Department Chair’s Message

Leslie A. Lytle, PhD Professor and Department Chair

Leslie A. Lytle, PhD
Professor and Department Chair


Welcome to the Department of Health Behavior!

We’re proud to be a part of the top-ranked Gillings School of Global Public Health and to have stellar faculty, students, and alumni. On behalf of all of these constituents, thank you for your interest in our department and our programs. I encourage you to browse our website and learn about our department.

Last spring, I had the honor of being invited to give the commencement address for a relatively new public health program. While brainstorming ideas for my talk, I thought about all of the people that have supported me in my career. I have been incredibly fortunate with mentors, colleagues, friends and family along the way who have helped me achieve my goals. In my commencement address, I used the analogy of having a “base camp” of people who provide support, encouragement and sustenance during life’s journey. I encouraged the new graduates to look for and nourish their own basecamps, reminding them not to overlook their fellow graduates and others—family, faculty mentors, staff advocates—present in the auditorium that morning.

I see base camps being developed every day here in the Department of Health Behavior at UNC. I see our students forging lifelong relationships with each other as well as with faculty, staff, and alumni located all over the country and world. In turn, it’s inspiring to see our HB family work with their deep and rich networks to help make the world a healthier and better place for everyone. HB alumni are highly trained and work worldwide conducting research, promoting evidence-based health behaviors, advocating for the reduction of health disparities and working to develop government policies that benefit everyone’s health. Individuals trained in Health Behavior at UNC work in a wide variety of areas including health screening promotion; tobacco control; intimate partner violence awareness and reduction; injury prevention and control; worksite health; HIV/AIDS education and infection reduction; peer support for chronic illnesses; patient advocacy; adolescent health; and obesity reduction and prevention—and there are many more! Our programs offer rigorous training and lots of support and opportunities to learn, practice and build base camps that last a lifetime and change lives.

Thank you for your interest in Health Behavior at Carolina.