Airhihenbuwa appointed head of Department of Biobehavioral Health

April 11, 2007

Collins O. Airhihenbuwa, professor of biobehavioral health, has been appointed head of the Department of Biobehavioral Health effective July 1, 2007. Dr. Airhihenbuwa has served as interim head of the department since July 1, 2006.
image of Collins Airhienbuwa

"Since coming to Penn State in 1984, Dr. Airhihenbuwa has become well-respected in the University community and has solidified his reputation, both nationally and internationally, as a top scholar in his field," said Dr. Fred Vondracek, interim dean of the College of Health and Human Development. "Most importantly, during his service as interim head, he has demonstrated his willingness to listen to faculty, staff, and students, and to involve them in decisions that affect the future of the department."    

Airhihenbuwa's career at Penn State spans more than two decades. He served on the faculty of the Department of Health Education from 1984 until 1997, serving as head of the department from 1994 to 1997. He then joined the newly-formed Department of Biobehavioral Health in 1997.

A prolific researcher, Airhihenbuwa has authored more than 70 peer-reviewed articles and three books. His research focuses on health promotion interventions, particularly in Africa. He was at the forefront of developing HIV/AIDS education programs from the start of the epidemic in the 1980s, and his work has been recognized and supported by several international agencies, including the United Nations and the World Health Organization. Airhihenbuwa‚s commitment to international research, education and outreach earned him the 2006 W. LaMarr Kopp International Achievement Award from Penn State.

Airhihenbuwa earned his Ph.D. in public health education and his master‚s and bachelor's degrees in health planning and administration from the University of Tennessee. He replaces Dr. Lynn Kozlowski, who served as head from the department‚s inception and who has accepted an appointment as professor and chair of the Department of Health Behavior in the School of Public Health and Health Professions at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

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Editors: For additional information, please contact the College of Health and Human Development Office of College Relations at (814) 865-3831 or