Sandra Headshot 2

Beginning March 1, 2018, Dr. Sandra C. Quinn is the chair of the Department of Family Science.

Dr. Quinn says, “In today’s world, we face numerous challenges that affect our families and our communities, from the prevalence of chronic diseases, mental health, inequalities, financial crises, violence, and increasing disasters.  Given those challenges, the role of a Department of Family Science whose vision is to promote the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of all families in order to eliminate the burden of disease and health disparities, and to foster resilience and social justice is central to advancing public health today.”

February 27, 2018

Dr. Sandra Quinn will lead the University of Maryland’s Department of Family Science as of March 1st, as Dr. Elaine Anderson hands off the role after almost a decade of service as chair. A well-respected public health researcher and leader, Dr. Quinn has been a professor in the department for the past seven years and is the current director of their Maternal and Child Health doctoral program.

With more than 15 years of extensive administrative experience in three schools of public health (including at UNC, Pitt and UMD), Dr. Quinn brings a comprehensive understanding of the complex needs of the department and school. Her leadership as our associate dean for academic affairs from 2013-2016 was instrumental in the school’s re-accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) in 2015.

Dr. Quinn understands the strengths, challenges and opportunities of the Department of Family Science and has a well-developed vision for leadership and for addressing current and future needs. As chair, she plans to prioritize faculty development, position the department as a national leader in family health scholarship and education, engage with policy-makers and advance diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Dr. Quinn has spent nearly two decades of her professional life developing a network of collaborations to address critical issues in public health. She is a nationally and internationally-recognized public health scholar with concrete achievements in research areas including understanding vaccine acceptance and racial disparities in vaccine uptake; crisis and emergency risk communication; and engagement of minority and marginalized communities in research.  

As a PI, Co-I, and consultant on many interdisciplinary research projects, Dr. Quinn has gained significant experience in securing and managing internal and external research funding, including two NIH grant proposals totaling over $7 million (as a PI), two small grants from the FDA and a two-year, $400,000 sub-contract with the Mid-Atlantic Public Health Training Center, Johns Hopkins SPH. She has published 36 peer reviewed articles in high impact journals over the past six years and has served on the editorial boards of multiple journals, including Health Education & Behavior, Health Promotion Practice, Family and Community Health and the Journal of Community Practice, among other guest editor roles. 

Dr. Quinn has also been an invited expert member of multiple committees and task forces focused on public health and health care preparedness, crisis and emergency risk communication, and community resilience.  She was recently appointed as a member of the National Academies of Science committee on Evidence-Based Practices for Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response.

As Senior Associate Director of the Maryland Center for Health Equity (M-CHE) since 2010, Dr. Quinn led the development of its administrative infrastructure and will continue to play a leadership role in this tier 3 university-wide research initiative.

Along with her focus on eliminating health disparities, Dr. Quinn has an unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion. She has long believed that social justice is the moral foundation of public health and that progress toward a fair and just society means training and nurturing young students and scholars whose diversity across racial, ethnic, religious, class, gender identity and sexual orientation lines brings fresh, challenging ideas and passion to the field of study.  

“I welcome and congratulate Dr. Quinn as she takes on this new role. I am confident that the Department of Family Science will continue to grow and thrive under her leadership," said SPH Dean Boris Lushniak. “I would also like to recognize and thank Dr. Elaine Anderson for her contributions to the department in her role as chair since 2009. Dr. Anderson’s vision and energy have helped to advance the department and school in countless ways.”


Related People
Sandra C. Quinn