Marion K. Underwood
Dean, College of Health and Human Sciences
Distinguished Professor, Psychological Sciences
Welcome to the College of Health and Human Sciences. We seek to improve the quality of human lives by generating groundbreaking knowledge and educating excellent practitioners to help us all to invent our own best lives. This creative, dynamic, interdisciplinary college is uniquely positioned to solve some of the most pressing challenges of our time. Our people, academic programs, research, and engagement efforts focus on developmental health and wellness, healthy lifestyles and vital longevity, and sustainable organizations and thriving communities. I see tremendous opportunity for HHS to make pioneering discoveries in areas such as digital health and wellness; optimal nutrition and obesity prevention; and vital longevity and end-of-life care. I am eager to hear your ideas. Together, we will advance HHS as a national leader in enhancing human health and well-being at every stage of the life span.
Marion K. Underwood began her professional career in 1991 as an assistant professor of psychology at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, 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. Dr. Underwood is a graduate of Wellesley College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and she holds a master’s degree and doctoral degree, both in clinical psychology, from Duke University.
Dr. Underwood is one of the foremost researchers in the developmental origins and outcomes of social aggression and how adolescents’ digital communication relates to adjustment. Her work appears in numerous scientific journals, and the National Institutes of Health has supported her research program since 1995. In 2003, she authored the book, Social Aggression among Girls, and in 2015, she was featured in the CNN special report "#Being13: Inside the Secret World of Teens.” Since 2003, Dr. Underwood and her research group have been conducting a longitudinal study on the origins and outcomes of social aggression and how adolescents use digital communication. Underwood, an Association of Psychological Sciences Fellow, is a recipient of the National Institute of Mental Health’s FIRST Award as well as the NIMH Independent Scientist Career Award.
Underwood succeeds Christine M. Ladisch who served as inaugural dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences, July 2010-June 2018.