Lerner Center Administration

Shannon Monnat | Lerner Chair & Director

Professor Shannon Monnat

Shannon Monnat is the Lerner Chair for Public Health Promotion and Lerner Center Director. She is also Associate Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Policy, Place, and Population Health Lab at SU. Dr. Monnat is a rural sociologist, demographer, and population health scholar who conducts research on demographic and geographic trends and differences in health and mortality, with a specific interest in rural health and health disparities. Her most recent research has focused on drug use and overdose, particularly trying to understand the factors that explain demographic and geographic differences in use and overdose rates. She has published over 70 peer-reviewed academic journal articles, book chapters, research briefs, and reports, and has presented her research to numerous public, academic, and policy audiences, including the United Nations, the National Institutes of Health, the National Academy of Sciences, the Aspen Institute, the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, and at Congressional briefings. Her research has been featured in several media outlets, including CNN, NPR, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the Atlantic. Monnat teaches graduate courses in Demographic Processes and Health and Place and an undergraduate Introduction to Sociology course.

Email Shannon: smmonnat@syr.edu and see faculty page.

Alexandra Punch | Associate Director

Lerner Center Associate Director Alexandra Punch

Alexandra Punch received her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Northeastern University in 2012; where she is now pursuing her doctoral degree in law and public policy. Prior to working at Syracuse University, Alexandra served as the Director of Drug User Health at ACR Health. There, she focused on innovative treatment practices and community collaborations for addressing opioid dependence using the Harm Reduction model of care.  Alexandra also worked at the Onondaga County Health Department as a Research Technician in the Bureau of Disease Control. She is the Chair of the Harm Reduction subcommittee for the Onondaga County Drug Task Force and a member of the Regional Advisory Committee for the State Opioid Response (SOR) Network.

Email Alexandra: aepunch@syr.edu 
Office phone number: 315-443-9343

Kate Funck | Assistant Director

Kate Funck manages the SU Lerner Center Healthy Monday programs, initiatives, and partnerships. She also manages Center digital communications and visibility, oversees undergraduate student engagement, and collaborates on research with Center faculty, staff, and students. Before joining the Lerner Center, Kate led employee health and fitness management programs for corporate clients, developing and implementing research-based workplace programs. She also has experience in health nonprofit operations and as an AmeriCorps VISTA, building capacity for cooking-based nutrition education programs. Kate received her Masters of Public Health, Health Policy and Management from the University at Albany and her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Psychology from SUNY Brockport.

Email Kate: kepacell@syr.edu
Office phone number: 315-443-4526