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New Dean for Research

Katherine McDonald Appointed Senior Associate Dean for Research and Administration in Falk College
Katie McDonald Portrait
Falk College Senior Associate Dean for Research and Administration Katherine McDonald.

Katherine (Katie) McDonald, Ph.D., has been appointed Senior Associate Dean for Research and Administration in Falk College. As Senior Associate Dean, McDonald is responsible for the oversight of research, administration, and support for faculty; the supervision of the Falk College Office of Research Development; the development and implementation of Falk strategic initiatives; and representing Falk College on University-level committees as appropriate. The office reports directly to Falk College Dean Jeremy Jordan.

“Falk College research spans a wide range of disciplines with impactful, practical applications in individual health and community wellbeing,” Jordan says. “Thanks to Dr. McDonald’s leadership and her team in the Falk College Office of Research Development, the College has experienced steady growth in research activity by every measure, including grant funding, publishing, interdisciplinary collaborations, and student engagement. I am eager to see her influence expand as Senior Associate Dean for Research and Administration.”

McDonald’s new appointment follows a three-year appointment as Associate Dean of Research. During her tenure, McDonald worked collaboratively to establish programming to nurture faculty research, enhance connections on campus to fuel interdisciplinary research, and develop policy to foster research success.

“I am delighted to continue to serve Falk College in this new role,” says McDonald. “Falk College is home to students, staff, and faculty committed to creating and leveraging scientific discoveries to enhance human thriving. It is an honor to have the opportunity to work with so many talented people to co-chart our future.”

McDonald is a professor in the Falk College Department of Public Health, where she also served as chair from 2018 to 2020. She is a fellow of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, chair of Syracuse University’s Institutional Review Board, and a member of the Editorial Board for Autism in Adulthood. At Syracuse University, she holds faculty affiliations in the Aging Studies Institute, the Burton Blatt Institute, the Consortium for Culture and Medicine, and the Disability Studies program.

As a scholar, McDonald uses socioecological theory and community-engaged research to understand and promote the inclusion of individuals with disabilities. She has made significant contributions to research in disability, health disparities, community-engaged research, and ethical, legal, and social issues in research. Her research has been supported by grant funding from the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Education, the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, Rehabilitation Research, and the Patient Centered Outcomes Institute, among others. She is published in leading journals such as the Disability and Health Journal, American Journal of Bioethics, and the American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

She received a B.S. with distinction in human development and family studies with a minor in French from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in community and prevention research psychology with a minor in statistics, methods, and measurements from the University of Illinois at Chicago.