Dr. Laura Linnan, professor of health behavior at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, has been named the Gillings School’s new associate dean for academic and student affairs.
“I am excited to have this excellent opportunity to work with the many dedicated faculty and staff members, students and alumni at the Gillings School,” Dr. Linnan said. “I look forward to collaborating with Dean [Barbara K.] Rimer and colleagues in this new capacity as associate dean.”
Dr. Linnan, who earned a doctorate from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and joined the UNC faculty in 1999, is a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and founding director of the Carolina Collaborative for Research on Work and Health. She has a strong academic background in worksite health, cancer prevention, community-based participatory research and health equity issues.
From 2006 to 2011, Dr. Linnan served as Master of Public Health (MPH) program director in UNC Gillings’ department of health behavior. In that role, she led a team of alumni, students, and staff and faculty members who revised the MPH program requirements, instituted a highly innovative capstone field experience consistent with long-standing departmental traditions, and spearheaded a revision of the curriculum to better address key competencies and emerging trends. She and department colleagues published a description of the engaged curriculum revision process in the American Journal of Public Health.
In her new role, Dr. Linnan will facilitate planning, administration, evaluation and continuous improvement of academic programs, ensuring that UNC Gillings meets academic standards and policies of the University, the Graduate School, the Gillings School and of accrediting agencies such as the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).
She will be responsible for accelerating innovations in teaching, curricular design and education, and will collaborate with the dean, chairs and others to develop and implement innovative academic programs important to the future of public health, including those that result from changes in accreditation criteria. She also is responsible for programs and policies that support student success and faculty development and promotion.
“Dr. Linnan is dedicated fully to the idea and ideals of the public university and to the professional preparation of the next generation of public health professionals,” said Dr. Barbara K. Rimer, dean and Alumni Distinguished Professor at the UNC Gillings School. “She has served in leadership roles at multiple levels, from state health departments to the National Cancer Institute, and has been recognized for her excellence with numerous awards. She understands the critical role of education in our enterprise, and she is an innovator and pathbreaker. We are so fortunate that Laura is willing to accept this new responsibility.”