Hillemeier will replace Dennis Shea, who was named associate dean for undergraduate programs and outreach in the College of Health and Human Development last summer. Dianne Brannon, professor of health policy and administration, has served as interim department head.
“I am honored and excited by the opportunity to work with the HPA faculty and staff to build our department through recruitment of additional faculty members, including senior health services researchers, and to promote excellence in research and in undergraduate and graduate education,” said Hillemeier.
Hillemeier’s research focuses on disparities in children’s mental and physical health and health care services, and on children’s cognitive development and educational achievement. Her research interests also include disparities in women’s health, especially as they relate to adverse pregnancy outcomes.
She is the author or co-author of more than 70 papers in peer-reviewed journals, and her research has been funded by grants from federal agencies, including the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, and the Institute of Education Sciences as well as other organizations, including the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Center for Rural Pennsylvania. She has served on numerous committees, panels, task forces and boards, and has advised more than 35 Penn State graduate students. In addition, she is a member of American Public Health Association, the Population Association of America and AcademyHealth.
Hillemeier earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing at the University of Iowa in 1975, a master’s degree in nursing at Yale University in 1982, a master of public health degree at Harvard University in 1988 and a doctorate in sociology and demography at the University of Michigan in 1998. She joined the faculty of the Department of Health Policy and Administration at Penn State in 2002.
"I am delighted to welcome Marianne Hillemeier into the college's administrative team," said Ann C. Crouter, Raymond E. and Erin Stuart Schultz Dean of the College of Health and Human Development. "Marianne has a well-deserved reputation as a strong collaborator and mentor, characteristics that will help her to be a productive, generative department head. I am looking forward to working with her to build the department in the years ahead."