September 08, 2008

Dr. Jo Anne Earp

Dr. Jo Anne Earp

Jo Anne Earp, ScD, was appointed interim chair of the UNC School of Public Health’s Department of Health Behavior and Health Education (HBHE), Dean Barbara K. Rimer announced Friday (Sept. 5).

Earp, who was HBHE chair for nine years, takes over for Edwin Fisher, PhD, professor of health behavior and health education, who left the chair position to become Global Director of Peers for Progress, a program to promote peer support in diabetes management around the world. Fisher remains a member of the HBHE faculty.

Earp joined the School of Public Health in 1974 as one of its first women faculty members. She chaired the department from 1996 until Fisher was appointed in 2005 and has continued to work as a HBHE professor.

She received the Carolina Women’s Leadership Council’s 2008 Faculty Mentoring Award, particularly for her work with students. The award recognizes outstanding faculty members who “guide, mentor and lead students and/or junior faculty as they make important career decisions, embark on innovative research challenges, and enrich their lives through public service, teaching and educational opportunities.”

“I am so grateful that Jo Anne agreed to serve,” Rimer said. “She has contributed so much more than her share of service to HBHE, and I appreciate her willingness to become interim chair. I am confident that with background as a highly effective chair for nine years, there will be a seamless transition. I welcome her as part of the School’s senior leadership.”

Earp added, “I’m delighted to serve my department and the School of Public Health in any capacity I’m called on to do so, especially under Dean Rimer’s leadership. Health Behavior and Health Education is a strong department, in a terrific position to have a great impact on the state and the nation, and I am privileged to serve as its chair again in this interim position.”

Rimer said the search for a HBHE chair will begin very soon.

In announcing Earp’s appointment, Rimer also thanked Fisher for his contributions to the department.

“Dr. Fisher has led some important changes during the time he has been chair,” she said. “I am especially grateful for his leadership in recruiting strong assistant professors, increasing diversity within the department and growing our global strength.”

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School of Public Health contact: Ramona DuBose, director of communications, (919) 966-7467 or



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