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Dec. 16, 2004


Tedesco to resume faculty role; accepts visiting position at Columbia

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—A health psychologist and professor of dentistry, Tedesco has accepted a year-long position as a visiting fellow at the Center for Community Health Partnerships at the Columbia University Medical Center and visiting professor at the Columbia School of Dentistry and Oral Surgery.

Tedesco is a national expert on diversity in the health professions, and her work as a health psychologist has focused on how people think about and act to prevent illness and promote well-being. She will continue this work during her year-long sabbatical.


After completing her visiting professorship at Columbia, she plans to return to her position in the Department of Periodontics/Prevention/Geriatrics in the U-M School of Dentistry.

"Universities and academic health centers across the country have exhibited a growing commitment to address health disparities and form true community partnerships," Tedesco says. "Because of its location in New York City, Columbia has done some particularly interesting work in this area. This sabbatical presents a valuable opportunity for me to learn from those experiences and to bring some of that knowledge back to my academic work at the University of Michigan."

In her role as vice president and secretary, Tedesco is the executive officer liaison to the Board of Regents, responsible for coordination and management of policy matters and communications pertaining to the board. President Mary Sue Coleman says she will work with the Board of Regents to establish a process within the next few weeks for selecting a successor to the position.

"Lisa has certainly set the gold standard for the position of vice president and secretary of the University," says Rebecca McGowan, chair of the Board of Regents. "The members of the board have relied on her sagacity, her understanding of this University and her incredible work ethic for seven very full years.

"We respect her need to return to the faculty but we shall miss her invaluable input greatly. We wish her every happiness and success ahead as we also look forward to welcoming a new secretary to the Board soon."

Tedesco also served as interim provost in 2001. In her interim position she provided leadership for the University's response to the Sept. 11 national tragedy, and worked with the deans of the 18 schools and colleges to advance important academic initiatives and budget developments.

"Lisa has served in a demanding position with grace, wisdom and style, and I am grateful for the important contributions she has made to policy discussions at the highest level," Coleman says. "We will miss her insights and leadership, but understand her desire to spend more time on her research interests. She is a remarkable University citizen."

Throughout her academic and administrative career, Tedesco has been involved with programs to increase student and faculty diversity on campus. She was co-principal investigator of the U-M Health Occupations Partners in Education (HOPE) project to provide academic preparation and social support to disadvantaged and minority youth for careers in the health professions. In 2003-04, she served on an Institute of Medicine committee studying strategies for increasing the diversity of the U.S. health care work force.

Tedesco is a member of the U-M President's Advisory Committee on Women's Issues and has served as a member of the planning and implementation committees for the ADVANCE grant, a program funded by the National Science Foundation to enhance gender equity in science and engineering.

In February 2002 she received the University's Sarah Goddard Power Award for distinguished leadership and sustained service on behalf of women.

Her service also includes chairing the Campus Safety and Security Advisory Committee, serving on the advisory board of the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program, and acting as administrative liaison to the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. She serves on the Athletic Department's advisory board and chaired the steering committee for NCAA recertification in 2003-04.

Tedesco joined the School of Dentistry as associate dean for academic affairs in 1992. A past president of the American Dental Education Association, she earned her master's degree in education in 1975 and her doctorate in educational psychology in 1981, both from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

The Columbia Center for Community Health Partnerships is dedicated to supporting academic-community partnerships focused on improving equitable health care. It achieves its objectives by addressing health care problems of the uninsured and underinsured in northern Manhattan, providing direct medical and dental services to the elderly in Harlem, conducting research and developing community partnerships aimed at improving the health of Latinos and African Americans, increasing the cultural competency of health care professionals, and offering technical assistance to 15 dental schools to increase access to oral health care services and access to careers in dentistry for underrepresented minority students.

"We are looking forward with enthusiasm to having Dr. Tedesco join us as a visiting professor," says Dr. Allan J. Formicola, vice dean for Community Health Partnerships, Columbia University Medical Center. "Dr. Tedesco's fine accomplishments and strong leadership skills fit in perfectly with the goals and initiatives of the center. She will expand and enrich our programs."

Contact: Julie Peterson
Phone: (734) 936-5190