Rice named assistant dean for master’s degree programs at the Gillings School

February 1, 2021

Dr. Dana Rice

Dr. Dana Rice

Leadership at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health announced today that Dana Rice, DrPH, assistant professor in the Public Health Leadership Program, has been appointed to the position of assistant dean of master’s degree programs.

Rice holds a Doctor of Public Health degree with a concentration in social and behavioral health from Boston University School of Public Health, a Master of Science degree in health services research from Wayne State University School of Medicine and a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Clark-Atlanta University.

In her research, Rice examines best practices in public health leadership and community engagement with a health equity, social justice and human rights lens. She currently teaches the Gillings School’s Master of Public Health (MPH) Integrated Learning Experience (ILE) course for students in the Leadership in Practice, Health Policy and Management, and Nutrition and Nutrition/Registered Dietician concentrations. She also teaches a series of elective courses on mass criminalization, mass incarceration and public health. She a recipient of the student-nominated Award for Excellence in Teaching and Innovation and the peer-nominated Delta Omega Faculty Award, and she was recently selected as a UNC Equity in Teaching fellow.

“The schoolwide MPH degree, including residential, online and distance formats, and several of our other master’s degrees, have experienced a significant increase in applications and enrollment over the past two years,” said Laura Linnan, ScD, senior associate dean for academic and student affairs and professor of health behavior. “As enrollment grows, we recognize the importance of having a leader who has the experience, vision and energy to help us continue to grow, improve and strive to achieve the best possible curriculum and opportunities for graduate students who are seeking public health training. We are thrilled to find that leader in Dr. Dana Rice.”

Prior to coming to the Gillings School, Rice spent 20 years working in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Her most recent work was dedicated to designing, implementing and evaluating an HIV and sexually transmitted disease screening program in a large urban jail. She also trained graduate public health and medical students in translating applied public health practice skills to a variety of community settings.

She was the first recipient of the Outstanding New Researcher in HIV Prevention Award, Program Collaboration and Service Integration Track by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for her dissertation work and was a W.K. Kellogg Emerging Leader in Public Health fellow at the Gillings School and the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC-Chapel Hill.

“This is a terrific opportunity for a terrific person,” said Anna Schenck, PhD, associate dean for practice and director of the Public Health Leadership Program. “I couldn’t be more thrilled! It’s a win-win all the way around – for Dana, for our program and for the School!”

In her role as assistant dean for master’s degree programs, she will oversee the largest degree program in the Gillings School – the Master of Public Health – in its three formats: residential, online (MPH@UNC) and distance (Asheville). She will also be a liaison for all program leads in departments with other master’s degrees (Master of Science in Public Health, Master of Healthcare Administration, Master of Science in Environmental Engineering, Master of Science in Clinical Research and all Master of Science degrees) around issues of academic planning, reporting and quality assurance.

She will work closely with MPH program staff, faculty and concentration leads to focus on continuous quality improvement of the integrated MPH Core and other MPH degree requirements, such as practicums, comprehensive exams and integrated learning (“culminating”) experiences.

This appointment is effective immediately.


Contact the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health communications team at sphcomm@unc.edu.

Recent News