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Saturday, September 30, 2023

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Hala Madanat Hala Madanat

SDSU Interim Vice President for Research Named

SDSU distinguished professor Hala Madanat, director of the School of Public Health, has been named Interim Vice President for Research.
By SDSU News Team

“I am delighted to step into this role at an exciting time in the University's history. The research and scholarship at SDSU has been on an exciting trajectory.”

Hala Madanat, director of the San Diego State University School of Public Health, has been named interim vice president for research. Madanat’s appointment becomes effective on Sept. 1.  

“Given her leadership and expertise in interdisciplinary research, external funding generation, undergraduate and graduate student research, and community outreach, she is a truly an exceptional candidate,” SDSU President Adela de la Torre shared in a campus announcement on Aug. 6. 

“Madanat is also the best member of our team to serve in the interim capacity at a time when we have significantly modified our delivery of instruction and, to an extent, our research and creative activities — all of which continue to thrive despite the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

In her interim role, Madanat’s key responsibilities, in addition to her already extensive research portfolio, will be to expand and elevate the university’s research enterprise and creative activities. She will work closely with campus academic deans and vice presidents to also promote interdisciplinary work, innovative practices, as well as our newly defined strategic priorities. 

“I am delighted to step into this role at an exciting time in the University's history. The research and scholarship at SDSU has been on an exciting trajectory,” Madanat said. “I have been impressed by our growth and look forward to continuing the expansion of our research and scholarship across all disciplines. SDSU Mission Valley offers an additional opportunity for innovation and collaboration within San Diego County. I am looking forward to being part of the remarkable leadership of the campus.” 

Core-investigator of Institute for Behavioral and Community Health, Madanat’s research centers on addressing health disparities through community engagement. She heads the evaluation of several National Institutes of Health funded grants, and is the lead principal investigator of the $12 million NCI-funded SDSU/UCSD Cancer Center Partnership. For her important work and contributions, Madanat was selected for the 2020 Albert W. Johnson distinguished faculty award. 

Also, Madanat is leading SDSU’s charge through a new partnership with the San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency with the Communities Fighting COVID! Project. The project is a $3 million contact tracing program the county is funding to enhance COVID-19 support in underserved communities. Focusing on Black and Spanish-, Arabic- and Tagalog-speaking health workers, Madanat and her team are training professionals to help stop the spread of COVID-19. 

“This is core to our mission at SDSU, and it is one example, of many, indicating where we will thrive through our new strategic plan,” de la Torre said. “Madanat’s leadership will be crucial during this time, as we are launching our new strategic plan and also continuing to navigate the global pandemic.” 

Madanat joined SDSU faculty in 2008 in the School of Public Health. Prior to SDSU, she served in faculty positions at Utah Valley University and Brigham Young University. She currently serves as board member for the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health and County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher’s COVID-19 Equity Taskforce. 

Madanat has a Bachelor of Science in biological sciences from the University of Jordan, as well as a Master of Science in community health sciences and a Ph.D. in sociology, both from Brigham Young University. She has received multiple honors and awards, including SDSU’s Distinguished Faculty Award for Outstanding Contributions to the university.

Earlier, de la Torre announced that Grant McGimpsey would serve as Vice President for Research. “Regrettably, Grant will no longer join us, as he is unable to leave his home in Canada due to a significant family health emergency. I appreciate his original desire to join our SDSU community, and wish the best for his family,” de la Torre shared in the campus notice. 

De la Torre said, with Madanat serving in the interim role, the university will be able to delay an additional national search for a permanent replacement, affording budgetary flexibility and additional time.