Katrina Walsemann is a population health scientist with a particular focus on how the U.S. education system shapes individuals’ physical, mental, and cognitive health, independent from and in relation to other structural factors such as race/ethnicity, gender, and social class. She has published extensively on how early school environments affect health and health behavior across the life course as well as how student debt influences the psychosocial health of young adults and their aging parents. Her current research explores how state and local educational contexts during childhood relate to cognitive impairment and dementia risk later in life. Fundamental to her research is an understanding of the historical and contemporary social policies that can create, reduce, or eliminate racial and social inequities in population health.
She holds a Ph.D. and MPH in Health Behavior from the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health and completed a National Institute of Aging (NIA) post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan’s Population Studies Center. Prior to joining the School of Public Policy, she was associate professor of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior at the University of South Carolina and Founding Director of the Carolina Consortium on Health, Inequalities, and Populations.