University’s online Master of Public Health program a perfect fit for alumnus Courtney Koenig

Published by Amy Crawford 1 month ago on Wed, Feb 21, 2024 9:31 AM

An internet search and a phone call led Courtney Koenig ’16 to Concordia University, Nebraska. 

Koenig earned a master of public health degree from Concordia and chose the university because of the organization and structure of its online master’s degree programs. 

“The professors presented us with many different topics and there was always rich discussion that was a part of the class work,” she explained. “The professors were engaging, and the course work was well planned and relevant to the work that I do now.” 

Koenig currently serves as the physical activity and nutrition program manager in the community health promotion section of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. She works state-wide to promote community level strategies to advance policy, systems, and environmental initiatives to decrease chronic disease and obesity in Kansas.  

“For my internship requirement, I was able to get connected with our local health department where I live and work on a grant project that they had,” she said. “This project led to me meeting state level staff at a site visit that was conducted during my internship. Not long after I had completed the internship a job opening with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment came open as a regional community health specialist for the Southeast Kansas area. I applied and was hired for that position.” 

She served as the Southeast Kansas Community Health Specialist for five years. Her primary duties were managing grantees in the southeast region, providing technical assistance on various topics including tobacco use and prevention with a focus on secondhand smoke exposure, and physical activity and nutrition strategies. Two years ago, she moved into the physical activity and nutrition program manager position in the same section of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. 

“I get to do many different things within a day, which I love! I meet with partners and work to build relationships so that work being done in Kansas is collaborative. I educate with presentations and training on various topics. I plan and strategize how best to spend our program dollars to achieve the outcomes that we want to see, and I get to work with a wide variety of people,” she said. “I am always learning! I get to learn about new and innovative ways we can help to improve the lives of others and then work to implement programs that make meaningful changes.” 

She said that her master’s degree studies at Concordia not only expanded her knowledge, but they also helped to grow her faith. 

“Concordia helped me to understand how my faith can fit into the learning process and gave me ‘permission’ of sorts to use my faith as a lens to look through when thinking about public health challenges and solutions,” she said. 

Koenig and her husband live on a small farm in rural Kansas with their three sons, who are 14, 10 and 7. When she’s not at work or shuttling her boys to activities, she enjoys cooking, baking and quilting. The family also has a small flock of sheep that the boys show for their 4-H club. 

She said that the online master’s degree option offered by Concordia Nebraska was a great fit her busy lifestyle and a perfect fit for her interests and career goals. 

“I loved my time at Concordia, and I certainly could not have obtained a masters in any other way,” she said. “The online structure and flexibility allowed me to work full time and grow my family while going to school. The payoff has been amazing to be in a job that I love.” 

Are you interested in learning more about Concordia Nebraska’s online master’s programs? Discover the options available here