Deans

Michael G Perri

Michael G Perri Ph.D.

DEAN
Phone: (352) 273-6214

Michael G. Perri, PhD, ABPP, is the Dean of the College of Public Health and Health Professions and the Robert G. Frank Endowed Professor of Clinical and Health Psychology. Dr. Perri was appointed Dean in 2009, after serving as interim dean for two years. Under his leadership, the college has grown from 1,700 to 2,553 students and has expanded its academic portfolio to include a doctorate of occupational therapy, PhD programs and concentrations in biostatistics, environmental and global health, epidemiology, One Health, public health, social and behavioral sciences, an online Master of Public Health, and a Bachelor of Public Health. Dr. Perri’s research focuses on health promotion and disease prevention through changes in diet and physical activity. He has contributed to more than 195 publications and has been the principal investigator or co-investigator for more than $65 million in research grants and contracts. Dr. Perri is an elected fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Society of Behavioral Medicine, and the Obesity Society. He is the recipient of the American Psychological Association’s Samuel M. Turner Award for Distinguished Contributions to Applied Research in Clinical Psychology and the Society of Behavioral Medicine’s Distinguished Research Mentor Award.

Research Summary:

Health promotion; behavioral management of obesity

Grants:
  • Dec 2020 ACTIVE
    Reducing Weight Stigma to Improve Long-Term Weight Loss
    NATL INST OF HLTH NHLBI · Other
  • Jul 2019 ACTIVE
    Evaluation of an Adaptive Intervention for Weight Loss Maintenance
    NATL INST OF HLTH NIDDK · Co-Investigator
  • Mar 2018 ACTIVE
    BAYESIAN APPROACHES FOR MISSINGNESS AND CAUSALITY IN CANCER AND BEHAVIOR STUDIES
    NATL INST OF HLTH NCI · Co-Investigator
  • Apr 2016 – Mar 2017
    Claude D Pepper Older Americans Independence Center
    NATL INST OF HLTH NIA · Project Manager
  • Aug 2015 – Jul 2020
    Escalating Proportion of Weight-Loss Maintainers Via Modules Prior to Weight Loss
    STANFORD UNIV · Principal Investigator
  • Jun 2015 – May 2020
    Fixed Versus Variable Energy Reduction During Behavioral Obesity Treatment
    UNIV OF ALABAMA BIRMINGHAM · Principal Investigator
  • Apr 2015 – Mar 2016
    Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center
    NATL INST OF HLTH NIA · Project Manager
  • Jan 2015 – Dec 2019
    Midwestern Collaborative for Treating Obesity in Rural Primary Care
    UNIV OF KANSAS MEDICAL CTR · Principal Investigator
  • Apr 2014 – Feb 2017
    Bayesian approaches for missingness and causality in cancer and behavior studies
    UNIV OF TEXAS AUSTIN · Principal Investigator
  • Aug 2013 – Apr 2020
    Rural Lifestyle Eating and Activity Program (Rural LEAP)
    NATL INST OF HLTH NHLBI · Principal Investigator
  • Aug 2011 – May 2016
    Group Phone-Based Weight Control Among Rural Breast Cancer Survivors
    UNIV OF KANSAS MEDICAL CTR · Principal Investigator
Education:
  • 1978
    PhD Clinical Psychology
    University of Missouri
Stephanie L Hanson

Stephanie L Hanson PhD, ABPP (Rp)

Executive Associate Dean
Phone: (352) 273-6377

Stephanie Hanson, Ph.D., ABPP (Rp) is the executive associate dean and a clinical professor in the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions. In her current position, Dr. Hanson oversees significant components of PHHP academic program development. She chairs the PHHP Blended Learning Task Force, which is spearheading the implementation of the college’s vision for a pedagogical educational model in which the use of technology and a blending of on line and interactive live class sessions facilitate student learning. She is also integrally involved in implementation of the college’s strategic plan. A member of the college since 1996, Dr. Hanson received her Ph.D.’s in developmental psychology and clinical psychology from Vanderbilt University. She was one of the first women board certified in rehabilitation psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology. She subsequently served on the Board of Directors for the American Board of Rehabilitation Psychology as well as on the Executive and Ethics and Social Responsibility Committees of the Division of Rehabilitation Psychology of the American Psychological Association. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association based on her significant contributions to the field of rehabilitation psychology, particularly in the area of ethics.

