News & Announcements

New faculty spotlight: Brian Hensel

Aug. 22, 2023

This is part of a series of Q&As introducing faculty who have joined the College of Health Sciences for the 2023–24 academic year. Meet all of our new faculty members.

Brian Hensel

Associate teaching professor, Department of Health Sciences

What classes are you teaching this semester?
  • HMI 7410: Introduction to the U.S. Health Care System
  • HMI 8575: Health Policy and Politics
  • HMI 8470: Strategic Planning and Marketing for Health Care Organizations

Additionally, I’ll begin advising a team of students in their Executive Management Study (a consultant project) that will go into next semester.

Tell us about yourself. What is your background?

I’ve been married almost 40 years; we have two daughters, two sons-in-law and two grandchildren. I’m an alum of the program I now teach in, and I worked for 15 years as a healthcare administrator. My Ph.D. is from Missouri’s School of Journalism (focused on health communication). My most interesting professional experience was working in the U.S. Senate as a Health & Aging Policy Fellow during the development of the Affordable Care Act.

What brought you to Mizzou? To your field?

I worked in a hospital, transporting patients for the radiology department, to support myself as an undergraduate (history and political science) at the University of Nebraska. That experience made me want to work in health care, and so I came to Missouri for a graduate degree. I came to Mizzou because the program had a good reputation — and because it had in-state tuition reciprocity with Nebraska.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

Seeing and trying to help students pursue their professional goals and dreams.

What has you excited for this semester?

Being in the Department of Health Sciences in the College of Health Sciences. I think our program is a good fit here.

What is a fun hobby or activity that you enjoy outside of work?

I’ve started to cook more in the past five or so years. I don’t consider myself a “cook” yet, but I’m getting pretty good at following a recipe.

Could you share a memorable moment from your time teaching?

I always enjoy our year-end get-together with graduating students and their loved ones. It’s great to celebrate their accomplishment of a graduate degree and what the future may hold for them.

What is your hidden talent?

Neither of what I’ll include here is a talent. Yet. I bought a drum set a few years back, but I haven’t been practicing much. I also enjoyed taking tap dancing lessons and hope to resume that someday. With future practice, I hope to get to the point where either — maybe both — could qualify as a “talent.” I have found that each is much harder than some people make it look.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received, and who gave it to you?

My wife has communicated to me, including by example, that control (other than for our own words and behaviors) is pretty much an illusion. I often fail at living out this perspective, but when I do I find I’m happier and less anxious.

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Brian Hensel

Brian Hensel

Associate Teaching Professor