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Bringing health sciences to the fore

| Shari Lau

Dr. Mel L. Kantor named Ramsey Endowed Chair

With more than 35 years of expertise in health care, public health, epidemiology, dentistry and academic scholarship, the newly appointed Oliver Marion Ramsey Endowed Chair is poised to develop and strengthen the pre-professional and professional health science programs at UW-Eau Claire.

Dr. Mel L. Kantor joined UW-Eau Claire in August as the faculty chair of the new Institute for Health Sciences following a national search.

"The Institute for Health Sciences is unique in that its consortium structure brings together professional health science students and pre-professional students across all four colleges," Kantor said. "My goal as chair is to promote multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary collaborations in the areas of curriculum, research, scholarship and service, as well as develop and strengthen linkages with regional health care providers."

The institute includes affiliated departments with baccalaureate degree programs in behavior analysis, communication sciences and disorders, environmental public health, health care administration, human performance, nursing and school psychology, along with nine pre-professional health sciences programs supported by the William J. and Marian A. Klish Health Careers Center, which offers coordinated advising and academic programming for students seeking admission to professional graduate programs.

Kantor's wide-ranging academic and research background, along with his leadership and administrative experience and skills, are a great match for the role of the Ramsey Endowed Chair, said Linda Young, member of the chair search committee and dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

"The Institute for Health Sciences is the overarching framework of which the Health Careers Center is a part, and Dr. Kantor's leadership will impact the center by the relationships built, grants obtained and the resultant student successes," Young said.

Kantor brings a high caliber of expertise and commitment to the campus and to students, said Patricia A. Kleine, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at UW-Eau Claire.

"Dr. Kantor is incredibly connected nationwide, allowing him to marshal resources and connect students interested in the health sciences with professionals and programs in their fields," Kleine said.

The Institute for Health Sciences is the organizational structure that supports the Ramsey Endowed Chair, which was made possible by the fulfillment of an estate gift to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation from James and Anne Ramsey in memory of James Ramsey's brother, U.S. Navy Lt. Oliver Marion Ramsey, a Fairchild native and 1933 UW-Eau Claire graduate who later graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, served as a lieutenant in the Navy during World War II and died in battle in 1942.

"The Ramsey family's generosity and commitment to honoring their fallen relative —Oliver Marion Ramsey —and investment in this innovative program truly demonstrates they are part of the Greatest Generation," said Kimera Way, president of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation and executive director of university advancement.

"This investment to establish the first fully endowed faculty chair of the Institute for Health Sciences and in support of such an innovative program on campus will impact so many current and future students," Way said.

Dr. Mel L. Kantor

Oliver M. Ramsey Endowed Chair

  • Bachelor of Arts in chemistry and mathematics, Queens College of the City University of New York
  • Doctor of Dental Surgery, University of North Carolina School of Dentistry
  • Certificate in general practice, Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis
  • Certificate in oral radiology, University of Connecticut Health Center
  • Master of Public Health in epidemiology and quantitative methods, Rutgers University and University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
  • Doctorate of Public Health in epidemiology, Rutgers University and University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
Specialty board certification:
  • American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology
Academic appointments:
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (integrated into Rutgers University)
  • University of Kentucky