Susan Parish starts as Bouvé College of Health Sciences dean


Kaitlyn Budion

Newly appointed Bouvé College of Health Sciences Dean Susan Parish hopes to expand collaboration work across the college and grow Bouvé’s graduate and undergraduate programs.

“I would hope that the College of Health Sciences would be continuing to do interprofessional collaboration and research to address the needs of health globally,” Parish said. “There’s a great deal of research already being done at the college, but I would hope that we would even be doing more and I’m hoping to build and develop that aspect of the college.”

Parish, who took over as dean Wednesday, previously worked at Brandeis University where she was the inau­gural director of the Lurie Insti­tute for Dis­ability Policy Nancy and a pro­fessor of dis­ability policy and women’s, gender and sex­u­ality studies.

Much of Parish’s prior research has focused on people with disabilities, including their health and financial well-being. For instance, she has worked to promote cervical and breast cancer screening for women with disabilities and has researched disparities in health care access for children with disabilities. At Brandeis, Parish worked to expand their disability research.

“I was very proud to build a center that addresses disability research, training and education from scratch,” Parish said. “I was really fortunate to work with a wonderful team and I’m very proud of the work that we’ve done in that center really to the health of people with disabilities specifically.”

Parish replaced John R. Reynolds, who has been acting as interim dean for almost two years. As Parish assumes her role as dean of Bouvé, Reynolds will return to his role as dean of the School of Pharmacy.
Reynolds said he thinks Parish will be able to encourage collaboration between faculty and students across Bouvé’s programs.

“In Bouvé, there’s a lot of opportunity for collaboration,” Reynolds said. “I think she’s going to foster that and extend that even further. Just by virtue of the work she does in her own field, she will find other ways to extend the work that we do in the community both from an educational standpoint and a service to the community standpoint.”

Reynolds said he has enjoyed working with Parish thus far.

“She’s a very accomplished scholar, educator, leader,” he said. “She understands health care and health sciences and articulates a good vision for the future of the college.”

Stephen Cramer, associate dean at Bouvé, said he has also enjoyed working with Parish, and appreciates her openness.

“I just like to emphasis her being very rooted and down to earth, in the questions she asked, her observations, her conclusions,” Cramer said. “They’re not theoretical, they’re really something you can hold on to and feel, and I think if she continues to do that she’ll bring a lot of logical, rational, needed change to Bouvé.”

That change will come soon, and Parish said she is ready to get started at Northeastern.

“I love the emphasis on innovation, I love the emphasis on the co-op and experiential learning,” she said. “I think that the mission is so exciting and the goals are really aligned with where you universities need to be going in the United States today.”

Photo by Olivia Arnold