“It’s schmoozing,” said Dean Celia Hooper, welcoming a faculty member who popped in. “It’s ‘Talk with the Dean.'”
The informal event was marked by conversations about family and former work experiences, as attendees gathered around a table. Questions and topics broached ranged from the new middle college, of which HHS is the sponsor, to online learning, to community support for HHS and UNCG, to the economy and the budget.
“I’ve been in the UNC system 25 years,” Hooper said, referring to the budget cuts and the economy. “It’s the worst I’ve ever seen. But it’ll get better.”
The morning event was part of what Hooper calls her “listening tour.”
As the event drew to a close, Hooper spoke with CW:
On her recent web posting, where she refers to HHS’s commitment to “improving the human condition”:
A UNCG alumnus suggested that line, Hooper explained, as he spoke of the heritage of the former schools of HES and HHP. The faculty of the new HHS school were largely drawn from those two schools. “Not only in the name of the school but in what they do, they improve the human condition,” he told her. She added, “When you look at ‘Human Environmental Sciences’ and ‘Health and Human Performance,’ the common word is ‘human’. He stressed that you realize how special the [new] school is. It doesn’t mean that every single faculty member has a human project, but it’s a theme that ties us together.”
About her ‘listening tour’:
“I did that when I was a new department chair. I did it when I was a new dean in the past. Whenever you come into a new job, there are new people. You don’t know what they do. And you saw today, you don’t know about them personally. I just talk with them and find out what their passion is. Often I take notes when I go visit with faculty. And I stick them in a file, and later there may be an opportunity that comes along – maybe a research grant or a donor or some people on campus will want to do something. I will already know, ‘Hey, why don’t you talk with so and so.’ My job is to serve them and help them do a better job.”
“Based on what I already know about all of our faculty in seven departments and two programs and three centers, this particular group of people is very committed to community connections. The fancy term is ‘scholarship of engagement.’ This is going to be a special feature of the school. Not every single faculty member but every department or program is connected to Greensboro or the state or the nation or globally in some program that isn’t insulated.”
The school’s departments and program are in various locations, as the new HHS web site notes:
- Ferguson Building: Communication Sciences & Disorders and the Therapeutic Recreation lab of the Department of Community and Therapeutic Recreation.
- Stone Building: Nutrition, Human Development & Family Studies and Social Work.
- HHP Building: Community and Therapeutic Recreation, Kinesiology, Public Health Education, and the main offices and classrooms of the middle college.
- McIver Building: Genetic Counseling Program and the Gerontology Program.
- The HHS Office of Academic Outreach is on Oakland Avenue,
- The Speech and Hearing Program (and Telepractice) is at the Gateway University Research Park North Campus.
The Health and Human Sciences web page is www.uncg.edu/hhs.
The dean’s blog, to help everyone stay informed, is at http://uncgdeanblog.wordpress.com/
Additionally, a doctoral student has opened an HHS Facebook page: www.facebook.com/UNCG.HHS
Visual: Dean Celia Hooper at a recent meeting
By Mike Harris
Photograph by Chris English