Susan Parish, PhD, MSW
Dean and Sentara Professor of Health Administration
Susan Parish, PhD, MSW, is dean of the College of Health Professions, and Sentara Professor of Health Administration. Prior to joining VCU in 2019, she served as dean of Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University. She was also the inaugural Nancy Lurie Marks Professor of Disability Policy, and directed the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy at Brandeis University. She began her academic career as an assistant professor of social work at UNC- Chapel Hill. Her research examines the health and financial well-being of women and children with disabilities, and their caregiving families. She has garnered more than $13 million in external research funding from a range of federal, state, and foundation sources. She has published more than 130 peer-reviewed journal articles, and is a fellow of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and is a fellow of the Society for Social Work and Research.
Dr. Parish has won numerous awards for her teaching, mentoring, and research, including: “Research Matters!” Distinguished Research Award, Arc of the United States (2009), Advocate Hero, Exceptional Parent Magazine (2021), Lifetime Achievement Award, American Public Health Association Disability Section (2021) and Research Award, American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (2019).
She earned her BA in English Literature and MSW from Rutgers University. She earned her PhD in Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and completed and National Institutes of Health-funded postdoctoral fellowship at the Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison.