Emory Report
April 25, 2005
Volume 58, Number 28


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April 25, 2005
Claire Sterk named new senior vice provost

BY Deb Hammacher

Renowned public health researcher and educator Claire Sterk has been appointed senior vice provost for academic planning and faculty development, effective June 1. Sterk, associate dean for research in the Rollins School of Public Health, currently is moving into her new post.

“Claire Sterk is a highly regarded scholar and researcher, superb administrator and superior university citizen,” Provost Earl Lewis said. “I am absolutely delighted that she has agreed to join the provost office as the first senior vice provost for academic planning and faculty development. Her contributions to this campus have been tremendous, and I am confident she will make even greater contributions in her new role.”

Sterk will oversee the development of academic/research programs in areas including faculty retention, recruitment and early retirement, and faculty and student initiatives. Also Charles Howard Candler Professor of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education and chair of her department, Sterk will continue her teaching and ongoing research on topics such as health disparities, HIV/AIDS, women’s health, mental health and substance abuse, and community-based prevention interventions.

“I like to build,” Sterk said. “This will be a position that allows me to build. It will allow me to bring my experience as an academic scholar together with the exposure I’ve had in academic leadership. [Emory has] a relatively new leadership team, and and we’re all ready for the next stage. I’d love to be part of it and help facilitate infrastructures that allow all of us to have input.”

Commenting on the faculty-development aspect of her new role, Sterk said her own career was positively and significantly affected by mentors, and she looks forward to helping design programs that will assist not only junior faculty but those at all stages of their academic careers.

“We refer to it as the ‘faculty life course,’ and I think it’s dynamite that Emory is willing to put resources into this effort,” Sterk said. “Academic life can be really lonely, but at the same time, you’re part of this larger academic world.”

Known for her ethnographic skills and work in various areas of public and women’s health, Sterk holds doctorate degrees in anthropology from the University of Utrecht and in sociology from Erasmus University, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She has written three books and more than
80 articles, and has given numerous presentations at professional meetings and academic institutions in the United States and abroad.

Sterk currently is a Rosalynn Carter Fellow in Public Policy and is the recipient of the Thomas F. Sellers Jr. Award in Public Health. It was her research on teenage sexual behavior that formed the basis for the 1999 PBS special, “The Lost Children of Rockdale County.” During the 2000–01 academic year, she served as president of University Senate and chair of Emory’s Faculty Council, and she also served as co-chair of the 2002–03 Commission on Research.

Sterk’s new position is the first of two new vice provost positions Lewis plans to create. The second, that of senior vice provost for community, diversity and institutional development, Lewis said he hopes to fill during the 2005–06 year.