Fall 2010 Newsletter
Greetings From the Department Head
Edith Parker, DrPH
It is with great delight that I send greetings to you all.
As some of you may know, I arrived here in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health in August after spending 15 years as a faculty member in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. I expect that some of you may have “found” public health the way I did- quite by accident.
While working in Africa both as a secondary school teacher in Kenya and later as a Program Coordinator with Save the Children in Burkina Faso, I was exposed to public health and what it can do to improve the health of populations. I was also exposed to the power of communities and the need to work with, not for, communities in identifying their needs and designing interventions to address those needs. So it is probably not a surprise that my research, most recently in Detroit, Michigan, has used a community-based participatory approach in working with communities to identify their health concerns and design interventions to address those concerns.
Since I have arrived at Iowa, I have more than once been asked what prompted my move from Michigan. For anyone who has visited the College and most importantly, the Department, that should be obvious. In the four months I have been in Iowa I have only become more impressed with the quality of the faculty, students and staff, and of course, the alumni. Since arriving in August, I have spent time with our faculty and learned more about the varied and strong research, teaching and service activities they are undertaking. I have visited with our students and learned of their interest areas, incredibly varied backgrounds, and future plans. Our staff impress me each day with their dedication, hard work and incredible skill set.
We have had some transitions this past year and I want to acknowledge the departures of Dr. Theresa Armstead and Dr. Yong-Chan Kim , both of whom left our faculty to pursue other opportunities. We wish them the best of luck. I also want to acknowledge the departure of Arlys Thompson, our Graduate Program Coordinator for the past 5 years and wish her the best of luck in her retirement. At the same time, I would like to welcome Heidi Arbisi-Kelm, who joined the department in July as the new Graduate Program Coordinator. Heidi comes to us with years of experience at both the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
With the faculty departures, we are in the midst of a search for 2 new faculty positions and look forward to having new faculty join the department.
Finally, I want to acknowledge and thank Dr. Linda Snetselaar who did a fantastic job as Interim Department Head. We owe an incredible debt of thanks to Linda. Under Linda’s leadership, the department not only maintained its excellent quality but thrived.
It is with great enthusiasm that we approach the second decade of the College of Public Health. We are a strong and vibrant department and will only continue to grow and thrive! I look forward to working with all of you in the coming years.
- Edith Parker, DrPH, Professor and Department Head