New dean of UGA College of Public Health

Marsha Davis, professor and Dean of the School of Public Health (Photo/Peter Frey for UGA)

Marsha Davis was named the new dean of University of Georgia College of Public Health on May 28. Davis has served as interim dean since the retirement of founding dean Phillip L. Williams in 2018.

Davis joined the UGA faculty in 2006 as an associate professor in the department of health promotion and behavior. She was appointed assistant dean for assessment in 2009 and was awarded tenure in 2010. In 2015 Davis was promoted to professor.

During her time at UGA, Davis founded and organized the College’s annual State of the Public’s Health Conference and the UGA Public Health Leadership Academy. The goal of the SOPH Conference is to connect UGA faculty to public health leaders by creating dialogue and solutions aimed to improve Georgia’s public health challenges. The PHLA aims to increase the number of leaders to transform communities by collaborating to improve the health of Georgians.

Davis said in a UGA press release she is excited to lead the college at a time “when public health is needed more than ever.”

“I look forward to working with our faculty, staff, students, alumni and community partners in our mutual commitment to improve the public’s health in our state, nation and around the globe,” Davis said.

Davis received UGA’s Engaged Scholar Award from the Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach, and her work led to UGA receiving a national Award of Excellence from the University Economic Development Association.

Davis was one of four finalists for the position. Her research focuses on the design, implementation and evaluation of community-based health programs. Before coming to UGA, Davis worked at Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

UGA President Jere W. Morehead said in the press release that Davis’ contributions to the public has distinguished her as an exceptional scholar, educator and administrator.

“I look forward to the leadership she will provide and the initiatives she will lead in the College of Public Health as dean,” Morehead said.

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