Promotion of Dr. Carrie Landa to Executive Director of Student Wellbeing
From Dr. Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer
Over the last 20 months, we have all weathered extraordinary challenges – physical, mental, and emotional – and adjustments in conjunction with the COVID-19 pandemic and its fallout. In addition to rigorous course loads and the obstacles posed by COVID, students across the nation – and at BU – manage a wide range of stresses, from academic challenges to finding balance and belonging in a large campus community. The national data on student wellbeing, captured in last year’s Healthy Minds Study and in other national publications, echo the concerns that many of us have heard or experienced on an individual level. As part of our 2030 Strategic Plan’s focus on community and engagement, BU is furthering its commitment to student mental and emotional wellbeing through an array of new resources, programming, and collaborative efforts. As an important initial step, I am very pleased to announce the promotion of Dr. Carrie Landa to Executive Director of Student Wellbeing, effective today.
Dr. Landa has served as Director of Behavioral Medicine and Associate Director of Student Health Services since early 2014. As Executive Director of Student Wellbeing, she will work closely with leaders across the University to create a holistic, integrative, and shared approach to health and wellness with programs, resources, and experiences that support undergraduate and graduate students through all dimensions of wellbeing. She will report directly to Vice President and Associate Provost for Academic Budgets & Planning Patricia O’Brien.
Among Dr. Landa’s primary objectives will be to help provide students with the tools they need to thrive as individuals and as engaged members of a diverse campus community. This will include developing and overseeing a unified approach to campus-wide wellness and prevention programming and awareness; promoting belonging, social connectedness, and a healthy campus environment for students; and developing processes to assess wellness services and resource needs, always with the goal of promoting student development and success.
Dr. Landa’s appointment follows her leadership of The Wellbeing Project, a pilot initiative BU launched in September 2019 at the recommendation of a University-wide mental health task force chaired by Dr. Landa. The Wellbeing Project has made measurable strides in promoting emotional health awareness and in engaging faculty, staff, and students in opportunities that promote wellbeing as a driver for success across all aspects of student life. The pandemic’s lingering effects and the challenges it has posed for many to reconnect with campus life have only reinforced how essential these services are to promoting wellness and supporting student success at BU.
Since joining BU’s Behavioral Medicine staff in 2009 – first as a post-doc and then a staff psychologist – Dr. Landa has been a valued resource and an energetic and compassionate champion for students and their mental health needs. As an administrator, she has effectively managed a growing team of psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical nurse specialists, and licensed mental health counselors, while serving as a consultant to staff and the institution on complex issues related to mental health.
Dr. Landa received her undergraduate degree in psychology and family studies from the University of New Hampshire and her master’s degree and PhD in clinical psychology from Suffolk University, where her research focused on eating disorders in women in college and sororities, and individuals who have siblings with disabilities. She has spoken locally and nationally on engaging campuses in student mental health and wellbeing, highlighting the shared campus responsibility to support students. She is a respected advocate, expert, colleague, and community builder, whose vision for advancing wellness as a driver of academic and professional success make her an ideal leader to take on this important new role.
BU will soon launch a national search for a new Director of Behavioral Medicine. Until the search is complete, Dr. Landa will continue to function in that position, as well as her in new role as Executive Director of Student Wellbeing. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Landa on her promotion and wishing her well as she begins this critical new undertaking for our community.