Move In 2019: New dean Youngblade shares vision for College of Health and Human Sciences

Lise Youngblade

Lise Youngblade is the new dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences.

Lise Youngblade, who took the reins of the College of Health and Human Sciences on Aug. 5, is energized by the state of the college — and its potential for growth and innovation.

Youngblade succeeded Jeff McCubbin, who retired after serving as dean for eight years.

“I’d like to thank Jeff for his leadership over the past eight years” she said. “This is an opportune time to come in as a new dean, because the college is in great shape. We are in a strong place, and that gives us unparalleled opportunity to think about where we set our next benchmarks and refine and grow our pillars of excellence.”

Youngblade’s goals include enhancing the college’s research enterprise and broadening conversations about the impact of its research. Among her ideas is to host an all-college research and creative artistry day in the spring to present and celebrate the work of students and faculty, and highlight the breadth and depth of the research and creative activities in the college.

Interdisciplinary pillars

Youngblade also wants to build the college’s teaching infrastructure, since it is home to some of the most popular majors on campus. She said that in addition to expanding teaching innovations and the effective high-impact practices already evident across the college, she wants to build enrollment by increasing CHHS’ recruiting presence in high schools, so that prospective students learn about majors in the college sooner than their sophomore or junior year at CSU.

“We are in a strong place, and that gives us unparalleled opportunity to think about where we set our next benchmarks and refine and grow our pillars of excellence.” — Lise Youngblade

“I’d love to recruit students who are introduced to our programs and potential careers early, and intentionally come into our college majors from day one,” Youngblade said.

She added that she would like to see growth in graduate programs as well — higher enrollment in existing programs as well as the creation of new ones. Consistent with her goals to build research infrastructure in the college, she would also like to see increased opportunities for graduate research funding in the college.

When asked about areas of potential expansion within the college, Youngblade said she wants to work with the faculty to identify interdisciplinary pillars, or themes, around which multiple CHHS units can collaborate. She is looking forward to working with college leadership and faculty to intentionally build and communicate these pillars, toward the goal that all of the college units are involved in at least one of these core thematic areas of excellence.

Jeff McCubbin
Jeff McCubbin

“We have probably the most diverse college on campus, in terms of the breadth of disciplines represented in it,” Youngblade said. “So, how do we intentionally elevate the quality and the impact of work we do by working together on grand themes? Where is our potential for transformational change? How do we organize our strengths to pursue the big research questions, the innovations in teaching, the breakthroughs in application that drive these core areas of health and human sciences?”

New leadership

Youngblade, who served as head of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies from 2006 until taking over as dean, said two department head searches will be conducted in the college in the coming academic year — one for her successor in HDFS and one for the Department of Construction Management, where Mehmet Ozbek is interim department head. In HDFS, Debbie Fidler will serve as interim department head, Nathaniel Riggs will be interim associate department head, and Jennifer Aberle will serve as interim assistant department head.

At the college level, School of Social Work Director Audrey Shillington will continue as associate dean for academic affairs, while Professor Matthew Hickey of the Department of Health and Exercise Science will serve as associate dean for research and graduate programs on an interim basis while a search is conducted. Youngblade said she also plans to name two new assistant deans: one for diversity/equity/inclusion and one for community/industry engagement.

“I love the start of the new academic year – new and returning students and faculty bring their hopes, expectations and potential for what we can achieve together,” she said. “I feel that same anticipation and excitement in starting this position and having the opportunity to work with the incredible faculty, staff and students in the College of Health and Human Sciences.”