Linda B Cottler

Linda B Cottler PhD, MPH, FACE

Dean’s Professor And Associate Dean For Research
Phone: (352) 294-5947

Linda B. Cottler, PhD, MPH, FACE, is Associate Dean for Research at the College of Public Health and Health Professions and Dean’s Professor of Epidemiology at the College of Public Health and Health Professions and the College of Medicine, at the University of Florida. Before moving to UF to become Founding Chair of the Department of Epidemiology (2011-2018), Dr. Cottler was at Washington University for 30 years, where she earned her PhD and developed a robust research program in addiction and community engagement science. She has been continuously funded by NIDA since 1989 and has received numerous contracts and grants from multiple Institutes. This research includes: development of culturally reliable and valid measures for identifying substance use, abuse and dependence, along with psychiatric disorders and their risk factors; innovative methods for conducting national surveys of high risk behaviors; and community based, peer-delivered interventions to change high risk behaviors and substance abuse. Her work has had international focus as well, extending to Afghanistan, Australia, Haiti, India, Kenya, Taiwan, and Thailand.

Dr. Cottler’s research has also focused on populations underrepresented in the research enterprise to increase health equity. She is Founding Director of HealthStreet (1989)—a community engagement program of the UF CTSA in which Community Health Workers assess health concerns and needs of community members and provide referrals to medical and social services and opportunities to participate in research. Cottler is Director of the Community Engagement for the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Association for Clinical and Translational Science, and is Co-Chair of the Special Interest Group PACER (Partners for the Advancement of Community Engaged Research).

Dr. Cottler has had the privilege to be mentored by Dennis Slone and Allen Mitchell in Boston, as well as Lee Robins in St. Louis, where she coordinated the landmark Epidemiologic Catchment Area Program. She has been PI of numerous intervention studies to reduce high risk behaviors, the NFL study of retired players, and NMAPSS and SNAPS, to understand stimulant use among 10 to 17 year olds. She directs the MUSE, ABCD and NDEWS initiatives, among others. The highlight of her career has been working with the many talented and diverse mentees as part of her funded training programs, especially the NIDA T32 and Fogarty International Center Training Grants. Cottler has published over 320 manuscripts and chapters and been the recipient of numerous awards for her mentoring and research achievements.

Research Summary:

See About (above)

Research Interests:
  • Substance Use Epidemiology, particularly opioids
  • Drug addiction
  • community engagement
Education:
  • 1987
    PhD-Sociology-Psychiatric Epidemiology
    Washington University in St. Louis
  • 1980
    MPH-Epidemiology Concentration
    Boston University School of Public Health
  • 1972
    RN
    Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College (formerly Jewish Hospital School of Nursing))
George Hack

George Hack PhD, MEd

Associate Dean For Educational Affairs
Phone: (352) 273-6377

George Hack, PhD, MEd, is the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions’ Associate Dean for Educational Affairs and a Clinical Associate Professor in the department of Occupational Therapy. Dr. Hack received his PhD in Educational Technology from the University of Florida and has designed online and face-to-face instruction in a variety of environments, including secondary, undergraduate, graduate, professional, adult vocational training, and military schools.

At the University of Florida, Dr. Hack has served in various roles, working in the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences as a coordinator of extension nutrition education programs, teaching graduate and undergraduate technology courses in the College of Education, and as assistant director for instruction and information systems in the Health Science Center Libraries. He has also collaborated on the Compendium for Children’s Health with a team of international physicians, setting up an online environment for pediatricians to receive instruction in Community Pediatrics.

Dr. Hack’s research interests include human-computer interactions in learning as well as pedagogy influenced by situated and grounded learning theories. In addition, he has served ten years in the military, with four years of active duty in the Marine Corps.

Cindy A Prins

Cindy A Prins

Assistant Dean For Educational Affairs
Phone: (352) 294-8576

Cindy Prins, PHD, MPH, CIC, CPH, is the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions’ assistant dean for educational affairs and a clinical associate professor of Epidemiology. Dr. Prins received her PhD in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology from Penn State University in 2000, where she studied replication of JC virus. She completed her post-doctoral training at the University of Florida, focusing on regulation of vaccinia virus transcription elongation. Concurrently, she earned her MPH in the Epidemiology concentration from the College of Public Health and Health Professions at UF in the fall of 2006. After this she worked as an Infection Control Practitioner at UF Health Shands Hospital. Dr. Prins joined the Epidemiology faculty first as an adjunct lecturer in 2009 and then full time as a clinical assistant professor in the fall of 2010. Dr. Prins’ research interests include the prevention of healthcare-associated infections, including those caused by multi-drug resistant organisms, and compliance with vaccine recommendations. Dr. Prins is Board Certified in Infection Control (CIC) and Public Health (CPH).

