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Dr. Mark A. James First Dean of New College of Public Health

Posted Feb. 25, 2010

Dr. Mark A. James, professor and vice chair of the Department of Tropical Medicine at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, will become founding dean of Kent State University’s College of Public Health on July 1, 2010, announced Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Robert G. Frank. Frank has served as interim dean of the college since its inception in 2009.

Photo of Dr. Mark A. James“The opportunity at Kent State University is ideal in that it allows one to build the college in the vision of a founding dean, together with a committed administration, faculty, staff and students,” James said.

In addition to his extensive teaching experience, James’ distinguished career in public health includes leadership positions as chair of the Tulane University Health Sciences Center Biomedical Institutional Review Board, secretary of General Faculty for the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and member of the University Senate at Tulane University. Trained as an immunoparasitologist, James’ research interests include the immunology of malaria and Chagas’ disease in Latin America.

“Kent State University’s College of Public Health is poised to prepare students to meet the region’s and nation’s need for trained public health professionals,” Frank said. “Dr. James’ knowledge of what it takes to build an accredited program of public health will guide the college to meet those needs and leverage the educational and research strengths of its faculty.”

James has been recognized by Tulane University on five separate occasions with the annual Excellence in Teaching Award. He also has received the Teaching Scholar Award in the School of Public Health in Tropical Medicine in 1999 and was recognized with the Chancellor’s Teaching Scholar Award at the Tulane University Medical Center. He is an inaugural member of the ASPH/Pfizer Public Health Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

James holds a bachelor of science degree in zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a master’s degree in zoology and a doctor of philosophy in tropical medicine from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Kent State’s College of Public Health is Ohio’s second college of public health. It was established to help meet the demonstrated state and national need for public health professionals. In Ohio alone, the projected shortage of educated and trained public health professionals is estimated to be in excess of 10,000 workers by 2020.

Last Friday, Gov. Ted Strickland and Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Eric D. Fingerhut announced Kent State as a Center of Excellence in Biomedicine and Health Care for Ohio. Kent State’s Center of Excellence focuses on the health of individuals and communities. The university was awarded this distinction due to its College of Public Health and its College of Nursing.

In October 2009, Kent State received approval by the Ohio Board of Regents to offer a bachelor of science (B.S.P.H.) degree in public health. Currently, 146 students are taking four courses this spring through its Experimental Programs (EXPR) Division, and the university is accepting applications for the B.S.P.H. program for fall 2010. The College of Public Health is also planning an undergraduate certificate in public health. The college has 18 full-time tenure track faculty members with the goal of 25 by 2012.

For more information on Kent State’s College of Public Health, visit www.kent.edu/academics/publichealth.

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Media Contact:
Emily Vincent, evincen2@kent.edu, 330-672-8595