Dr. Brian Walker named Director of Integrated Health Studies Program
Dr. Brian Walker, associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences and associate professor of biology, has been named the first director of Fairfield’s Integrated Health Studies Program, an interdisciplinary effort that draws from all academic disciplines on campus to combine a cutting-edge health studies curriculum in all five schools. In addition to the new curriculum, which is available to every undergraduate at Fairfield, new and exciting opportunities for applied learning, discovery, and student engagement will be developed under Dr. Walker’s leadership.
Dr. Lynn Babington, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, said, “Dr. Walker is the perfect choice for our first director of Integrated Health Studies at Fairfield. His energy and commitment to interdisciplinary study are a perfect match for the requirements of this new entrepreneurial endeavor.”
Fairfield has consistently responded to the rising need for health care expertise in America with new programs, research opportunities for faculty and students, and events featuring prominent speakers on health-related topics. In addition, Fairfield’s focus on health studies is a major component of the University’s capital campaign with the goal of creating a new generation of leaders who can respond to the unique health care needs of the future.
New health studies initiatives at Fairfield continue to develop, including the minor in health studies. Launched just last semester, it has quicky become the largest interdisciplinary minor on campus. The Guillet Summer Internship program, funded by Marc ’89 and Dana Guillet, selected its first student, Firdaus Kudia ’17 to serve as a full-time lab assistant supporting post-doctoral staff in the laboratory of Dr. Alan H. Beggs in the Division of Genetics at Boston Children’s Hospital. And finally, the School of Nursing received a major $10 million gift in support of a new, integrated nursing and health studies school. The nursing school was renamed the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies (Egan School) in honor of Mr. Egan’s mother.
As director of the Health Studies Initiative, Dr. Walker will work jointly with both the College of Arts and Sciences and the Egan School to develop the program.
Dr. Walker said, “It is an honor to be named the first director of Health Studies here at Fairfield. This initiative has already produced excellent research opportunities for faculty and students, and the new minor — now with more than 60 students —provides an exciting academic opportunity for all of our students. Health issues are relevant for us all — whether as a career choice, or simply because we will all have health issues confront us. Fairfield will lead the way with more programs, courses, research and other exciting activities related to health studies, which will benefit our students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community as a whole.”