Article by Lanita Withers Goins, University Relations
A UNCG alumna, Hooper has a distinguished history with the university. In addition to leading the School of Health and Human Sciences since its founding, Hooper also led the former School of Health and Human Performance for four years, from 2007 to 2011, and the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders for four years, from 2003 to 2007. A full professor, Hooper continues to teach classes to undergraduate and graduate students.
UNCG Chancellor Linda P. Brady lauded Hooper’s leadership and service to the university. “Celia Hooper is a transformational academic leader, a citizen of the university, and a person who embodies UNCG’s commitment to ‘Do something bigger altogether,’” Brady said. “I expect great things from the School of Health and Human Sciences under her leadership.”
Hooper, a Triad native, is a noted speech-language pathologist who has held several leadership positions in her field, including national board positions and invitations to present at national conferences on critical issues related to health and human sciences, health care reform and workforce needs in health and wellness. Prior to UNCG, Hooper served as a faculty member, clinician and administrator in roles at UNC-Chapel Hill, the University of Kansas and Case Western Reserve University, and owned and operated a speech-language pathology business.
Following a national search, Hooper’s unique insight into the school and vision for its future made her the top choice, said UNCG Provost David Perrin.
“The national search for permanent dean of the School of Health and Human Sciences generated an exceptionally competitive group of finalists,” Perrin said. “Celia Hooper was the overwhelming choice of the search committee, faculty, staff, students and alumni. I am confident she will lead the School of Health and Human Sciences to new levels of excellence in collaborative teaching, research and community engagement in the coming years.”
UNCG’s School of Health and Human Sciences — which has nearly 3,000 students, 130 faculty members and 30 staff members — includes the academic departments of communication sciences and disorders,community and therapeutic recreation, human development and family studies, kinesiology, nutrition, public health education, and social work as well as programs in conflict and peace studies, genetic counseling,gerontology and the UNCG Middle College.
Having led the school through a strategic realignment, Hooper said she’s excited to see all the disciplines work together. “We’re stronger as a school with all of us together,” she said, adding that she anticipates the school will play a leading role in helping the university reach its strategic goal of addressing health and wellness across the lifespan.
The school prepares students for careers in the health and human sciences, fields that continue to grow in importance and opportunity. “We know that 60 percent of jobs in the health and wellness workforce will come from the disciplines we teach,” Hooper said.