Karl Larson

Encouraged as a youth to be as active as possible, a career in health education and health promotion seemed inevitable for Karl Larson. As a Professor and Program Director of Public Health at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN, he teaches his students about the health education profession and helps them think about why people behave and make healthy choices.

Before teaching future professionals, Larson was learning about health education himself. He completed a bachelor’s degree in therapeutic recreation from Minnesota State University-Mankato, followed by a master’s degree in higher education administration and then a doctorate in community health education from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. After graduation, he found his way into higher education and eventually returned home to teach in Minnesota.

Larson has appreciated the opportunity to allow young health education specialists to grow into the profession. As an active SOPHE member, former president of MNSOPHE, and current director of the National Case Study Competition in Health Education (NCSCHE) being held at the SOPHE Annual Conference, he demonstrates the importance of involvement in a professional development organization to his students.

Stay involved. There is so much more to our discipline than our daily grind. Being committed to something outside of your normal routine can be invigorating and provide a sense of purpose and renewal.