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Baldwin Wallace names new dean of graduate studies and research

Photo of Dr. Swagata BanikBaldwin Wallace University has named Dr. Swagata Banik as dean of graduate studies and research. His appointment began on July 1.

BW first hired Banik nine years ago to develop a new undergraduate public health major. He has since led the program through significant growth in enrollment as professor and chair of the BW Department of Public Health & Prevention Science.

"Under Dr. Banik's leadership, the undergraduate program has become an exemplar of faculty-undergraduate collaborative research in the area of population health," said BW Provost Stephen Stahl. "In addition to establishing a successful undergraduate program, he was instrumental in developing BW's relationship with the MetroHealth System that resulted in our Master of Public Health (MPH)."

Growing BW graduate business offerings

Photo of MBA students at tables listening to a lectureAs the new dean of graduate studies and research, Banik will be responsible for the University's growing portfolio of graduate programs and sponsored research.

While BW has long been recognized for excellent graduate programs in business and education, along with newer health care-related graduate degrees, Banik is charged with developing leading-edge certificate and degree programs that meet the needs of Northeast Ohio.

"Specifically, he will nurture the School of Business in its ongoing evolution to stackable certificates and flexible MBA delivery and specializations," Stahl says.

BW also sees growth potential in newer business offerings such as the Master of Accountancy and specializations in sport and hospitality management in concert with regional and international partners in Brazil, China and India.

Education and health sciences expansion

Physician Assistant students testing equipmentBanik will also work to support and enhance thriving graduate programs in education and health sciences.

In recent years, BW added education graduate programs in school and district leadership and STEM teaching, along with health sciences graduate programs in physician assistant (PA) and speech-language pathology (SLP), which have notched the highest board passage rates in the state.

As BW builds on that record of excellence and establishes new programs in health sciences, Stahl says Banik is charged with increasing international engagement and regional collaboration. "In particular, BW looks to Dr. Banik to build all of these programs in partnership with Northeast Ohio agencies, organizations, industries and municipalities."

Promoting research

Photo of MPH student presentationBanik is a well-respected scientist with ongoing research projects in the U.S. as well as in Bangladesh, India and Nepal, all backed by highly regarded public and private funders such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and others. His focus is on community-based approaches to the mitigation of health disparities.

"Dr. Banik is a natural fit to oversee research activities in his new role, as well," says Stahl. "A hallmark of the public health major at BW is the high degree of involvement of undergraduate students in original research and the success of these students in getting these works published in peer-reviewed journals."

Banik is the founding director of the Center for Health Disparities Research and Education at BW. The Center promotes education and research to address public health issues throughout Northeast Ohio and will house a new collaborative U.S. Corporation of National and Community Service (CNCS)-funded AmeriCorps grant written by Banik and colleagues at partner institutions.

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