Northeastern appoints Susan Parish dean of Bouvé College of Health Sciences

Northeastern University has appointed Susan L. Parish dean of the Bouvé College of Health Sciences, effective March 15, 2017.

A public health scholar, Parish comes to Northeastern from Brandeis University, where she is the Nancy Lurie Marks Professor of Disability Policy and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and inaugural director of the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy.

“Dr. Parish is an accomplished public health scholar and proven leader who brings great experience in growing research and external funding at a private university and launching programs that empower students,” said James C. Bean, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “I’m impressed with the vision she brings to Bouvé, and I’m thrilled to welcome her to Northeastern.”

As director, Parish increased annual external revenues of the institute from $200,000 in 2010 to over $2 million in 2016. As principal investigator or co-principal investigator, Parish was responsible for almost $10 million in external research funding during this same time period. Under her leadership, the institute launched a federally funded postdoctoral research training program in disability and health disparities and a private foundation-funded undergraduate fellowship program in disability policy, including student scholarship funding.

“I am delighted to join Northeastern and the Bouvé College of Health Sciences,” Parish said. “Northeastern is an international leader in higher education innovation, and the university offers the perfect home for research, teaching, and public engagement that addresses urgent global health needs. Bouvé is poised to partner with the university’s other colleges to provide cross-disciplinary leadership in all aspects of health and healthcare at this critical juncture in the nation’s history.”

From 2013 to 2016, Parish served as the associate dean for research of the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis. In this role she provided management and oversight of the Heller School’s $18 million externally funded research portfolio. She also implemented awards to recognize research excellence, launched a seed funding initiative, improved the visibility of Heller School faculty and researchers, and strengthened data reporting systems for funded researchers. Prior to her role as associate dean, Parish directed the Heller School’s doctoral program in social policy.

Parish joined the Brandeis University faculty in 2010. Her primary research interests examine the health and financial well-being of children and adults with disabilities and their caregiving families. She has published analyses of public health, poverty, family support, and income transfer policies as they impact people with disabilities and their families. Her current projects include investigations of poverty causes and consequences for families raising children with disabilities, racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare access of children with autism, parenting by adults with disabilities, and pregnancy outcomes for women with intellectual disabilities. Her research is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Prior to Brandeis, Parish served on the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and as a project director and policy analyst at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Parish has received numerous awards for her teaching and research including the Padgett Early Career Achievement Award from the Society for Social Work and Research, and the Research Matters! award from The Arc of the United States. She is a fellow of the American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, a fellow of the Society of Social Work Research, and a member of the National Academy on Social Insurance.

Parish holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Master of Social Work from Rutgers University and a doctorate in public health from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Parish succeeds Jack Reynolds, who has served as Bouvé’s interim dean for nearly two years and will continue that work until Parish’s arrival, at which time he will return to his role as dean of the School of Pharmacy.