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Diane Brannon to serve as interim department head while national search conducted

Dennis Shea, professor and head of the Department of Health Policy and Administration (HPA), has been named associate dean for undergraduate programs and outreach in the College of Health and Human Development.

"Dennis brings considerable administrative experience to his new role," said Ann C. Crouter, Raymond E. and Erin Stuart Schultz Dean of the College of Health and Human Development. "He has not only been an effective academic unit head but has made critical contributions in guiding HPA’s efforts to create and launch the college’s first online degree program."

Dennis Shea

Dennis Shea

Shea said he is excited about the new position because he believes the next several years will be a fascinating period for the College of Health and Human Development and for undergraduate and outreach education in general.

"This period promises incredible growth in careers related to our fields, rapid development of mobile educational technologies, and challenges for providing high-quality teaching and learning in a highly competitive and dynamic environment," he said. "I seek to work with HHD faculty, staff, students and alumni to improve our programs and help our students develop personally and professionally."

Shea's research focuses on long-term care, mental health, economics of aging and health care, health financing and health insurance. He has published dozens of papers in peer-reviewed journals. Shea joined Penn State as an assistant professor of health policy and administration in 1990 and became the department head in 2004. He earned a bachelor's degree in economics at the College of William and Mary in 1984, master's degrees in economics at Cambridge University in 1985 and at Rutgers University in 1987, and a doctorate in economics at Rutgers University in 1990.

In his new position, Shea is replacing Anthony D'Augelli, who after taking a sabbatical will return to the faculty of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies.

"We owe Tony so much for his committed service to the college," said Crouter. "He has been a great advocate for undergraduate education and our students have benefited from his attention to detail, responsiveness and problem-solving skills."

Interim department head named

Diane Brannon

Diane Brannon

Diane Brannon will serve as the interim department head while a national search is conducted for a permanent department head. This post is familiar to Brannon, who served as head of the department from 1997 to 2003.

"We are so fortunate that Diane Brannon, a seasoned former department head who is so well-versed in administrative and academic matters, has agreed to take the helm again next year," said Crouter. "HPA will be in very good hands as Diane builds on the good work of Dennis Shea and other department heads before him."

Brannon has been a faculty member at Penn State since 1984. She earned a bachelor's degree at Winthrop University, a master's degree at Bryn Mawr College and a Ph.D. degree at Cornell University. Her research focuses on long-term care management, quality improvement in nursing homes and organizational design.