It is with great pleasure that I announce Professor Yvette Cozier as Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion for the School, effective August 1, 2015.
Professor Cozier is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and an epidemiologist at the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University. Her extraordinary record of service around this topic within BU, her research interests, and her ability to build and foster multidisciplinary collaborations make Professor Cozier uniquely well suited for this position.
Professor Cozier has been involved in University-wide efforts to improve diversity among BU faculty and students for the past 10 years. Since 2008, she has been an elected SPH representative to the University Faculty Council. During this time, she has also been a member, and at one time chair, of the council’s Equity and Inclusion Committee. This committee has addressed issues around gender equity in salaries across the University, the extension of benefits to same-sex domestic partners who could not covered by marriage equity laws, and the difficulties regarding the hiring and retention of underrepresented minority faculty (URM). Through her work on this committee, Professor Cozier has evaluated the practices employed by our peer institutions towards improving diversity and inclusion, leading to a set of recommendations on faculty diversity presented to the Provost in the spring of 2012. In the fall of 2013, she was invited by President Brown to join an ad hoc committee charged with developing a diversity statement for the University that was considered by the University Council and then presented to, and approved by, the Board of Trustees. This was an important first step in updating the University’s Strategic Plan. Professor Cozier has also been an active participant in diversity initiatives on the medical campus. As a member of the diversity project group of the Academy of Collaborative Innovation and Transformation (ACIT) faculty development program, she has had the opportunity to engage with Boston University Medical School/Boston Medical Center faculty and administrators, as well as the Associate Dean of Diversity from the School of Medicine, in designing and distributing a climate survey to Boston Medical Center residents, both URM and non-URM.
In her own research and scholarship, Professor Cozier has been a member of the Black Women’s Health Study research team since it began in 1995, and a study co-investigator since 2004. Her primary area of focus has been the role of racism/discrimination and neighborhood segregation in shaping black women’s health. Her research has also played a prominent role in her teaching, including through teaching social epidemiology, allowing students to engage in a deeper exploration of the literature as well as an opportunity to have frank, in-depth, sustained discussions about the context of race, class, and gender in the shaping of population and individual health. Most recently, Professor Cozier has served as the faculty advisor for the Students of Color for Public Health organization. In 2009, she coauthored a manuscript with other members of the Minority Affairs Committee and Membership Committee of the American College of Epidemiology characterizing the diversity of the epidemiology workforce (Carter-Pokras et al, Ann Epidemiol 2009; 19(4): 268-75).
We are indeed fortunate to have among us a scholar and leader in the area of diversity and inclusion, and it is our collective good fortune that Professor Cozier will take on the position of Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion at SPH. In this position, she will report directly to me and will serve as a member of the school’s Governing Council. It is my expectation that under Professor Cozier’s leadership, we will develop a diversity and inclusion plan that will be a model for schools of public health around the country. Professor Cozier will reach out to the school community soon to announce a listening tour, to engage the school community around a topic, and to identify our core challenges and capacities.
I would like to thank all the members of our school community who participated in our search for this position, and in particular to thank Professors Harold Cox, Trish Elliott, and Martha Werler, who under Professor Cox’s leadership served as the advisory search group for this position. Thank you.
Please join me in welcoming Professor Cozier to the school leadership.
Sandro Galea, MD, DrPH
Dean and Professor, Boston University School of Public Health