April 20, 2018

UT Dallas dean to take helm of Purdue’s Health and Human Sciences

Marion K. Underwood Marion K. Underwood Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — An Association of Psychological Sciences Fellow has been named the new dean of Purdue University’s College of Health and Human Sciences.

Marion K. Underwood, dean of graduate studies and associate provost at the University of Texas at Dallas, was selected from a group of four finalists following a national search. She will join Purdue on Aug. 1.

“Marion Underwood is a top-notch addition to our College of Health and Human Sciences,” Purdue President Mitch Daniels said. “She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge that will help Purdue students expand their horizons and aspire to achieve even more.”

Underwood graduated from Wellesley College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1986. She received her master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from Duke University in 1987 and 1991, respectively.

Underwood began her professional career in 1991 as an assistant professor of psychology at Reed College in Portland, where she earned tenure before moving to the University of Texas at Dallas in 1998. She was associate dean of programs and administration in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences from 2013-15 before becoming dean of graduate studies and associate provost. She also was the Ashbel Smith Professor of Psychological Sciences at UT Dallas.

Underwood’s research focuses on adolescents’ social relationships, developmental origins and outcomes of social aggression and how adolescents’ engagement with text messaging and social media influences their relationships and adjustment. Her work has been published in numerous scientific journals, and her research program has been supported by the National Institutes of Health since 1995.

“I am honored to be selected to lead such a strong, dynamic college at Purdue,” Underwood said. “I look forward to working with highly talented faculty, staff and students to build on current strengths and to create new programs and initiatives to help us all invent better lives.”

In her role at Purdue, Underwood will be responsible for nine academic units in HHS. They are consumer science; health and kinesiology; health sciences; hospitality and tourism management; human development and family studies; nursing; nutrition science; psychological sciences; and speech, language and hearing sciences. In addition, HHS academic units collaborate in the administration of the public health graduate program.

“We are thrilled to have Marion joining us here at Purdue leading this important college,” said Jay Akridge, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity. “She has the administrative experience, scholarly reputation, passion, energy and vision to lead the college to new levels of excellence and impact.”

Underwood succeeds Christine Ladisch, who has served as inaugural dean since the College of Health and Human Sciences was launched in 2010. 

Writer: Megan Huckaby 

Sources: Mitch Daniels, president@purdue.edu

Jay Akridge, akridge@purdue.edu

Marion K. Underwood

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