Fall is an exciting time in any university, but it is particularly exciting for our college as we embark upon our first full academic year as the College of Health and Public Service. As a college that prepares professionals for the workplace and advances research across several disciplines, the new name embodies two major themes of our college and helps to clarify our mission. While the name has changed, our rich history of working collaboratively to solve social problems remains unchanged.
As an alumna of this program, I am honored to serve as the Interim Dean of our college. My charge as Interim Dean is to continue the legacy of community engagement and public service that was started by Dean Tom Evenson. Tom retired this summer and was awarded the honorary title of Dean Emeritus for his many contributions to the college. I will serve as Interim Dean while the university conducts a national search for a new dean.
When I graduated from the college (at the time it was named the School of Community Service) in 1978, I was the lone graduate to walk the stage. In just under 40 years, we have grown from a very small school to an impressive college that graduates hundreds of students each year. With the addition of our new Department of Social Work, we now have 7 academic departments, many of which have a national reputation and two of which are ranked in the top 25 of their field by U.S. News & World Report.
The college welcomed several new faculty and staff for the 2017-2018 academic year, and I am excited to announce new leadership for several of our academic departments:
- Professor Kamakshi Gopal, Ph.D., CCC-A is now chair of our Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology department. Thank you to Professor Ernest Moore, Ph.D. for serving as chair for 9 years.
- Associate Professor Chandra Donnell Carey, Ph.D., CRC is serving as interim chair of our Rehabilitation and Health Services department while we conduct a search for a permanent chairperson.
- Professor of Public Administration Lisa Dicke, Ph.D. is serving as interim chair of our brand new Social Work department as we conduct a search for a permanent chairperson.
The start of a new academic year is also a great time to thank and recognize our other academic leaders for their continued service:
- Associate Professor Jesús Rosales-Ruiz, Ph.D. is chair of our Behavior Analysis department.
- Professor Eric Fritsch, Ph.D. is chair of our Criminal Justice department.
- Professor Gary Webb, Ph.D. is chair of our Emergency Management and Disaster Science department.
- Associate Professor Abraham Benavides, Ph.D. is chair of our Public Administration department.
- Assistant Dean for Student Success Richard Mabry, M.S. leads our Academic Advising Office.
- Nicole Dash, Ph.D. serves as Associate Dean for the College of Health and Public Service.
We are offering several meaningful events this fall to engage our students and the community, including a Refugee Summit, Recovery Rally and Comeback Trail Walk and Fun Run. Find a complete list of all of our events on the HPS homepage.
The event I am most excited about is Homecoming, which is just around the corner. On Saturday, November 11, we look forward to welcoming HPS alumni back to Denton at our Alumni Brunch at UNT On the Square and then tailgating at Apogee Stadium with our students and the entire UNT community before cheering on the Mean Green against UT-El Paso. I hope you’ll plan to join us!
As you can tell, we’re off to a great start this year. I invite you to stop by the Dean’s Suite in Chilton Hall 209 anytime to say hello. Whether you are a current student, proud alumnus, faculty, staff or friend of the college, I enjoy hearing from you and learning about all the good work that you are doing. Thank you for your support.
With green pride,
Linda Holloway, Ph.D., CRC
Interim Dean & Professor
College of Health and Public Service
University of North Texas