Carol Whittaker, MA, MPA
Director of the Center for Global Health
Assistant Dean for Global Health
|GEC Room 115
Carol Whittaker has had a 50 year relationship with the University at Albany. In 1960, at the age of 17, she entered what was then Albany State Teachers College and over the next 45 years, as the University developed and grew, she completed her undergraduate and three graduate degrees. Her roles within the University have included student, alumnus, faculty member, administrator, donor, and volunteer.
Positions in State government, including many years at the NYS Health Department, allowed her to develop skills in policy analysis, budgeting, health planning, and health program direction. Then, in 1993, an opportunity came for Carol to join the University at Albany’s School of Public Health which was formed as a full partnership between the State Health Department and the University. The School was just eight years old and short staffed but there was no shortage of opportunities. David Carpenter, the School’s founding dean, named Carol “Assistant Dean for New Fun Stuff.” One of the priorities was to increase the number of international students at the School, a move so successful that a few years later, close to half the student body was international. International programs and partnerships began to grow.
Carol now serves as the Director of the University’s Center for Global Health and as the School of Public Health’s Assistant Dean for Global Health. The Center and the School have a rapidly increasing roster of collaborative partnerships with universities, institutes, and health agencies throughout the world including those in Sweden, the Netherlands, Russia, Turkey, Kuwait, the Republic of Georgia, Mongolia, Vietnam, China, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic. The recently added Masters International Program allows students to combine the Master of Public Health degree and a Peace Corps experience. More and more students are undertaking international internships, primarily in African countries, experiences which have led several students to careers in international public health. Service learning has also become an integral part of the Center’s mission. From 2005 through 2009, students and faculty members traveled to New Orleans to contribute their skills in rebuilding that city following Hurricane Katrina. This year eleven students and three faculty members traveled to Costa Rica where they were able to contribute to a water project for a Ngobe village, an indigenous population living near the border with Panama.
Carol has an active family and community life. She has two daughters, a granddaughter, and two great-grandsons. She is a member and officer of three community organizations. She continues to be grateful for the opportunity to combine serving the University and the School as the need for more highly trained public health professional grows here and abroad. Who would have guessed that the title “Assistant Dean for New Fun Stuff” would still be relevant 17 years later?