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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 11, 2004

UI College Of Public Health Appoints New Deans

The University of Iowa College of Public Health appointed three new deans to its leadership, effective July 1. Joe Dan Coulter, Ph.D., professor of community and behavioral health, was named associate dean for diversity; Tanya Uden-Holman, Ph.D., associate professor (clinical) of health management and policy, was appointed associate dean for education and student affairs; and Mary Lober Aquilino, Ph.D., associate professor (clinical) of community and behavioral health, was named assistant dean and director of the Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree program.

"I am delighted that these highly qualified individuals have accepted these important leadership positions within the College of Public Health," said James A. Merchant, M.D., Dr.P.H., dean of the college. "Their knowledge and expertise across a range of disciplines will be extremely valuable as the college continues to develop and expand its educational programs."

As associate dean for diversity, Coulter will promote, coordinate and provide leadership on collegiate diversity objectives; act as liaison on diversity issues with College of Public Health departments, other colleges and university committees; chair the college's diversity committee; advise and work with students, staff and faculty to promote diversity; and work to recruit a more diverse faculty and student body.

Coulter received his Ph.D. in biological psychology at the University of Oklahoma Medical Center in 1971. He came to the UI in 1985 from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston where he was involved with the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Initiative, an outreach program to provide health education along the Texas-Mexico border. He served as head of the UI Department of Anatomy from 1985 to 1992 and as director of the Neuroscience Graduate Program from 1988 to 1996.

Coulter, who is a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation of Oklahoma, helped establish the American Indian and Native Studies Program in the UI College of Liberal Arts in 1993. He served as the UI associate provost for diversity from 1996 to 2004 and will continue as the American Indian and Native Alaskan Coordinator for Opportunity at Iowa, the office that supports the recruitment and retention of underrepresented students to the university.

As associate dean for education and student affairs, Uden-Holman will direct collegiate educational programs; oversee student affairs processes, such as admissions, recruitment and orientation; lead accreditation processes; and represent the college nationally in public health education.

Uden-Holman, who joined the UI faculty in 1999, holds a doctoral degree in sociology from the UI. She currently serves as director of the Institute for Quality Healthcare, a regional consortium of health care organizations dedicated to the improvement of patient care. She also is deputy director of the College of Public Health-based Institute for Public Health Practice, which serves as the focal point for interactions involving the college and the public health practice community in Iowa, the upper Midwest and nationally. Uden-Holman also holds a secondary faculty appointment in the UI College of Nursing.

Uden-Holman's areas of research interest include public health workforce development, assessing the training and education needs of the public health workforce, improving patient safety and applying continuous quality improvement tools in health care organizations. She teaches a graduate course in quantitative management in health care and offers a wide variety of local and regional continuing medical education presentations.

Uden-Holman succeeds J. Jackson Barnette, Ph.D., the College of Public Health's first associate dean for education and student affairs, who left the UI on June 30 to become professor of biostatistics and senior dean for education and student affairs at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health.

In her role as assistant dean, Aquilino will direct the M.P.H. program and oversee M.P.H. processes such as recruitment, admissions, orientation and academic advising; work with departments, colleges and Iowa Regents institutions to coordinate M.P.H. focus areas, subtracks, and dual and joint degrees; assure the quality of educational programs; and represent the college nationally in M.P.H. program development.

The M.P.H. degree is recognized as the primary professional degree in public health. The M.P.H. program prepares students for practice by instructing them in the core disciplines of public health and exposing them to practice settings where these disciplines are applied.

Aquilino completed an M.S.N./F.N.P. degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1982. In 1993, she earned a Ph.D. from the UI in instructional design and technology/health sciences education. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the UI in 1997. She joined the UI College of Public Health faculty in 2002. Aquilino currently serves as the deputy director of the Iowa Tobacco Research Center, which conducts innovative research and education on tobacco use, prevention and control.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.

CONTACT(S): Media: Debra Venzke, 319-335-9647,

PHOTOS: Photos available: Dr. Mary Aquilino:; Dr. Joe Coulter:; Dr. Tanya Uden-Holman: