College of Health and Human Services Hears First State of the College Address

Posted: August 28, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Catherine Probst

“Delivering academic, research and service excellence in our communities” was the theme of the first College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) State of the College Address, which took place Thursday, Aug. 23.

That’s what dean of CHHS Shirley Travis told attendees as she, President Alan Merten and Provost Peter Stearns celebrated the college’s first “birthday” under its new name.

In addition to recognizing the accomplishments of each department’s faculty, staff and students, administrators introduced new faculty and staff. They also outlined the college‚Äôs strategic goals for the upcoming academic year.

“As we look back on the past year, the College of Health and Human Services has significantly expanded, and as a new year begins, we will face new challenges in an exciting place,” said Travis.

Travis noted that the student population of CHHS for fall 2007 indicates a shift from part-time to full-time enrollment. In addition, the college has an ethnic minority status of 38.5 percent compared to 33 percent for the university.

Speakers recognized the awards and honors CHHS faculty received during the 2006-07 academic year, including major grants and contracts given to faculty members for research. Some of the honors awarded to faculty included the Mason Outstanding Achievement Award, the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Distinguished Public Service Award and the George Mason University Teaching Excellence Award.

Departmental achievements were also noted, including expanding a graduate nursing program to the Prince William Campus, launching an undergraduate degree in community health, establishing support programs for research in clinical decision support systems and developing a health care ethics program.

Travis acknowledged the need to “take all of this information about our successes and funnel it into a plan for strategic goals.” Some of those goals include supporting the infrastructure needs for the growing number of students entering CHHS programs and rewarding faculty who exhibit excellence in teaching, research and service assignments.

Merten and Stearns closed the gathering by emphasizing the importance of continued research, which contributes to teaching excellence. They also voiced confidence that both new and returning faculty and staff will further the success of the college while meeting its new challenges.

Write to at