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First HSHP Dean candidate presents ideas on equity strategies and interdisciplinary studies

Kristin+Landis-Piwowar+visited+the+campus+community+Feb.+12+to+engage+with+students%2C+staff+and+faculty+of+the+college.+She+was+the+first+candidate+for+the+position+to+present+and+visit+the+college.
Maddy Tanzman
Kristin Landis-Piwowar visited the campus community Feb. 12 to engage with students, staff and faculty of the college. She was the first candidate for the position to present and visit the college.

Kristin Landis-Piwowar, associate provost for academic affairs at Oakland University located in Rochester, Michigan, was the first candidate for the Dean of the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance to visit the Ithaca College campus and engage with the community. She presented Feb. 12 in the Klingenstein Lounge, with 17 campus community members in attendance, both faculty and staff.

The candidate gave a presentation and answered questions from the faculty in a 45-minute Q&A session. Landis-Piwowar began by speaking about the importance of place, progress and philosophy of teaching. 

In terms of place, Landis-Piwowar spoke about the underserved communities that are interspersed between the rural areas around Tompkins County. 

“It shows me that there are some really diverse learning experiences for students with both an urban population and a more rural population and having connections to various community partners gives other perspectives for students as they’re learning and experiencing within Ithaca College,” Landis-Piwowar said.

Landis-Piwowar spoke about the college’s nutrition minor and the level of expertise in that field. She said there is an opportunity to introduce a master’s program of public health and physician assistant dual degree but did not go in-depth about a possible plan.

The School of HSHP has graduate degrees in exercise science, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician assistant studies and speech-language pathology — including the college’s first online SLP master’s program

“[These] options for various programs can really attract students to have a different world and to come to Ithaca College and the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance,” Landis-Piwowar said.

Next, she spoke about progress within the college and referred to equity efforts listed within the Ithaca Forever Strategic Plan. She said that although progress is happening on campus, it is a challenge. 

“You all know that a more diverse population of students and graduates leads to a more diverse workforce,” Landis-Piwowar said. “And most importantly, that leads to better patient outcomes, because people will see our care from those who look like themselves. So it’s a place where I definitely think that … we should be focusing and prioritizing a more diverse student body, and certainly with faculty and staff as well.” Landis-Piwowar then spoke about the philosophy of teaching at the college and said experiential learning is essential at the institution. She said the School of HSHP should be a model for interconnection between fields of study.

“There’s great opportunity … [for] interdisciplinary work and interprofessional education,” Landis-Piwowar said. “That leads to improved outcomes for the patients, the athletes, the communities with which our graduates will then serve by having the ideals of interdisciplinary and interprofessional education be a part of who the graduates are.”

Raj Subramaniam, professor in the Department of Health Sciences and Public Health, asked Landis-Piwowar about her experience in fostering diversity, equity and inclusion, a piece of expertise the candidate listed on her resume.

Landis-Piwowar said she helped create a program called ECLIPSE, Explorations in Collaborative Leadership and InterProfessional Education in the School of Health Sciences at Oakland University. She said this program created a sense of belonging for students and taught them about social injustices within the healthcare system.

“It was also really important that within that program, we built our concepts of social justice so that students who were going out into the workforce have an understanding that there are lots of people who are not like them, and that they need to be ready to encounter people of all different cultures and all different backgrounds,” Landis-Piwowar said.

Subramaniam asked Landis-Piwowar what her first priority would be at Ithaca College if she were to be selected as the new dean of the School of HSHP. The candidate said her first priority would be to bring philanthropy to the school with fundraisers and events for alumni.

“I think it’s important to understand everybody here and the needs of the faculty and the staff and ultimately, the needs of the students so that they can be the most successful graduates that they could possibly be,” Landis-Piwowar said.

Faculty members in the School of HSHP are not eligible for tenure; instead, instructors in the school can eventually be promoted to faculty. When asked if she would continue to support this, Landis-Piwowar said she would continue to support the ability of promotion. 

“100%,” Landis-Piwowar said. “I think it shows how much we care about the clinical faculty and that there’s value to having these people who are so committed to students and the profession. Absolutely. I would very much support that.”

Elizabeth Bergman, associate professor in the Department of Health Sciences and Public Health who specializes in gerontology, asked Landis-Piwowar how she would help increase student numbers in fields like gerontology. Landis-Piwowar said it could be helpful to make studying gerontology open to older populations, who may not have a college degree but have some college experience, not just college-age students. 

“I can see how that work in gerontology could also be something that’s targeted to different populations,” Landis-Piwowar said. “Getting [18-year-olds] to that space is probably easier done when they’re an older person wanting to learn when they’re a bit more mature.”

Following Landis-Piwowar, two other candidates will speak to the campus community Feb. 14 and Feb. 16. Students are welcome to a meet-and-greet before each candidate speaks in the Klingenstein Lounge.

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Vivian is an assistant News Editor for The Ithacan.
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    Chris HummelFeb 15, 2024 at 1:45 pm

    I wanted to clarify what was reported in the article above: Faculty members in the School of HSHP are not eligible for tenure; instead, instructors in the school can eventually be promoted to faculty.
    This statement is not accurate. There are many tenured and tenure eligible faculty in HSHP. The conversation being referenced regarded NTEN faculty within HSHP. HSHP has many Clinical and NTEN Faculty that are not eligible for tenure but provide essential clinical expertise in the many accredited programs in the school. They are eligible to be promoted as per department/college policies and procedures.

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