2016 News Releases

University plans to expand its national health sciences leadership under new dean

Photo of Christopher T. Ray, new dean of the College of Health Sciences

Texas Woman's University's new dean of the College of Health Sciences Christopher T. Ray. Photo by Michael Modecki

UT-Arlington kinesiology expert with geriatrics research tapped to advance innovative student programs, collaborative faculty research

Texas Woman’s University announced today (June 7, 2016) that Christopher T. Ray will become the new dean for its College of Health Sciences. TWU’s College of Health Sciences is nationally recognized for a number of academic areas, including its graduate programs in physical therapy and occupational therapy on TWU’s campuses in Denton, Dallas and Houston.

Ray is currently the associate dean for research at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) College of Nursing and Health Innovation and will join TWU July 15.  He also has led UTA’s Postural Control Laboratory and Center of Healthy Living and Longevity.

“For more than a century, TWU has built an impressive array of high-quality nursing and health-related educational programs taught by outstanding faculty,” said Carine M. Feyten, TWU chancellor and president. “We have graduated tens of thousands of well-prepared health care professionals across Texas and beyond.

“Chris Ray’s proven leadership in teaching and research, and his focus on improving longevity and quality of life aligns perfectly with our nationally recognized strengths,” she added. “We also value his highly collaborative style, because we see great potential in creating innovative new programs for students and faculty research from interdisciplinary work across our three campuses.”

Ray said he is looking forward to growing research collaborations, applied learning opportunities and capitalizing on the many synergies across all three TWU campuses.

“The net results of these enhanced opportunities will be increased experiences for our students, greater impact on our community and considerable contributions to our scientific field,” Ray said.

“I’m thrilled to join TWU because of its distinctive and acclaimed breadth of health care programs managed by excellent faculty and staff,” he added.

 Ray explained his current research involves geriatric health and finding ways to reduce the risk of falls, increase bone density and lessen the impact of chronic disease.

 “This research could easily expand to include collaborative work with stroke patients at TWU’s T. Boone Pickens Institute of Health Sciences-Dallas Center, the new Woodcock Institute for the Advancement of Neurocognitive Research and Applied Practice, music therapy, psychology, sociology and, of course, numerous areas within the university’s College of Health Sciences,” Ray said.

Ray holds a doctorate degree in movement studies from the University of Georgia, and earned both a master’s (in human performance and sport studies) and bachelor’s degree (in exercise science) from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His post-doctoral fellowship work was at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Atlanta, which included a summer institute in epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of Washington.

TWU’s College of Health Sciences — in addition to its nationally ranked graduate physical and occupational therapy programs — also offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in kinesiology, communication sciences and disorders (including speech/language pathology and education of the deaf), dental hygiene, health studies and health care administration.

The college’s nutrition and food sciences program also has grown in stature since its groundbreaking bone density research in NASA’s early days to recently achieving Texas’ first Research Chefs Association-approved Culinology ® program. TWU is now one of only 14 universities in the U.S. that provides a distinctive career path for community college undergraduates pursuing bachelor’s degrees in culinary science and food service management.

TWU’s Institute for Women’s Health is also part of the College of Health Sciences and has one of only three interdisciplinary master’s degree programs in the nation in exercise and sports nutrition.

Research at the college also continues to grow every year thanks to federal and state funding, foundations and other private donors. Last year, for instance, the college received a $1.2 million federal grant to address the critical national and state shortage of physical education teachers for students with disabilities (adapted physical education) as well as private funding for its Project INVEST (Injured Veterans Entering sports Training). TWU’s reputation as a leader in women’s health issues also contributed to securing a nearly $5 million federal grant to a North Texas coalition working to reduce teen pregnancy in Dallas.

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Texas Woman’s University (TWU) is the largest public university in the nation primarily for women and has an enrollment of approximately 15,000 students on campuses in Denton, Dallas and Houston. Since its founding in 1901, TWU has produced more than 88,000 graduates in fields vital to the growth and quality of life in Texas and the nation, including nursing, health care, education and business.

 

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