Education:
  • 2006
    MPH in Epidemiology
    University of Florida
  • 2000
    PhD in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology
    The Pennsylvania State University
  • 1993
    BS in Biology
    University of Central Florida
Tara Sabo-Attwood

Tara Sabo-Attwood

Associate Dean, Professor, And Chair
Phone: (352) 294-5293

Dr. Tara Sabo-Attwood is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Environmental and Global Health and a member of the Center for Environmental and Human Toxicology and Emerging Pathogens Institute at the University of Florida. She also serves as the Associate Dean of Faculty Development, Cultural Affairs, and Wellness Programs. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida in Biomedical Sciences and Environmental Pharmacology and Toxicology.

Her doctoral training was in the area of aquatic toxicology and she moved into environmental pulmonary pathology as an NIEHS postdoctoral fellow at the University of Vermont. Dr. Sabo-Attwood directs a laboratory group that investigates molecular mechanisms that drive various health impacts associated with environmental exposures to agents which include endocrine disruptors, mineral fibers, and nanomaterials. She is a National Academy of Science Kavli Fellow in Nanotoxicology and serves on a number of scientific boards including the International Academy of Sciences, is a member of the EPA Chartered Science Advisory Board and a Research Associate with the Smithsonian’s Global Health Program.

Her work in nanomaterials and other particulates (secondary organic aerosols) specifically spans toxicological assessments, primarily in a rodent model of influenza virus susceptibility and in aquatic vertebrates focused on nano-enabled applications relevant to improving water quality in aquaculture settings and understanding the impact that carbon-based materials (singly and in hybrid form with metals) have on growth and nutrient uptake in fish. Dr. Sabo-Attwood is also investigating chemical profiles present in water sources in developing nations, such as Haiti. Her most recent work has centered on understanding the connection between nature and wellness, utilizing ‘green space’ to improve health outcomes in an environmentally safe environment (optimal air quality). Her research is currently funded by NIH, NSF, and USDA.

Research Summary:

Dr. Sabo-Attwood’s expertise is Environmental Toxicology. Her current research interests include understanding molecular mechanisms controlling cellular, tissue and organism responses to environmental contaminants, effects associated with water and air exposures to nanomaterials, fibers (asbestos) and particulates and endocrine disrupting compounds, utilizing rodent and aquatic models to assess how chemicals alter susceptibility to pathogenic infections (e.g. influenza H1N1), and investigating the connection between nature and wellness to improve health outcomes.

Education:
  • 2003
    Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Sciences, Concentration in Pharmacology and Therapeutics and Human and Environmental Toxicology
    University of Florida
  • 1996
    Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology, Specialty in Cytogenetics
    University of Connecticut
Zachary M Bielling

Zachary M Bielling MHA

Assistant Dean For Administrative Operations
Phone: (352) 273-6143

Zac Bielling, MHA, is the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions’ Assistant Dean for Administrative Operations. Mr. Bielling completed his Bachelor of Health Science (BHS) and Master of Health Administration (MHA) from the University of Florida and has professional leadership experience in public-higher education and private-hospital administration.

While completing his graduate training, Mr. Bielling, completed an Administrative Internship at Peace River Regional Medical Center (now Bayfront Health Port Charlotte) with Health Management Associates, Inc (now Community Health Systems). After this, he began working as the Assistant Administrator at Peace River Regional Medical Center. Following this appointment, Health Management Associates transferred and promoted Mr. Bielling to complete the acquisition, transitional leadership and management of Shands Lake Shore Regional Medical Center as the Associate Administrator (Chief Operating Officer). In both positions, Mr. Bielling was responsible for the operational and financial performance of multiple clinical and non-clinical ancillary departments, in addition to contract administration.

Following his tenure in acute-care hospital administration, Mr. Bielling began his career in public-higher education with the University of Florida in the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering as an Associate Director of Administrative Services. Over his nearly nine-years of service to Engineering, he served four academic departments: Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Chemical Engineering and the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering. His service to each department required his leadership and skill to manage the daily administrative operations (compliance, cost analysis, financial, human resources, sponsored awards, and asset management), in addition to, advising the department chair on a variety of administrative and operational aspects with regard to policy and strategic planning.

Education:
  • 2008
    Master of Health Administration
    University of Florida
  • 2006
    Bachelor of Health Science
    University of Florida