First Impressions

Dean Marion Underwood Photo by MGMarshall Photography

Hello! I am thrilled and honored to be selected as the next dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences. I hope this message will be the start of an extended conversation with HHS alumni and friends as I strive to build on the tremendous success of Dean Ladisch. I am excited to continue Purdue’s long tradition of academic excellence and strong commitment to making a first-rate education more accessible.

I join the University as it celebrates its sesquicentennial and plans a future filled with giant leaps in solving global problems. I will soon start to work with faculty, staff and students on a strategic planning process to develop the next vision for the College of Health and Human Sciences. I see tremendous potential for HHS to make groundbreaking discoveries in areas such as digital health and wellness, optimal nutrition and obesity prevention, and vital longevity and end-of-life care, but I am eager to hear all of your ideas. I look forward to taking the next giant leaps with you.

As the daughter of a university professor who grew up in college towns (Canyon, Texas, and Manhattan, Kansas), I am already enjoying living in West Lafayette. I am impressed by the creative, collaborative and friendly people I have met both at Purdue and in the community. As I join the Purdue and HHS families, I am accompanied by my husband, Andrew, an avid runner and fellow clinical psychologist, and our three (small!) dogs.  We hope for frequent visits from our young adult daughters, one a sophomore psychology major at Scripps College and one a recent mathematics/economics graduate of Oberlin College working as a research assistant at the Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C.

I am so excited to lead this diverse, vibrant and dynamic college devoted to the idea of making lives better. As a child clinical psychologist, I have always believed in the importance of training practitioners and scientists, with the ultimate goal of improved quality of life and health for us all. My own research focuses on adolescents’ peer relationships and how they use digital communication, including text messaging and social media. I am an enthusiastic teacher and love working with students at all levels in a variety of settings. As much as I enjoy research and teaching, I realized years ago what brings me the greatest joy is investing in developing other people: helping students soar, faculty members flourish, staff excel, and supporting all of us in inventing our own best lives.

Hail Purdue!

Marion K. Underwood

Marion K. Underwood

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