UNMC Chancellor Harold M. Maurer, M.D., made the announcement Thursday afternoon in a meeting with the college's faculty. She will assume duties on Aug. 16 when Dean Ayman El-Mohandes, M.B.B.Ch., M.D., M.P.H., leaves on vacation and then his new position as head the School of Public Health at the City University of New York.
"Jane is highly regarded by the faculty in the college and on campus. She is well known nationally in her field. Her enthusiasm, sincerity, motivation, knowledge and leadership skills will continue to move the college forward during the interim period," Dr. Maurer said.
The announcement was greeted with a standing ovation by the faculty.
"The College of Public Health has experienced tremendous growth under the leadership of Dr. El-Mohandes and I'm looking forward to working with faculty and staff during this time to continue that momentum and to help prepare the college for a new dean." Jane Meza, Ph.D.
Jane Meza, Ph.D.
Dr. Meza, who also is director for the Center for Collaboration on Research, Design and Analysis, joined UNMC in 2000 after receiving her Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
"I'm honored to have this opportunity to serve the College of Public Health and the university. The College of Public Health has experienced tremendous growth under the leadership of Dr. El-Mohandes and I'm looking forward to working with faculty and staff during this time to continue that momentum and to help prepare the college for a new dean," she said.
She works with researchers on campus on the design and analysis of 10 studies and is principal investigator of two additional grants. These studies range from cancer treatment, COPD, HIV/AIDS to smoking cessation programs. Her particular interest is in cancer research with the goal of reducing the incidence of cancer and improving the quality of life for patients with cancer.
Dr. Meza is a biostatistician with the Children's Oncology Group, which is the only national cooperative group that conducts clinical trials in pediatric cancer, and is a member of the Children's Oncology Group Statistics and Data Center. She was one of UNMC's 2011 Distinguished Scientists.
She has published 80 articles in peer-reviewed journals, contributed to three books, written 52 abstracts and given 19 presentations in the U.S. and Canada.
Dr. Maurer said a search for a new dean is already underway. He hopes to have the position filled by June 2014. He wished Dr. El-Mohandes and his family the best of luck in their new venture.
Dr. Meza: Congratulations on your appointment as Interim Dean. I am cretin that you will excel in this position as you have excelled in all your academic endeavors.