Meet the University of Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health Master of Science in Global Health New Faculty

The Master of Science in Global Health Class of 2015 is a healthy 28 students. During the first three years of the one-year professional masters program the classes numbered 14, 19 and 17, respectively. With additional students, there is a need for additional faculty. This rapid growth allowed the program to hire faculty that bring new expertise and perspectives to the classroom and to research projects around the world.

“While it is exciting to grow and meet the demand of this unique degree at Notre Dame,” says Katherine Taylor, PhD, Director of Operations and Interim Director of Global Health Training for the Eck Institute for Global Health, “we are dedicated to making sure each and every one of our students has the best learning opportunity both in the classroom and during their field placements.” To that end, the program has brought in a number of additional faculty.


Heidi Beidinger-Burnett, PhD, Adjunct Assistant Professor, received her undergraduate degree in Public Health from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. During her tenure at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Beidinger developed an expertise in STD/HIV, correctional healthcare, and surveillance and monitoring programs focusing specifically on improving screening and treatment programs at Cook County Jail, Hospital and Juvenile Detention Center in Chicago. While working for the CDC, she received her Master’s in Public Health from the University of Illinois, Chicago. After moving back to her hometown of South Bend, IN, Beidinger developed a keen interest in education.  She received a PhD in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University. She has worked for, and consulted with, several large school districts with the goal of improving student achievement for all students through the improvement of school leadership and teaching and learning.

John Grieco, PhD, Research Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences is a Medical Entomologist. He received his undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Notre Dame and then received a Masters in Medical Entomology from Texas A&M University and a PhD in Medical Zoology from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.  His work is multidisciplinary with a focus on the biology, ecology, and transmission dynamics of vector-borne diseases. He has a long history of working on a variety of insect vector species throughout the tropics and his research interests include malaria, Japanese Encephalitis, Dengue, Chagas, and rickettsial pathogens. Grieco has ongoing mosquito, sand fly, and tick surveillance programs in Asia, Africa, and the Americas with funded projects focused in the following areas: 1) the development of risk models for Japanese Encephalitis in Southeast Asia, 2) the design of novel repellents, irritants, and toxicants for insect vectors, 3) the determination of the ecological determinants of malaria in Central America, and 4) the design of rapid diagnostics for tick-borne rickettsial pathogens.

Brian J. McCarthy, MD, MSc, Adjunct Professor, graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1968. He began his career with the United States Public Health Service, assigned to the Maternal and Child Health Division in the State of Georgia. He worked on projects on teenage pregnancy, child abuse, maternal, and newborn risk assessment. His 22-year career included the World Health Organization Collaborating Center in Reproductive Health in the Division of Reproductive Health at the CDC, developing methods to improve maternal and perinatal health information systems, performing in-country maternal and child health needs assessments and program evaluations for United Nations agencies, carrying out health service research, and conducting maternal and child health epidemiologic and management workshops to develop the local capacity in these topics.  McCarthy was the CDC senior technical advisor of the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Afghan Health Initiative.  He led a team of 37 professionals, contractors, and Afghan nationals in a comprehensive material and newborn service project in Kabul, Afghanistan, associated with the Rabia Balkhia Hospital for Women, the only hospital allowed by the Taliban to treat women during the tenure.

McCarthy holds concurrent adjunct professor positions at both Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health and the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health in the Global Collaborating Center in Reproductive Health. He continues to provide consultations to the Swiss Development Corporation, US Agency for International Development, and United Nations agencies with the most recent being for UNICEF in Azerbaijan, the Republic of Georgia, and Moldova and with planned consultancies in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan.  He also continues to work with Afghan colleagues in Kabul as a senior advisor to the Afghan Safe Birth Consortium.

Philip E. Coyne, Jr., MD, MSPH, Adjunct Professor, graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1976. He recently retired as a Captain in the US Public Health Service.  He continues his government service as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Tropical Public Health at the F. Edward Herbert School of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Coyne is an alumnus of the Peace Corps where he served for two years in the Central Africa Republic.

Coyne has also served as: a Program Officer for Antiparasitic Drug Development at the National Institutes of Health; the Associate Director for Regulatory Affairs, Division of Experimental Therapeutics at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research; and Medical Review Officer for Antiparasitic Drugs, Division of Special Pathogens & Immunologic Drugs, Food and Drug Administration. He is an active member of the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, has held several leadership roles with the Society, and has recently been recognized as a Fellow.

Coyne has lectured numerous times on campus over the past 10 years in a variety of capacities, mostly on the topics of infectious and neglected diseases. He has worked internationally with organizations such as the WHO's Onchocerciasis Control Program while at the World Bank, and as a board member of Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative trying to break down the economic roadblocks to the development of new drugs for neglected tropical diseases.

Karen Gutierrez, Adjunct Assistant Professor, is a social marketing consultant. She graduated with a BA in American Studies from Georgetown University. Her clients include the CDC, Mayo Clinic, World Lung Foundation, World Health Organization, U.S. Office on National Drug Control Policy, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Harvard School of Public Health, Emory Global Health Institute, and Association of European Cancer Leagues.  Gutierrez has been a strategic consultant to CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health and serves as Director of the Global Smoke-free Worksite Challenge.

Her past service incudes Director of the Global Dialogue for Effective Stop-Smoking Campaigns initiative, working with more than fifteen partner organizations internationally to improve the impact of public education/mass media campaigns to reduce tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke.  Gutierrez has also worked in the private sector in Marketing/Advertising for the Procter & Gamble Company, on brands such as Luvs, Always, and Puffs, and on marketing efforts for U.S.  In 1993, Gutierrez was one of 50 individuals selected for a 3-year W.K. Kellogg Foundation National Leadership Fellowship. She has lived in Peru, Chile, Italy, and the United States, and has traveled to over 45 countries.

Shannon Senefeld, PhD, Adjunct Professor, holds a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Argosy University in Washington, DC. She earned two Master's degrees, one in international development from George Washington University and one in clinical health psychology from Argosy University. She also holds two Bachelor's degrees in political science and French from Indiana University. Senefeld serves as the Global Director of Health and HIV at Catholic Relief Services (CRS) based in Baltimore, MD. She manages CRS' health and HIV unit and staff and guides the agency's work on issues relating to psychosocial support programming, mental and behavioral health and child well-being. Senefeld began her CRS career in Haiti. Later she became a member of the senior management team and directed three programmatic areas for CRS, including AIDS, emergencies, and monetization. She moved to CRS' Southern Africa Regional Office, which was based in Harare, Zimbabwe, where she was responsible for the quality of HIV and AIDS programs in seven countries. After completing a temporary assignment in Eastern Europe, Senefeld returned to CRS headquarters, from where she has traveled to and worked on HIV programs throughout Africa, Central America, and Asia. Senefeld publishes and presents extensively on issues related to psychosocial support, mental health, and vulnerable children.

Naomi Penney, PhD, MPH, Adjunct Professor, is a member of Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns team where she serves as a liaison with community organizations interested in pursuing research collaborations with Notre Dame faculty and students. Each year she meets with community organizations to identify research projects that will further the organizations’ mission.  Penney educates students in qualitative research methods. Penney earned her PhD in Evaluation and Research Design from Cornell University and has been a consultant to the Agency for Toxic Substances’ Division of Health Assessment and Consultation; and to the CDC Global AIDS Program as well as CDC’s affiliate in Botswana. Previous to her doctoral studies, Naomi received her Master’s of Public Health in Health Behavior/Health Education from the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. She has worked at local, state, and federal level health agencies for over 10 years.