Dr. Patty Perillo, a University of Maryland School of Public Health PhD alumna, is coming back to Maryland as the university’s vice president of student affairs, after two decades of experience in higher education.
“It’s sweet,” Dr. Perillo said of returning to Maryland. “It’s one of those life-comes-full-circle moments.”
During her doctorate at Maryland, Dr. Perillo took classes and worked with professors in both the public and community health and higher education departments while studying how student drinking behaviors affected their learning environments.
“I wanted to better understand as a leader, how I could lead always thinking about the health and well-being of the community,” Dr. Perillo said of choosing to do an interdisciplinary PhD. “Now I’m constantly thinking about the health of individuals and communities.”
Dr. Perillo went on to serve as associate dean of students at Davidson College in North Carolina, assistant vice president for student affairs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and then vice president of student affairs at Virginia Tech.
During her time at Virginia Tech, Dr. Perillo worked to ensure that the counseling center, health center and all of the student wellness centers were in the same area, so they could work together to help students take care of the totality of themselves—socially, mentally, spiritually and physically.
Dr. Perillo says at the University of Maryland, there are many students who are underrepresented and underserved, a population she is excited to work with.
She hopes that she and her colleagues at Maryland can work together to leverage campus messages and experiences to make sure students, faculty and staff are well and thriving.
“There’s nowhere else I’d rather be,” Dr. Perillo said. “We can do some pretty amazing things together.”Tags: Friday Letter Submission, Publish on November 15