Tonya Edmond, professor and associate dean for social work and social policy, and Rodrigo Reis, professor and associate dean for public health, have been appointed to serve as interim co-deans of the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, Provost Beverly Wendland announced. Their appointments begin Jan. 1.
Edmond and Reis will succeed Mary McKay, the Neidorff Family and Centene Corporation Dean of the Brown School, who has been appointed vice provost for interdisciplinary initiatives in the Office of the Provost. McKay will continue to serve as dean through Dec. 31 and begin her new position Jan. 1. The university will initiate an international search for McKay’s permanent successor in fall 2022.
“I’m thankful to Tonya and Rodrigo for assuming these leadership roles,” Wendland said. “The appointment of interim co-deans acts to represent the outstanding interdisciplinary educational and research programs of the Brown School. They are experienced leaders and will demonstrate great commitment and skill during this time of transition. I’m confident it will be a seamless process and that they will lead the Brown School in the right direction as we search for a new dean.”
“Rodrigo and Tonya are excellent choices to serve as interim co-deans,” McKay said. “They have both been instrumental in shaping the school’s vision and the newly released 10-year strategic plan, ‘Driving Equity 2030.’ I have no doubt the school is in great hands under their leadership.”
Edmond has been a faculty fellow in the Office of the Provost, working on women faculty leadership development and other diversity and inclusion initiatives. She also currently serves as co-director of the Center for Violence and Injury Prevention. Edmond’s research focuses on testing the effectiveness of interventions for survivors of childhood sexual abuse, sexual assault, sex trafficking and intimate partner violence. She is committed to strengthening services for survivors through research and teaching to advance the development of trauma-informed systems of care and the implementation of evidence-based trauma treatments.
She is currently the principal investigator of a Department of Justice-funded study testing the effectiveness of a learning collaborative as an implementation strategy to enhance the uptake of cognitive processing therapy in rape crisis centers. She also teaches “Intervention Approaches with Women” and “Core Concepts in Trauma Treatment with Children & Adolescents.”
Reis is an investigator at the Prevention Research Center, and his research focuses on the built and community environment and public health, with particular interest in community interventions for promoting physical activity, as well as the effect of the built environment and active transportation on health and well-being.
At the Brown School, Reis teaches courses focusing on the built environment and public health and is the chair of the urban design specialization in the Master of Public Health program.
Prior to joining the Brown School, Reis was on the faculty at Pontifical Catholic University of Parana, as well as the Federal University of Parana in Curitiba, Brazil. He has played an important role in international projects, such as Project GUIA (Guide for Community in Latin America); the International Physical Activity and Environment Network; the Design to Move initiative; and Centers for Disease Control physical activity courses in Latin America.
He has published extensively in leading peer-reviewed journals and is also part of The Lancet Physical Activity Series published in 2012, 2016 and 2021 and The Lancet Urban Design, Transport, and Health Series published in 2016.