Practice and Research, which is housed in the Department of Population Health Sciences in the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine and supported by the Institute for Society, Culture and Environment at Virginia Tech. She has been working in the field of Public Health since 1999. 

Dr. Wenzel started her career in public health when she joined the Peace Corps and was sent to rural Paraguay to promote maternal, child, and adolescent health. She was selected to join the Centers for Disease Control Public Health Prevention Service, with which she served one year at the CDC in Atlanta and two years managing a hair mercury biomonitoring program in Alaska. She was awarded the Bales-Bradford Award for Excellence in Public Health Leadership at the end of her three years. She then took a position managing the State of Alaska's Adolescent Health Program.

Dr. Wenzel moved to Blacksburg in 2012 and joined Virginia Tech's Center for Public Health Practice and Research in 2013. In this capacity, she promotes collaboration between faculty, students, and community partners to enhance public health in Southwest Virginia and beyond. She oversees multiple evaluation and research projects across the region and state. Her position is partially supported by the New River Health District of the Virginia Department of Health, for which Dr. Wenzel serves as a grant writer and coordinates the New River Academic Health Department.

DrPH, Public Health Leadership, 2019
University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, IL

MPH, International Health and Population Studies, 2004
Emory University
Atlanta, GA

BSLI, Linguistics and Spanish, 1998
Georgetown University
Washington, DC

  • Adolescent health
  • Community-engaged research
  • Evaluation
  • Healthy eating/active living
  • International health
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Sexual and reproductive health
  • Maternal and child health
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Youth risk behaviors

Assistant Professor of Practice
Population Health Sciences
Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA

Associate Director, Center for Public Health Practice and Research

Population Health Sciences
Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA

Assistant Director, Center for Public Health Practice and Research

Population Health Sciences
Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA

Health Education Consultant
New River Health District
Christiansburg, VA

Adolescent Health Program Manager

Section of Women’s, Children’s, and Family Health
State of Alaska Division of Public Health
Anchorage, AK

Public Health Prevention Specialist

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Atlanta, GA, and Anchorage, AK

Prevention Advocate

HOPE Center
Tarentum, PA


Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power and Potential
Atlanta, GA


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Atlanta, GA

Peace Corps Volunteer and Coordinator

United States Peace Corps

  • American Public Health Association
  • Cook, Natalie; Wenzel, Sophie G.; Silverman, Rachel; Short, Danielle; Jiles, Kristina; Markwalter, Teace; and Friesen, Mary Ann (2022) "A mixed methods investigation of how young adults in Virginia received, evaluated, and responded to COVID-19 public health messaging," Virginia Journal of Public Health: Vol. 7: Iss. 1, Article 6.
  • Brossoie, N., Hwang, E., Burks, R., Wenzel, S. (2021) Launching an Age-Friendly Community Initiative: Retrospective Insights into Early-Stage Formation. The Journal of Aging and Social Change 11 (2): 95-111
  • Rafie, C., Hosig, K., Wenzel, S., Borowski, S., Jiles, K., Schlenker, E. (2021) Implementation and outcomes of the Balanced Living with Diabetes program conducted by Cooperative Extension in rural communities in Virginia. Rural and Remote Health 21(3)
  • Wenzel, S., Zabielski, B., Borowski, S. (2021) Contraceptive Needs Among Women Recently Incarcerated at a Rural Appalachian Jail. Women’s Health Reports, 2(1)
  • Wenzel S, Risley KY (2021).  Providing comprehensive contraceptive services in primary care at a rural Federally Qualified Health Center in the USA: adapting to patient need in a culturally conservative, rural environment. Rural and Remote Health 21(2)
  • Dunkenberger, MB, Wenzel, S., Nelson L. (2021) Supporting Rural and Urban Communities Through Boundary Spanning Actions: Responding to the Addiction Crisis Through University and Community Collaborations. In Vibrant Virginia. Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development. Published online.
  • Borowski, S., Wenzel, S., Smith, L., Turner, S. (2020) An evaluation of the Community Recovery Program: A case management approach to assisting individuals recover from substance use and incarceration.  Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Mental Health.
  • Jiles, K., Chase, M., Hosig, K., Wenzel, S., Rafie C., Schlenker, E. (2019) Developing a Master Food Volunteer Continuing Education Program: A Model for Volunteer Capacity Building. Journal of Extension. 57(2)
  • State of Alaska Epidemiology Bulletin Recommendations and Reports: Pike and Burbot (Lush) in Select Alaska Rivers: Mercury Exposure and Consumption Recommendations. (2016) Contributed by: Rachel Kossover, MPH; Sophie Wenzel, MPH; Angela Matz, PhD; Lori Verbrugge, PhD; Chung Nim Ha, MPH; Ali Hamade, PhD.
  • Hall, RP., Van Houweling, E., Polys, N., Wenzel, S. and Williams, P. (2015) Interdisciplinary Exploratory Research: Visualizing Water Services for Decision Making in Burkina Faso. Field Report, July 2015, Blacksburg, Virginia Tech, pages 57.
  • Verbrugge LA, Wenzel, SG, Berner, JE, and Matz AC. (2009). Human exposure to lead from ammunition in the circumpolar north. In R.T. Watson, M. Fuller, M. Pokras, and W.G. Hunt (Eds.). Ingestion of Lead from Spent Ammunition: Implications for Wildlife and Humans. The Peregrine Fund, Boise, Idaho, USA. DOI 10.4080/ilsa.2009.0110
  • Ramos M, Mohammad H, Zielinski-Gutierrez E, Hayden MH, Robles Lopez JL, Fournier M, Rodríguez Trujillo A, Burton R, Brunkard J, Anaya-Lopez L, Abell A, Kuri-Morales P, Smith B, Munoz J, Waterman S, and the Dengue Serosurvey Working Group. (2008) Epidemic Dengue and Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever at the Texas-Mexico Border: Results of a household-based seroepidemiological survey, December 2005. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 78(3): 364-369
  • State of Alaska Epidemiology Bulletin: Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance: Occupational Exposures — Alaska, 1995–2006. Contributed by Sophie Wenzel, MPH.
  • State of Alaska Epidemiology Bulletin: Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance Non-Occupational Exposures in Adults and Children — Alaska, 1995–2006. Contributed by Sophie Wenzel, MPH.
  • State of Alaska Epidemiology Bulletin: Alaska Mercury Biomonitoring Program Update, July 2002–December 2006. Contributed by Sophie Wenzel, MPH.