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About Michele K. Devlin

Dr. Michele Devlin is Professor of Health Promotion at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI), and Director of the Iowa Center on Health Disparities, an organization established in 2003 by the National Institutes of Health on the UNI campus to improve health equity for underserved populations.  The mission of the Iowa Center on Health Disparities is to provide training, technical assistance, research, and advocacy on health equity issues affecting minorities, immigrants, farm families, and other diverse and underserved populations in the state. To date, the work of the Iowa Center on Health Disparities has reached more than 50,000 individuals.  Dr. Devlin is also the founder and advisor of the award-winning UNI “Global Health Corps,” a model service-learning program that has trained more than 500 students in conducting culturally appropriate health education with over 40,000 at-risk clients in the United States and abroad. Dr. Devlin has led health education missions to underserved populations in Iowa, South Dakota, and Appalachia, as well as to Haiti, Mexico, Ghana, India, St. Lucia, and many other nations.  Dr. Devlin is the recipient of the One Iowa Award, Richard Remington Award, the Iowa Civil Rights Award, the PRISM Award, and other local, state, and national honors for outstanding teaching, scholarship, and service in the cross-cultural health and human rights field.
Dr. Devlin completed her master’s and doctorate degrees in international public health at the University of California at Los Angeles.  Her primary areas of specialty include refugee and minority health; disaster relief in conflict zones, and cultural competency. Dr. Devlin has published more than 100 scientific reports, articles, and books, including “Health Matters: A Guide to Working with Diverse and Underserved Populations” and “Postville USA:  Surviving Diversity in Small-Town America.”   Although she is an academic by profession, much of her time is spent in the field as an outreach scholar, engaged with immigrant and minority community members and professionals around the state of Iowa and the nation. She typically speaks at up to 75 conferences or trainings per year on topics related to civil rights and equity issues in her discipline.  
In addition to her academic expertise, Dr. Devlin has 30 years of field experience with public health agencies, non-profits, corporations, and government organizations, conducting programs both domestically and internationally with vulnerable populations. Dr. Devlin is also an International Disaster Relief team member with the American Red Cross, and served in Haiti after their recent major earthquake.  Dr. Devlin has provided extensive technical assistance to the Iowa Department of Public Health, Department of Human Services, Department of Education, Department of Labor, Homeland Security and Management, and many other local, state, and national organizations.  Dr. Devlin has extensive travel experience, and has worked, visited, or studied in 50 nations around the world.  She also volunteers as an emergency medical responder with Janesville First Responders, as well as with Star One, Iowa’s search and rescue team. Dr. Devlin is a member of the United States Army Corps of Civilians and recently returned from a deployment to Afghanistan.


Present Professor; Health, Recreation, and Community Services, University of Northern Iowa Department of Health, Recreation, and Community Services

Research Interests

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Contact Information

University of Northern Iowa
Human Performance Center 107
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0245

Office: HPC 107
Phone: (319) 273-5806    


Books (1)

Articles (8)

Reports (1)