Virginia Tech® home

Sophie Wenzel, DrPH, MPH

Assistant Professor of Practice & Associate Director, Center for Public Health Practice and Research
Sophie Wenzel
Room 333
VA-MD College of Veterinary Medicine
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. 

DrPH, Public Health Leadership, University of Illinois at Chicago

MPH, International Health and Population Studies, Emory University

BS, Linguistics and Spanish, Georgetown University

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.

Dr. Wenzel's research and professional interests include maternal child and adolescent health, youth risk behaviors, international health, sexual and reproductive health, healthy eating/active living, community engaged research and participatory methods, and evaluation of public health programs.

Dr. Wenzel's current  projects with the Center for Public Health Practice and Research are outlined here.

  • Brossoie, Nancy, Eunju Hwang, Rachel Burks, and Sophie Wenzel. (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. 
  • Public Health Leadership and Interprofessionalism
  • Preparation for Public Health Practice II
  • Public Health Integrative Learning Experience