Rachel Mayo, associate dean of research and graduate studies for the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences (CBSHS) – who first served as acting associate dean for the College in 2019 before assuming the permanent role in 2021 – will return to faculty in the Department of Public Health Sciences to focus on research.
Bryan Miller, professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice and director of the Center for Criminal Justice and Social Research, will serve as acting associate dean of research and graduate studies while a search takes place to fill the position.
During her tenure as associate dean, Mayo assisted in restructuring the College grants office and developed a culture of full engagement in research scholarship and graduate program excellence. She also built research teams within the CBSHS Research Support Center to help faculty develop and submit competitive grant proposals and increase research expenditures in support of the College’s mission to build people and communities.
“Dr. Mayo has been an asset to our College since the moment she stepped in as acting associate dean in 2019,” said Leslie Hossfeld, dean of the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences. “Our grants office and research practices have grown stronger under her leadership, and we are fortunate to have her back in the Department of Public Health Sciences to continue her important work and advance research in an area of critical need in our state and country.”
Mayo holds a Ph.D. in health promotion and education from the University of South Carolina, a master’s degree in microbiology and bachelor’s degree in natural science from the University of Arkansas.
Her research interests include cancer prevention and control and health disparities among minority and underserved populations. Returning to research this fall, Mayo will take a planned sabbatical to examine neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) with infants of opioid-addicted mothers.
Miller will transition to acting associate dean of research and graduate studies this summer.
“I greatly appreciate Dr. Miller’s willingness to serve the College in this leadership role,” said Hossfeld. “He leads by example and continues to excel, not only in his field of study but as a leader in research, University-wide. I feel confident he will build upon Dr. Mayo’s successes and positively influence research and graduate studies within the College.”
Miller holds a Ph.D. in criminology, law and society from the University of Florida and both a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in sociology from Virginia Tech. His applied criminology work has focused on substance use treatment for justice-involved individuals, along with enhancing criminal justice collaborations for diversion and deflection strategies. His current research focuses on exploring the connections between drugs and the criminal justice system.
The College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences (CBSHS) was established in July 2016; CBSHS is a 21st-century, land-grant college that combines work in seven disciplines – communication; nursing; parks, recreation and tourism management; political science; psychology; public health sciences; sociology, anthropology and criminal justice – to further its mission of “building people and communities” in South Carolina and beyond.
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