AMT Faculty Member


Cara Pennel, DrPH, MPHAssociate Professor
Department of Preventive Medicine and Population Health

Dr. Pennel is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Population Health, the Director of the Public Health Program, and the Director of Public Health Practice at UTMB. Dr. Pennel received her Master of Public Health (MPH) in Social and Behavioral Health from the Texas A&M University School of Public Health. After working in the public health field for seven years, she returned to Texas A&M for her doctorate, where she completed her Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) in Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences.

Broadly, her interests and expertise include community health assessment, program planning and evaluation, community engagement, and improved integration of research, teaching, and practice. Her educational development and scholarship goals include innovation in practice-based teaching, application of public health knowledge and skills into practice, and engagement in community- and service-based learning. She is a member of the Association of Schools and Program of Public Health (ASPPH) Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Task Force and the SoTL Teaching Working Group. In 2019, she was the Delta Omega Innovative Curriculum Award Runner-up. At UTMB, she received the Teaching Excellence Award for the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Preventive Medicine and Population Health and is a member of the UTMB Scholars in Education Program, 2019-2021 cohort.

Her research areas are community health assessment and community health improvement planning, particularly as they relate to nonprofit hospitals’ federal requirements, and projects that build community and academic partnerships using Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) approaches. Dr. Pennel and her community partner were selected as members for the 2017-2018 cohort of the CBPR Partnership Academy through University of Michigan and the Detroit Urban Research Center. The Partnership Academy led to a collaborative project among community partners and UTMB faculty, staff and students to improve the health and quality of life of women in transition.

Dr. Pennel was inducted into the Academy of Master Teachers in 2019.

Learner Types: SPPH - Master's/Doctoral', JSSOM - Medical Students - Pre-Clerkship, JSSOM - Medical Students - Clinical Years, JSSOM - Residency/Fellowships, GSBS Master's/Doctoral , Continuing Ed/Professional Development.

Curriculum: Curriculum Design, Curriculum Evaluation, Curriculum Mapping.

Educational Leadership: Education Administration.

Instructional Methods: Blackboard Courses, Case-Based Teaching, Flipped Classroom, Experiential Learning, Interactive Teaching - Small Group.

Scholarship - Ed Research or Curriculum Innovation: Abstract Development, Grant-Writing, Qualitative Research Methods, Survey Design.

Special Content: Faculty Development - Teaching Skills, Interprofessional Education.