Assistant Professor Q & A : Molly Gutilla

Portrait of Molly
Molly Gutilla

Molly Gutilla joined the CSU community in Fall 2017 and serves as assistant professor for the Colorado School of Public Health, as well as the Department of Health and Exercise Science. This coming fall, she will be teaching two classes. Epidemiology for Public Health and Data Management and Analysis Using SAS will both be offered to graduate students in 2018. Read on to learn more about Gutilla and her research interests.

What brought you to CSU?

I came to CSU for the opportunities both on and off campus. On campus, I have a role in teaching graduate classes within the Colorado School of Public Health at CSU. The public health program attracts students who are interested in making positive changes in community health – from analyzing health data to delivering health education and services, The opportunity to work with motivated students is one of the major reasons I’m excited to be at CSU.

In addition, the faculty in Health and Exercise Science are excellent colleagues. My undergraduate and master’s degrees are in exercise physiology from Ohio State University, so while my current teaching and research has a public health focus, being a part of the health and exercise science team feels familiar and like “home.”

Off campus, Fort Collins has a very vibrant public health and non-profit workforce. The practitioners working in the field are innovative and motivated to create a healthy community for all. The opportunity to work alongside people in public health practice is important to my personal and professional goals.

What are your specific research interests?

I identify as a public health “pracademic” – someone who is both an academic and an active practitioner in their subject area. My research interests arise from contemporary issues in public health practice, and my work currently centers on methods of community health assessment, including data source selection and the use of data in decision-making processes that guide the delivery of public health programs, services, and policies. I became interested in this topic after working with the state health department and several local public health agencies in Colorado.

What’s your teaching philosophy?

I absolutely love being in the classroom and consider myself a life-long student. My teaching constantly provides me new opportunities to learn and grow. I enjoy creating variety in my classes and aim to deliver the material in a way that appeals to the varied learning preferences and interests of students. It is my hope that students in my courses grasp core concepts in epidemiology, public health, and statistical programming, as well as understand the relationships and interconnectedness of these topics within public health and other fields. I design courses in which students can develop their skills in critical thinking, problem solving, and both written and oral communication throughout the semester.

What’s your favorite thing about campus?

My favorite thing about being on campus is the opportunity to continue growing and to increase my exposure to academic topics outside of my specialty. I enjoy going to talks and lectures and appreciate that our university setting creates so many learning opportunities for students, staff, and faculty.

Additionally, the location of our campus is awesome. It is great to be so close to the heart of Fort Collins with great access to restaurants and shopping – all connected easily by walking or biking. Luckily, our campus is also only five miles from hundreds of miles of single-track dirt trails, so when I am not working, I like to run, hike, and bike.

Some of my favorite specific places on campus include the basement in Morgan Library, the stadium, where I teach a statistical programming class and try to attend at least one football game each fall, and any space on third floor or higher that faces the foothills to the west. The balcony area on top of the Behavioral Sciences Building is one of my favorite spots to be outside while on campus.

The Department of Health and Exercise Science is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.