For Your Health
For Your Health

News from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences

From the Dean: Homecoming is here!

This week has been especially busy across campus with Homecoming 2022 activities. The UND Alumni Association and Foundation (UND AAF) typically holds its fall board meeting during Homecoming week, and this year is no exception. The Board (of which I am an ex officio member) met yesterday and is meeting again today. The board meeting is important in multiple regards, but perhaps most relevant to the UND SMHS is its oversight of the fundraising efforts on behalf of the schools and colleges that comprise UND. The expertise that UND AAF staff bring to the school’s philanthropic efforts is greatly appreciated as we focus on our two high-priority projects – minimizing student debt and securing at least one endowed chair for each of the school’s faculty departments.

We currently are in the process of filling the most recently announced endowed faculty position – the Wadhwani Chair of Translational Research, supported by a generous gift from Dr. Gopal Das and his family. This is one of four searches that currently are underway at the school. The searches and chairs of the search committees are as follows:

  • Chair, Department of Indigenous Health (to replace Dr. Don Warne) – Dr. Holly Brown-Borg will chair the search committee.
  • Deputy Director, INBRE program (new position) – Dr. Colin Combs will chair the search committee.
  • Wadhwani Chair in Translational Research (new position) – Dr. Colin Combs will chair the search committee.
  • Director, Center for Rural Health (to replace Acting Director Brad Gibbens) – Dr. David Relling will chair the search committee.

We have engaged a search firm to assist with several of these searches and we hope to have all of the positions filled by the end of the current academic year (June 2023).

Other UND SMHS-associated events on tap as part of Homecoming 2022 include:

  • The UND SMHS Continuing Education Symposium, which will focus on the diagnosis and treatment of neurological conditions, including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, stroke, migraine headaches, and more. The latest in neurological research will also be discussed in detail by an interprofessional team of healthcare providers. The event is free and will be held in-person in SMHS Room W202 and online via Zoom today from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Please direct any questions to Kristen Peterson at or call 701.777.4305.
  • The UND SMHS Homecoming 2022 Banquet, to be held tonight from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Alerus Center, where we will be celebrating milestone (1942–2012) graduates and ten years of our Public Health program. Please direct any questions to Kristen Peterson at or call 701.777.4305.

Other campus events tomorrow include the UND Homecoming Parade, which will start at 9 a.m. at the Gorecki Alumni Center and then proceed down University Ave., as well as efforts by the Fighting Hawks football team (vs. Missouri State) in the Alerus Center starting at noon, and an exhibition game where the UND hockey team will pair up with Manitoba at 6:07 p.m. in the Ralph.

I hope that you’ve had and/or will have a chance to enjoy some of this week’s Homecoming 2022 events.

Joshua Wynne, MD, MBA, MPH
Vice President for Health Affairs, UND
Dean, UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences