Melissa Clark appointed Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Melissa Clark, PhD, Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice has been appointed Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

As Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Melissa Clark will oversee the portfolio of academic degree programs offered through the School of Public Health and represent Public Health with the Dean of the College, the Graduate School, the Registrar’s Office, and relevant University committees.

Melissa began her career at Brown in 1995 as a postdoctoral fellow and joined the faculty in 1997 as an Assistant Professor (Research) in the Department of Community Health and the Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research. Throughout her tenure, Melissa has been committed to Brown’s mission of teaching and mentorship. She has taught several popular courses, including “Introduction to Public Health” and “Applied Research Methods” (now “Survey Research Methods”), and has mentored many undergraduate, master's, and doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty. In 2014, Melissa received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring in Public Health. We are excited for her to bring her broad academic experience to her new role. Melissa will continue her research portfolio as a faculty scholar in the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute and as Director of the School’s Survey Center. She is a survey methodologist with more than 25 years of experience. Her methodological expertise is in sampling, questionnaire development, psychometric analyses, and data collection methodologies.

Melissa succeeds Don Operario, Ph.D., who returns to full-time teaching and research. Don has served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the School of Public Health since 2015. His accomplishments have been numerous in academic initiatives as well as important school-wide projects. Don was part of the leadership team involved in the School’s initial Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accreditation, and continuing accreditation implementation and compliance with accreditation standards. He led the team that redesigned the public health undergraduate curriculum and increased support for undergraduate advising. He co-led the planning, development, design, and initial implementation of the Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan for the School of Public Health. He led the development of the Master’s in Global Public Health and other curricular innovations such as the undergraduate Engaged Scholars Program and the graduate curriculum in mindfulness. Don also chaired the School of Public Health Curriculum Committee and Graduate Studies Committee, which provide review and priorities regarding curricular innovation, integration, and instruction. Finally, he was a key member of the Steering Committees for both the 2014-2019 and 2019-2024 strategic plans for the School of Public Health.