Dr. Aaltonen served as the associate head of the School of Nursing, College of Health and Human Sciences. Her focus on public health and public health nursing is evident in her teaching, research, and engagement. Professor Aaltonen’s research centers on use of information technology in the public health system. Her second area of research is homeland security and public health agencies. She has collaborated with Purdue's Homeland Security Institute on issues related to public health systems and preparedness.
Dr. Aaltonen has been the recipient of Purdue University’s Charles B. Murphy Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award and is included in Purdue’s Book of Great Teachers. She is an elected member and chair of the Executive Board of the American Public Health Association and is currently chairing the local board of health.