Leaders from government, medicine, research, and more join strategic planning board
Indiana University's School of Public Health-Bloomington recently named seven new members to the Dean's advisory board, the Dean's Alliance. Established in 2005, the Dean's Alliance, provides guidance on strategic planning and support for the School of Public Health.
The newest Dean's Alliance members are: Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, an alumna of the School; Pierre Theodore, physician and Vice President, Medical Affairs, Global Public Health, for Johnson & Johnson; Greg Heller, also an alumnus of the School, and Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer for the Atlanta Braves; Arne Astrup, physician, eminent scientist, and Program Director at Novo Nordisk Foundation; Dennis E. Bland, Esq., President of the Center for Leadership Development, an Indianapolis-based non-profit dedicated to the advancement of minority youth; Kristin Bloink, veterinarian, Chairperson, Elanco Foundation, and Vice President of Global Research and Exploratory Development at Elanco Animal Health; and Theodore Widlanski, accomplished scientist and professor with the IU Department of Chemistry.
"Each of our Dean's Alliance members serve crucial roles," says Dean David B. Allison. "From our ongoing push to increase inclusion and diversity to our increasingly vigorous focus on scientific rigor, they continually help us to define and actualize these and our many other institutional goals."
For example, notes Assistant Dean of Operations Brandon Howell, "Dr. Pierre Theodore is a skilled physician with considerable acumen in many areas of health research." Theodore was also recently awarded the 2020 GlobalMindED Inclusive Leader Award in health & wellness.
Dr. Theodore Widlanski is also new to the Dean's Alliance; however, he has been with IU since 1989. Some of Widlanski's research interests include the study of the signal transduction pathway components associated with cancer, HIV, and other disease states. "Dr. Widlanski is an outstanding life scientist with a keen interest in fitness," Howell says.
Another eminent scientist, Professor Arne Astrup is internationally recognized for his work in obesity research. Before accepting his role as Program Director at Novo Nordisk Foundation, he served as a professor at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and headed the university's Department of Human Nutrition and Department of Life Sciences.
And, including designing human clinical trials, developing veterinary pharmaceuticals, and more, Dr. Kristin Bloink has extensive experience in both human and veterinary medicine. As Vice President of Global Research and Exploratory Development at Elanco Animal Health, she focuses on the discovery and evaluation of new technologies.
For their part, some of the new members also happen to be Indiana University alumni. For instance, Governor Laura Kelly earned her Masters in therapeutic recreation from IU. After working in the healthcare field as a recreation therapist and leading the Kansas Recreation and Park Association, Kelly went on to serve four terms in the Kansas Senate. She became Kansas' 48th governor in 2019.
And Dennis Bland holds a JD from the IU McKinney School of Law. He specialized in medical- and insurance-related law for several years before taking on his role as President of the Center for Leadership Development. The non-profit group helps minority youth to develop and advance both academically and professionally.
Greg Heller has a BS cum laude in sports marketing and management from IU and has worked as legal counsel to the Atlanta Braves for more than 20 years. "We believe he will add an important perspective on commerce and stewardship for our Sports Marketing and Management major as well as other related programs," Howell continues.