May 16, 2019

College of Health and Human Sciences announces new associate dean for research

Marion Underwood, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences, announced Thursday (May 9) the appointment of Jessica Huber as the next associate dean for research for the college, effective July 1.

Huber, currently the associate vice provost for faculty affairs, joined Purdue in 2001 as an assistant professor in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. She holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Health and Kinesiology and is founder and co-director of the Center for Research on Brain, Behavior, and Neurorehabilitation — CEREBBRAL. She has served in the Office of the Provost since 2018.

“My experience as associate vice provost for faculty affairs has been critical for my development as a leader and my preparation for taking on the role of associate dean for research in HHS,” Huber said. “I have loved working with everyone in the Provost’s Office and I am deeply indebted to Provost (Jay) Akridge and Vice Provost (Peter) Hollenbeck for their mentoring and support. I am looking forward to working with Dean Underwood and the rest of the HHS dean’s office to increase the visibility and impact of the amazing research being conducted in HHS.”

Huber’s primary area of research, funded by the National Institutes of Health, is speech motor control in healthy aging individuals and individuals with motor speech disorders, in particular Parkinson's disease. She also is interested in how individuals maintain balance in the face of other daily tasks, in particular while communicating. Huber is the creator of SpeechVive, a small, wearable device designed to improve communication in people with Parkinson’s disease. She served as a faculty fellow at the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship from 2012 to 2015. She was recognized with the Outstanding Commercialization Award for Purdue faculty and inducted into the Purdue Innovator Hall of Fame in 2013.

“She brings a breadth of administrative experience in developing and implementing initiatives and refining existing programs and processes,” Underwood said. “Her personal knowledge of entrepreneurship and commercialization will be extremely valuable to HHS innovators looking to license and/or commercialize inventions.”

Provost Jay Akridge praised Huber’s commitment to her role in faculty affairs.

“Jessica has brought exceptional insight and energy to our faculty development initiatives and to her leadership of the COACHE survey process. An outstanding scholar in her own right, she has been a passionate advocate for our faculty and has a deep commitment to supporting others that has led to creative new ideas for faculty development programming,” said Akridge, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity. “I’m confident she will bring this same leadership, passion, creativity and commitment to faculty success to her new role.” 

The search committee for the associate dean for research was chaired by Valerie Knopik, human development and family studies. Other members were:  

  • Jonathan Bauchet, consumer science.
  • Shirley Rietdyk, health and kinesiology.
  • Ulrike Dydak, health sciences.
  • Annmarie Nicely, hospitality and tourism management.
  • Azza Ahmed, nursing.
  • Kim Buhman, nutrition science.
  • Julia Chester, psychological sciences.
  • Alex Francis, speech, language and hearing sciences.
  • Melba Crawford, College of Engineering. 

Huber follows Dorothy Teegarden, who has served as associate dean for research and graduate programs since 2012.  Teegarden will remain on the faculty. Akridge plans to launch an internal search for Huber’s replacement as associate vice provost for faculty affairs in the fall.


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