“The appointment of Dr. Rios-Ellis is the result of an extensive and rigorous national search that identified more than 500 prospects from public and private universities,” said Oakland University President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz. “From her first interaction with the search committee, Dr. Rios-Ellis distinguished herself by her collaborative approach, her poise, her sensitivity and her impressive preparedness for the position.”
Rios-Ellis said she was drawn to Oakland because, “I felt a strong sense of connection with the OU community and the mission-driven way in which leadership, faculty and staff seek to transform students’ lives through quality education. OU’s focus on diversity and inclusive excellence is also a great match with my philosophy, life’s work and career focus.”
In her role as Founding Dean of the College of Health Sciences and Human Services at California State University, Monterey Bay, Rios-Ellis led strategic planning efforts, established Nursing and Social Work departments and co-founded the Master of Science Physician Assistant Program, the first program of its kind in the California State University system.
She also spearheaded the CSUMB’s Diversity Celebration Series to highlight contributions of diverse national leaders for Hispanic Heritage Month, World AIDS Day, African American History Month and National Minority Health Month.
A nationally recognized scholar and leader, Rios-Ellis has published and presented on various public health and education issues, particularly on HIV/AIDS in the Latino community. She served as co-chair of the National Latino AIDS Action Network, co-chair of the National Institutes of Health Office of AIDS Research Hispanic Advisory Group and co-chair of the Sexual Health Workgroup of the Centers for Disease Control Health Resource Services Administration Advisory Council.
From 2005-2015, she served as founding director of the California State University, Long Beach Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation and Leadership Training, whose mission is to improve, promote and advocate for the health, culture, and well-being of diverse Latino/Hispanic communities. She was also named a past Woman of the Year by the National Hispanic Business Women’s Association.
Rios-Ellis earned a Ph.D. in Community Health, a master’s degree in Health and Fitness Management, and bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Spanish, all from the University of Oregon.
SOURCE Oakland University