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Cathedral of Learning in Fall

Four new associate deans to direct SHRS strategic initiatives

As SHRS' Strategic Plan for 2020-2025 takes shape, leadership is focused on implementing and integrating major school-wide initiatives that will enable our school to thrive and adapt to an emerging new era in higher education. The events of 2020, including the mass evolution of the delivery of our academic offerings, has us re-centering our focus to address a changing environment. That's why Dean Anthony Delitto named four faculty to new associate dean positions in October. Here's what they plan to do.

Our goal is for every graduate to be well-trained and ready to enter the workforce as an effective member of an elite health care team. The primary beneficiaries of these efforts are the patients and clients who will be in the care of graduates who have developed their knowledge and skills as interprofessional teammates.

Dr. David Beck, assistant professor and chair, Dept. of Physician Assistant Studies

In his new role, Beck will:

  • Lead the school’s efforts to enhance and coordinate students’ interprofessional studies across all departments and programs
  • Eliminate the siloed approach to education that is common among our 13 academic programs
  • Serve as the SHRS representative to collaborate with Health Sciences Schools colleagues and other related schools across campus

Dr. Kathy Kelly, associate dean for Academic Outreach and Advising (Photo)

I look forward to working with colleagues throughout the university to find effective ways to direct bright, motivated and diverse students our way. I am also excited to work with my colleagues in SHRS to enhance our portfolio of advising and mentoring and personalizing the SHRS student experience.

Dr. Kathy Kelly, associate professor, Dept. of Physical Therapy

In her new position, Kelly will:

  • Be an active participant in school recruitment activities including engaging high school students interested in health careers
  • Help build a pipeline of undergraduate students by expanding academic outreach for undergraduate Pitt students and those in underserved communities
  • Create partnerships across the University’s advising and career planning structures

Thomas Platt, associate dean for Academic Partnerships (photo)

My goal is to join the strengths of our school to the rich health care resources of our region to create new opportunities for educational programs and student experiences. As the needs of the health care system evolve, new providers will be needed. This is clearly a growth opportunity for our school and programs.

Dr. Thomas Platt, associate professor and director, Emergency Medicine program

In this appointment, Platt will:

  • Provide high level oversight of our various internship arrangements with UPMC, assuring prioritization of SHRS students in clinical placements
  • Aid in identifying and addressing future workforce needs and determining related educational opportunities
  • Work with Pitt’s regional campuses to explore the development of health science academic programs

Dr. Bernard Rousseau, associate dean for Equity, Inclusions and Community Engagement (photo)

My vision is to build an inclusive community of faculty, staff and students at SHRS that reflects and celebrates the diversity of talents and contributions of all people in society. This is an opportunity for SHRS to lead in the area of diversity, alliance, humility and respect for others, and prepare our students to enter the workforce with the tools to address the health care disparities evident in our communities for individuals due to race, gender, ethnicity and individuals living with disability.

Dr. Bernard Rousseau, professor and chair, Dept. of Communication Science and Disorders

In this new role, Rousseau will:

  • Work closely with SHRS leadership, faculty, staff and students to develop policies and best practices in all areas of inclusive recruitment and retention, academic diversity and community engagement
  • Provide visionary leadership in the development of strategic SHRS partnerships with the Schools of the Health Sciences, the Office of Health Sciences Diversity, and the university’s Office of Community Engagement through Pitt’s Community Engagement Center at Homewood and the SHRS Wellness Pavilion
  • Build out, by work closely with SHRS leadership, the school’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Framework for Action


Department of Communication Science and Disorders
Department of Health Information Management
Department of Occupational Therapy
Department of Physical Therapy
Department of Physician Assistant Studies
Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology
Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition