Greetings from Dr. Stephen R. Hooper

As I begin my tenure as Associate Dean and Chair for the Department of Allied Health Sciences (DAHS), I am truly excited about the future. My arrival could not have gone better, thanks in part to an extremely thoughtful welcoming event on January 7 (Thanks to all involved!).

Greetings from Dr. Stephen R. Hooper click to enlarge Dr. Stephen R. Hooper, Chair and Associate Dean for Allied Health Sciences

I am gratified to be learning more and more about our outstanding faculty and staff, and energized by the superb student body that comes through our doors.  We truly recruit the best students and provide not just excellent educational opportunities, but also leadership and career opportunities.  As I have learned, the employment rates of our graduates are nearly 100%, with many of them moving into leadership roles—including research roles.

Our research enterprise is growing, with a number of innovative projects that are ongoing and in the pipeline.  Although extramural funding has become more challenging over the past several years, I believe that with our faculty expertise we will continue to “push the needle forward.”  We are housed within a strong school of medicine, and an unquestionably outstanding university system, and faculty should not hesitate to reach out to colleagues in other departments, programs, or campuses to pursue new ideas.  These types of collaborative endeavors will facilitate our grant success, encourage long-term interdisciplinary relationships, and promote innovative scientific discoveries.  I want to be “bullish” on research as these efforts will provide for expansion within the department.

I also am pleased to see the excellent clinical initiatives that serve clients in the local community, hospital, and across the state.  This is clearly an area for ongoing, strategic growth for our department, with a particular eye toward involving our students and faculty in various clinical research enterprises.  These types of activities will distinguish the DAHS as the “go to place” for research expertise in allied health, and will encourage active involvement of our faculty in changing systems-of-care and practice policies based on evidence-based models for allied health providers across the country.

I am excited to assume a leadership role in the DAHS and pledge to work diligently to further research endeavors as part of our larger mission.  I know that the research enterprise of the DAHS is a key component of our strategic plan, and consequently a targeted starting point for our moving forward together.  I look forward to working with everyone over the years ahead to make our research initiatives, and our department, the best in the country.

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