Airhihenbuwa appointed interim head of Department of Biobehavioral Health

June 22, 2006

(University Park, Pa)— Dr. George Graham, professor of Kinesiology in Penn State's College of Health and Human Development, has been appointed co-chairman of the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports by Governor Edward Rendell. Graham was appointed to the council in 2005 and will assume his new role in July.

immage of Collins O. Airhibenbuwa

The council's mission is to improve the quality of life for all Pennsylvanians by providing leadership that promotes physically active lifestyles and links families, communities, schools, worksites, health care and media.

Members of the council represent various sectors, including but not limited to business and labor, amateur and professional sports, education, local and state governments, other state agencies, persons with special needs and the general public.

Collins O. Airhihenbuwa, professor of biobehavioral health, has been appointed interim head of the Department of Biobehavioral Health effective July 1.

“I am pleased that Dr. Airhihenbuwa has accepted this appointment,” said Fred Vondracek, interim dean of the College of Health and Human Development. “In addition to being a skilled researcher and educator, Dr. Airhihenbuwa is deeply committed to the success of the Department of Biobehavioral Health, its faculty and students. He will be a tremendous asset to the department, the College of Health and Human Development, and Penn State during this time of transition.”

Airhihenbuwa's career at Penn State spans more than two decades. He served on the faculty of the Department of Health Education from 1984 until 1997, serving as head of the department from 1994 to 1997. He then joined the newly-formed Department of Biobehavioral Health in 1997.

A prolific researcher, Airhihenbuwa has authored more than 70 peer-reviewed articles and three books. His research focuses on health promotion interventions, particularly in Africa. He was at the forefront of developing HIV/AIDS education programs from the start of the epidemic in the 1980s, and his work has been recognized and supported by several international agencies, including the United Nations and the World Health Organization. Airhihenbuwa‚s commitment to international research, education and outreach earned him the 2006 W. LaMarr Kopp International Achievement Award from Penn State.

Airhihenbuwa earned his Ph.D. in public health education and his master‚s and bachelor‚s degrees in health planning and administration from the University of Tennessee. He replaces Dr. Lynn Kozlowski, who served as head from the department‚s inception and who has accepted an appointment as professor and chair of the Department of Health Behavior in the School of Public Health and Health Professions at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

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Editors: For additional information, please contact the College of Health and Human Development Office of College Relations at (814) 865-3831 or healthhd@psu.edu.