Susan Goodwin Gerberich

Professor, Division of Environmental Sciences

Susan Goodwin Gerberich with action figure in helmet.

Far from being random, injuries are often predictable. That message is key to Susan Goodwin Gerberich’s sterling record as an educator in the field of injury prevention and control. Her students have conducted seminal research on such topics as concussions and spinal trauma in youth sports, injuries incurred in agricultural operations, violence against health care workers and teachers, and, most recently, injuries among janitors—a largely immigrant and vulnerable population.

“I always loved her focus on current injury-related Minnesota legislation and having students write evidence-based arguments for or against real-world proposed policy,” says one former student.

Figuring out how to evaluate whether students have learned what is intended is one of the true challenges we face as teachers. My career has been about addressing this challenge in every class.—Susan Goodwin Gerberich

Gerberich directs the Midwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety (MCOHS) Education and Research Center, and also the MCOHS Occupational Injury Prevention Research Training Program for doctoral students, which she began in the 1980s.

OIPRTP takes an epidemiological approach, using scientific principles of injury prevention and control. The program gives students structures to explore injuries not related to the workplace and includes courses in injury epidemiology and violence prevention and control, which are now available to undergraduates, too.

Of Gerberich’s many awards, two she cherishes most deeply are the Division of Health Sciences Faculty Excellence Award for outstanding teaching and mentorship, and the SPH Excellence in Advising Award—both student-initiated.

Meet all Graduate and Professional Award winners.