Dean’s Message, December 2012
Welcome to the College of Public Health and Health Professions at the University of Florida
As 2012 comes to a close, I am pleased to take this opportunity to reflect on the College of Public Health and Health Professions’ accomplishments over the past year. Our college continues to grow and develop at an impressive rate. This fall, the college has more than 2,000 degree seeking students enrolled, and we have added fifteen new faculty members to our departments. We are particularly excited to welcome Dr. Peihua Qiu, who has been named founding chair of the Department of Biostatistics. Dr. Qiu–currently a professor at the University of Minnesota’s School of Statistics–is an elected fellow of the American Statistical Association and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute. Dr. Qiu has a broad vision for the department that includes the development of statistical methods and collaborative research efforts.
Biostatistics and epidemiology—the college’s newest departments—have made great strides since their founding. Both departments have graduated their first PhD students, and in the spring of 2013 they will move into the state-of-the-art Clinical and Translation Research Building. This striking new building will be a major research center, enhancing collaboration opportunities for these departments and for the college. Collaboration is central to the teaching and research conducted by the college faculty and it is a driving force behind a recent addition to the college’s educational portfolio. This fall, the Department of Environmental and Global Health launched One Health, a degree program that takes a holistic approach to health and disease prevention through studying the intersection of human, animal, and environmental health.
PHHP faculty members are at the cutting edge of teaching and research, and this year many were recognized with awards from the University of Florida and from national associations. To name a few: Dr. Mark Bishop received the UF Provost’s Office Excellence Award for Assistant Professors, Dr. Michael Marsiske was awarded a UF Research Foundation Professorship, and Dr. Michael Robinson was given the UF Graduate School’s Doctoral Mentoring Award. Dr. Giselle Carnaby-Mann received the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance’s 2012 Investigator of the Year Award, Dr. Steven George was awarded the Ulf Lindbloom Young Investigator Award for Clinical Science from the International Association for the Study of Pain, and Dr. Ronald Rozensky received the American Psychological Association’s 2011 Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Institutional Practice. The college faculty is not only distinguished by these important individual awards but also by its collective excellence. Of the 16 colleges at UF, the PHHP faculty ranks second in per capita research funding. The college also ranks 19th in NIH funding among accredited schools of public health.
This year marked the end of the seven-year UF capital campaign. I am delighted to report that PHHP exceeded its fundraising goal, raising more than $10 million over the course of the campaign. These funds will make a lasting impact on the future of education, research, and service at PHHP, and we are very thankful for the tremendous support we receive from our alumni and friends of the college. The PHHP Distinguished Scholar Lecture Series is one initiative that is made possible through the support of our donors. This series, launched in 2011, allows our students and faculty to meet national and international leaders in the fields of public health and health professions. In January, we look forward to welcoming Dr. Norman Sartorius, former director of the WHO Division of Mental Health, to the college for what promises to be an engaging and dynamic talk.
As the New Year approaches, we prepare to embark on another productive year at PHHP as we continue to educate the future leaders in public health and health professions, solve critical public health problems, and provide essential services to individuals and communities. As always, we invite you to come to campus to discover what makes the College of Public Health and Health Professions at the University of Florida truly unique.
Michael G. Perri, PhD, ABPP
Dean, College of Public Health and Health Professions
The Robert G. Frank Endowed Professor of Clinical and Health Psychology