In May, Dr. Wilbur Milhous, director for the Center for Global Infectious Disease Research and professor in the Department of Global Health, transitioned out of his role as associate dean for research and passed the baton on to Dr. Ellen Daley, currently the associate dean for translational research and practice and professor in the Department of Community and Family Health.
“In keeping with the work she [Dr. Daley] has already begun in expanding the vision of research to practice translation articulated in our College strategic plan, I have asked her to also provide important oversight to our doctoral programs,” said USF College of Public Health Dean Donna Petersen.
She has been responsible for assuring the integration and translation of research and practice of the COPH’s educational programs for doctoral students and will combine all of these roles in a new role as associate dean for research and practice.
“Public Health is particularly well-suited to apply new and innovative ways of merging its research and practice functions, which is not the case in many other fields,” Daley said. “When we are faced with public health challenges, such as emerging epidemics, disparities in health outcomes, prevention of both infectious and chronic diseases–these and many more challenges–there is an opportunity to have our best researchers and practice professionals meet and test new ideas to address solutions. Research and practice have too often been separate ‘silos’ in public health, but I believe we often do our best work when we are pushed a bit out of our comfort zones to address things in new ways.”
Daley said she can see the COPH becoming a national leader in pioneering doctoral training across academic research and professional practice degrees.
She said she would like to see the COPH capitalize on the range of public health interests that cross both groups, and is considering the possibility of joint courses, team dissertations and group doctoral projects.
“I am really excited about taking on the challenge of bringing research and practice closer, both through the research administration office, and through doctoral training,” she said.
As associate dean for research in the COPH for the past ten years, Milhous helped to catapult the COPH’s research program to one of the top at the USF, according to Dean Petersen.
Milhous said the COPH’s faculty and senior leadership helped to make his efforts in doing so a success.
“My comfort zone was that I was that was recruited with three of my best friends and greatest collaborators so this was really an opportunity to work closely with people I knew in addition to being with a great academic culture with new leadership. The faculty were also very supportive during some tough family times,” he said.
Story by Anna Mayor, USF College of Public Health