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Barnidge Named Interim Dean of the College for Public Health and Social Justice

by Maggie Rotermund on 02/16/2022
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Maggie Rotermund
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Saint Louis University has appointed Ellen K. Barnidge, Ph.D., associate professor of behavioral science and health education, to serve as the interim dean of SLU’s College for Public Health and Social Justice. Her appointment as interim dean was effective Feb. 1 and continues through June 2023.

Ellen K. Barnidge

Ellen K. Barnidge, Ph.D., will serve as interim dean of the College of Public Health and Social Justice. Photo by Benjamen Loewnau.

Barnidge has been part of the public health family at SLU since 2002, when she began working toward her MPH in behavioral science and epidemiology. She joined the then School of Public Health as a project coordinator in 2005 and joined the faculty in 2010.

“Since starting as a faculty member, Dr. Barnidge has taken on various leadership roles, including her current work as President of the CPHSJ Faculty Assembly and Co-Chair of the Student Well-Being Task Force,” said University Provost Mike Lewis, Ph.D. “I think she will do an excellent job as interim dean.”

Barnidge said she is excited about the opportunity to lead the College. 

“The disciplines of public health and health administration have never been more important,” she said. “I bring a deep love of learning, enthusiasm for student engagement, and a commitment to centering people in our research to this role.”

Barnidge’s research has focused on food insecurity, especially in a pediatric population. Currently, she and Heather Bednarek, Ph.D., associate professor in Economics, are funded to understand Missouri Medicaid expansion and household food security.

Barnidge holds graduate degrees in behavioral science and epidemiology, as well as public health studies from Saint Louis University. She has a B.A. in Psychology from College of Holy Cross.

Barnidge succeeds Thomas Burroughs, Ph.D., who returned to the faculty after serving as dean since 2017.

“I want to thank Tom for his service to the University in this leadership role,” Lewis said. “His work with the faculty and staff led to both an increase in graduate enrollment and an increase in funded research. In addition, Tom was a strong advocate for our Mission and the student experience, and I know that will continue as he transitions back to the faculty.”