Christopher Rhea, Ph.D., has been appointed the new associate dean for Research & Innovation for the College of Health Sciences. This new role will provide leadership to the research and innovation arm of the college and is responsible for increasing sponsored research and facilitating multidisciplinary projects. He will also assist with the advancement of excellence in graduate education.

"Dr. Rhea is stepping into a position which the College of Health Sciences has never had," said Bonnie Van Lunen, dean of the College of Health Sciences. "With his guidance and background, we will elevate the work that our faculty does by identifying strategies we can implement to support them. We are excited to work alongside him to reach new heights for the college and we welcome him and his family to our team."

Rhea comes to Old Dominion University (ODU) from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) where he has served as director of Research and Instruction in STEM Education (RISE) Network, as an associate professor and as the associate department chair for research in the department of kinesiology. He previously served as a research scientist in the Department of Veterans Affairs at Providence VA Medical Center in Rhode Island and has taught at Brown University and Purdue University. He received his Ph.D. in kinesiology from Purdue University.

His primary research interests include the control of gait and balance and leveraging technology. He has a track record of building interdisciplinary research teams to address human health challenges and focuses on adopting advanced technology to meet these needs. His work has been funded by the U.S. Navy, Department of Defense (DoD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Women's Football Foundation.

"I was drawn to this position because of the recent research growth at ODU," Rhea said. "More specifically, the capacity to expand the human health research enterprise at ODU and in the surrounding community was very appealing."

As associate dean, Rhea will work closely and collaboratively with faculty, school chairs and staff. He will assist with the development and implementation of the vision, strategic plan and policies to guide the college's education and research innovation goals and outcomes. He will start at ODU on June 10.

The hiring committee included:

Committee chair and assistant dean, Debbie Bauman

Clinical Assistant Professor, Leslie Hoglund, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Patrick Sachs, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Tina Gustin, DNP

Assistant Professor, Eric Schussler Ph.D.

Interim Associate Dean of the College of Education & Professional Studies, Lamar Reams, Ph.D.

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