Dean’s Welcome

Happy New Year!  It is so nice to see everyone back from the holidays – rested, energetic and wearing big smiles. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) Team for a wonderful fall 2017 semester. We made great progress on our 2017-18 strategic priorities. I would also like to welcome our new faculty and staff members to TEAM CHHS, including our newly hired Assistant Dean for Community Engagement, Ashley Wells!

In December, I had the honor of traveling with Dr. Art Frankel, faculty, graduate students and an alumnus to India. What a wonderful experience this trip was! In addition to our co-hosting an international conference on social work, where I presented a keynote address, we interacted with faculty, staff and students from St. Joseph’s College in Bangalore and engaged in numerous cultural activities to gain an understanding of this wonderful country. I was so proud of our students and faculty throughout the experience. I look forward to continuing to develop our collaborative efforts with St. Joseph’s, as well as exploring new collaborations with other institutions throughout India.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the new Allied Health Building—now called Veterans Hall—took place on January 18 at the building site. It was simply a wonderful occasion. It was good to see so many faculty, staff, students and community members turn out for this momentous occasion. I know you will enjoy the pictures of this event. I am told that construction will commence March 1, with completion projected for 2020.

Congratulations to the CHHS faculty, staff and students, particularly those within the School of Nursing, for leading UNCW to a ranking of the 7th Best Online Bachelor’s Program in the nation on the U.S. News & World Report list of Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. The RN-BSN and BS in Clinical Research programs were the primary drivers that helped UNCW achieve this ranking.

Click here to read the University’s press release, which provides in-depth information about this ranking.

In addition to the great work of our teammates in the School of Nursing, special thanks goes to the CHHS Student Success Center and the CHHS Academic Affairs Operations and Business Core Service Teams. Finally, I would be remiss if I did not highlight the great work of our university partners: the College of Arts and Sciences, the Cameron School of Business, the Office of Admissions, the Office of Financial Aid, the Office of the Registrar, Information Technology Services, the Office of e-Learning, the Office of the Provost and the Division of Business Affairs. The commitment on the part of individuals in all of these areas to the success of our students and programs is tremendous.

Dr. Laurie Badzek, director of our School of Nursing, and I are planning a celebration reception to show our appreciation for this milestone. Please be on the lookout for an invitation in the near future! 

The Office of the Dean has moved! Following Commencement, we packed up and vacated ‘The Treasure’ located adjacent to McNeill Hall. We are now located in the back of campus in what used to be the Purchasing Services Building (731 Sawtooth Drive). We love our new space and welcome all to drop by and visit. With this move it will be important for all of us to make a special effort to get out of our offices and visit one another. If you need additional contact information for the Office of the Dean, please do not hesitate to contact Ximena Rheaume at

The College of Health and Human Services was established in 2010 as a doorway for the University of North Carolina Wilmington to make a positive impact on the health and quality of life of individuals, families and communities in Southeastern North Carolina and beyond. The overarching purpose of the CHHS is to help those in our local and global communities live healthier, more prosperous and empowered lives. This purpose is rooted in the core belief that every person should have an equal opportunity to enjoy a long and healthy life.

Our vision is bold and crisp: We enhance health and quality of life. Our mission is to create transformative learning experiences, advance knowledge through research and scholarly activity, and engage local and global communities.

This spring, we will continue to focus on bolstering our values of interprofessional collaboration, community engagement and impact, and team implementation science, which represent the three pillars of CHHS. Together we make a difference by working together, reaching out and enhancing lives!

In addition to this work, we will be focusing our attention on our five strategic goals:

  • Empower students through excellence in teaching and learning;
  • Foster excellence in research, scholarly activity, and innovation;
  • Engage in strong academic-community partnerships;
  • Facilitate involvement in professional service activities and leadership roles; and
  • Promote sustainability and continuous quality improvement.

We will need your help to accomplish these strategic goals. I encourage you to “Lean In” and be an active participant in the continued development of the CHHS.

This is an exciting time to be a member of TEAM CHHS. While I am so proud of what we have already accomplished during our start-up phase, I am thankful and humbled by the hard work and dedication of the faculty and staff, who, collectively, are the heart and soul of UNCW.  CHHS faculty and staff are simply the BEST! The CHHS Leadership Team pledges to continue our work to develop a culture that values each individual and promotes the conditions necessary for joyful work.

I am confident that 2018 will be a great year for CHHS!

CHHSTalk is a stakeholder marketing tool. The purpose is to communicate about the many things going on within the CHHS to remind us to remember why we do what we do.  That is to say, this E-Newsletter is the CHHS being its best self!  It is our hope that you find “Joy” while reading the CHHSTalk.  Please send your feedback and future story to .

Please mark your calendars for the CHHS Health and Human Services Week, April 9-13, 2018. More information about the events of this wonderful week will be forthcoming!