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Meet the incoming dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences

June 21, 2021

Lynda Ransdell has been named the new dean of NIU’s College of Health and Human Sciences (CHHS). She will assume the role on July 1.

Lynda Ransdell will assume the role of dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences on July 1, 2021.

“I’m delighted that Dr. Ransdell will be joining my leadership team,” said Provost and Executive Vice President Beth Ingram. “She is an accomplished researcher, grant writer and teacher. We were impressed with her demonstrated commitment to the success of students, faculty and staff.”

Ransdell joins NIU from Northern Arizona University, and will replace Beverly Henry, who has served as interim dean since January 2021.

“I’m excited to join the NIU family,” Ransdell said. “I was very impressed with the leadership team, and the faculty, staff and students with whom I interacted during the interview process.”

The College of Health and Human Science at NIU promotes health and well-being through scholarship that integrates teaching, research and service. The college includes programs in five schools: Allied Health and Communicative DisordersFamily and Consumer SciencesHealth StudiesInterdisciplinary Health Professions and Nursing, as well as the Department of Military Science.

“The quality and variety of health-related programs offered in CHHS impressed me from the start,” Ransdell said. “I love the location of NIU, and opportunities to partner with health organizations in the area to decrease health disparities, increase health equity, and advance NIU’s mission.”

Ransdell earned her Ph.D. in exercise and wellness science from Arizona State University. She also holds a master’s degree in exercise and sports studies from Smith College. Prior to Northern Arizona University, she held positions as dean and professor at Montana State University and associate dean at Arizona State University.

Since earning her Ph.D., Ransdell’s research has focused on physical activity and public health in underserved populations including physical activity measurement, behavior and intervention design. She has also studied physical profiling, monitoring, and injury prevention in elite female athletes. She has authored or co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications and has garnered over $5 million in research grants.

In addition to leading, she is looking forward to getting to know the Huskie community.

“I look forward to working with everyone, and returning to face-to-face learning in the fall,” Ransdell said. “Please stop by and say ‘hi’ as I’d love to start meeting everyone sooner rather than later!”

Ransdell is an avid ice hockey player and fan, and is ready to embrace the hearty Midwest winters.

“I’m thinking something like ‘Skating with the Dean on East Lagoon,’” Ransdell said. “It could be a new Huskie tradition.”