New dean of School of Public Health to start in spring semester

Dr. Boris D. Lushniak will officially begin his term as dean of the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health Jan. 9.

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Lushniak currently works at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) in Bethesda. He has experience working in the field of epidemiology, developing health policy and advocating for prevention, health and wellness in communities.

Before becoming a part of the USUHS community, Lushniak served as the U.S. Deputy Surgeon General and Acting U.S. Surgeon General, and retired from the USPHS as a Rear Admiral in 2015.

“I’m very enthusiastic to be leading a school that is dedicated to education at both the undergraduate and graduate levels,” Lushniak said. “A key component of the mission is to be able to get students involved and enthusiastic about the field of public health right off the bat, and for them to realize that public health is a vibrant and active area of study which can influence the health of our communities.”

According to Lushniak, the university intrigued him because of several factors, including the prestigious programs the school has to offer.

“The school has an undergraduate program, which gets students involved and enthusiastic about public health right off the bat,” Lushniak said. “It is critical for students in our graduate programs to be in an environment that gives them the tools to be the next generation of health leaders.”

With the growth of modern technology, Lushniak expects to see the School of Public Health expand in ways it had not in the past.

“We’re on the fringe of understanding how we can really change the influence of public health through social media,” Lushniak said. “I’m really interested in having the school pursue that.”

Lushniak hopes to form stronger relations with the university’s other campuses, specifically Baltimore.

“I think he cares,” said Dr. Nancy Smith, lecturer and academic advisor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health. “It seems like he’s going to be a very fair sort of overseer to the School of Public Health, and he comes with fabulous knowledge in the field, so I’m excited.”

“He seems to have the right enthusiasm, the right background and credentials, and what he said in terms of his prior accomplishments left me very optimistic,” said public health Professor Kenneth Beck.

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