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UTEP College of Health Sciences Appoints New Associate Deans

Last Updated on January 11, 2018 at 12:00 AM

Originally published February 16, 2018

By UC Staff

UTEP Communications

The UTEP College of Health Sciences has announced the appointment of three new associate deans.

The UTEP College of Health Sciences has announced the appointment of three new associate deans.
The UTEP College of Health Sciences has announced the appointment of three new associate deans.

Social Work Professor Candyce Berger, Ph.D., has been named associate dean for research and faculty affairs; Bess Sirmon-Taylor, Ph.D., associate professor of speech language pathology, will serve as associate dean for academic affairs; and Leticia Paez, assistant dean for community and international programs, has been appointed to the new position of executive associate dean.

A member of the UTEP faculty for nine years, Berger has served as chair of the Department of Social Work since 2012. She has 30 years of experience in social work education at five institutions. She also has 17 years of experience in health care administration. Berger’s research interests include health care policies, and how economic and political policies shape social work practice in health care settings. In November 2017, Berger was awarded a $1.9 million training grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to train mental health care workers in rural and medically underserved areas. She also received a $2.6 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration in May 2016 to provide scholarships to economically and environmentally disadvantaged students in the Master of Social Work Program. 

Sirmon-Taylor joined the UTEP faculty in 2006 as an assistant professor of speech-language pathology. During her tenure, she has published numerous articles and abstracts on concussion prevention, legislation and policy, and ethics education. She also has presented at many state and national conferences. In UTEP’s Concussion Management Clinic, Sirmon-Taylor’s research has focused on legislation and policy implementation related to concussion management at the state and federal level. In 2013, Sirmon-Taylor was appointed associate dean of the UTEP Graduate School.

Since joining UTEP in 1980, Paez, a W.K. Kellogg Fellow, has been instrumental in implementing community-based and global health education experiences for underrepresented students pursuing health professions careers. As UTEP’s Minority Health International Research Training program manager, Paez has successfully promoted educational and cultural collaborations between UTEP and its international partner institutions. Paez has served in numerous leadership positions for civic and community health organizations. She has the distinction of being the first and only Hispanic president of the National Board of the YWCA of the USA, the oldest and largest multicultural women's organization in the world.