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Rhyner Appointed New Associate Dean

Dr. Paula Rhyner
Dr. Paula Rhyner

Dear Faculty and Staff:

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Paula Rhyner as Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research in the College of Health Sciences (CHS), effective January 7, 2011. Her selection for this position resulted from an internal UWM-wide search for this position. And I am grateful to the Search and Screen Committee that handled this search, in particular, its chairperson, Dr. Jennifer Earl.

Dr. Rhyner, Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, has served as Interim Associate Dean for Research in the college since September 2008. As an accomplished scholar, Dr. Rhyner has had continuous extramural funding in support of her research and teaching activities for over 20 years. Throughout her career at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she has had a strong focus on integrating scholarship, teaching, and service activities, and on incorporating an interdisciplinary collaborative model within those activities. Her ability to forge collaborations with academic and community partners to build research teams with similar scholarly goals has resulted in presentations, publications and successful grant proposals for new and innovative lines of research.

She has mentored numerous undergraduate and graduate students, encouraging their individual research interests and including them in her own work. As Interim Associate Dean for Research, Dr. Rhyner championed the research efforts of the faculty and staff of the college, and played a significant role in identifying initiatives that further the growth of funded research in the college. As Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research, she will play a vital role in facilitating and fostering graduate education and sponsored research in the College of Health Sciences.

Dr. Paula Rhyner’s appointment enables us to implement the recommendation that the two Interim Associate Dean positions, Interim Associate Dean for Research and Interim Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, should be combined into one position. I am profoundly grateful to Dr. Roger Smith for his excellent service as Interim Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. Since my first meeting with Roger in fall 2009, he was clear that he would be equally comfortable in assuming one of two leadership roles in the college; being the key bearer of the college’s research flag by devoting more time to his role as Director of the Center for Rehabilitation Research Design and Disability (R2D2) or serving as Associate Dean. As evident from his recent grant activities, he has been highly successful in moving his work and that of the R2D2 Center to the next level; having garnered well over one million dollars in federal funds so far this academic year alone. I am pleased that Dr. Smith will remain a member of the Dean’s Cabinet and will continue to offer his wealth of insight and counsel to the Dean and others in his capacity as Center Director.

Chukuka Enwemeka, Ph.D., FACSM
Dean and Professor

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Office of Graduate Studies and Research Communication Sciences & Disorders