Joseph Oppong has been appointed interim associate dean for research and professional development of UNT's Robert B. Toulouse School of Graduate Studies. He will be responsible for enhancing the graduate school's activities to support graduate student research and scholarship. His term began Jan. 15.
"This is an exciting time at UNT," says Michael Monticino, interim dean of the graduate school. "Graduate students are critical to sustaining the research mission of the university. Oppong will bring a depth of mentoring experience to help prepare our students to meet the challenges of a research career."
Oppong joined the UNT faculty in 1992 and was promoted to professor of geography in 2008. He also is an adjunct professor in the Department of Environmental Health at the UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth. Oppong has served as undergraduate advisor in the Department of Geography for more than 15 years and was honored as 2008 Faculty Mentor of the Year by the UNT Honors College. He will keep his teaching and research positions while he serves as interim associate dean.
"Professor Oppong has demonstrated a deep commitment to graduate students, not only in his work directly with those he mentors, but also through his service as chair of our internal faculty review team for the graduate school," says Wendy K. Wilkins, provost and vice president for academic affairs. "He is very well suited to this new assignment, and I thank him for accepting this interim position."
Oppong's research focuses on the geography of disease and health services. He has worked on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and pandemic influenza. He is widely consulted and has made several appearances on TV, including on CNN and ABC. He is one of the key faculty members pioneering UNT's federally funded Center for Computational Epidemiology and Response Analysis. The center is creating epidemiological models to explore outbreak scenarios involving diseases such as tuberculosis, human papilloma virus and seasonal influenza
Prior to joining UNT, Oppong taught at the University of Iowa. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Ghana and his master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.
Buddy Price with UNT News Service can be reached at Buddy.Price@unt.edu.