(COLLEGE STATION) Christopher C. Colenda, M.D., M.P.H., has been named Dean of the College of Medicine at The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center, effective January 1, 2003. A&M Health Science Center President Nancy W. Dickey, M.D., made the announcement of Dr. Colenda’s appointment.
Dr. Colenda brings to the position of Dean of the College of Medicine considerable experience in clinical medicine, research and academic administration. He serves the college as the fifth dean of the medical school, which was established at Texas A&M University in 1977 and became a member of the A&M Health Science Center in 1999. As dean, Dr. Colenda is the chief administrative and academic officer of the college. He is responsible for the organization, operation, development, and evaluation of instruction and research programs, and leading the department heads, faculty, and the administration for all academic programs of the college.
“We are delighted with Dr. Colenda’s selection,” Dickey said. “He brings energy and enthusiasm, as well as a vision for the College of Medicine that will propel into this new millennium. Besides excellent credentials, he is also a very nice guy.”
Dr. Colenda’s selection was the culmination of a national search that brought forward many qualified candidates. Three candidates participated in on-site interviews. Dr. Colenda was the overwhelming choice.
Dr. Colenda currently serves as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the College of Human Medicine and Associate Dean for Programs and Projects at Michigan State University (MSU), East Lansing, Michigan. Previous appointments at MSU’s College of Human Medicine, where he has been since January 1997, include Acting Dean of the College and Interim Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education and Community Affairs. Prior to his service at MSU, Dr. Colenda was a faculty member and administrator at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and at the Medical College of Virginia of Virginia Commonwealth University.
While serving as acting dean at MSU, Dr. Colenda initiated a project between the college and McLaren Health Care Corporation to establish the Great Lakes Cancer Institute. The $14 million institute is a joint venture in cancer care, research, and education.
At the national level, Dr. Colenda has served as Chair of the American Psychiatric Association’s Council on Aging, and is currently a member of the Board and Treasurer for the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. He is also a member of the Council of Healthcare Systems and Finance for the American Psychiatric Association, and serves as vice-chairman of the Geriatric Psychiatry test-writing committee for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
His awards and accolades are numerous. Dr. Colenda is this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Award from the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University. Some of his past recognitions include a Special Commendation from the Council of Aging of the American Psychiatric Association in 2000, election as an Alumnus Member of Alpha Omega Alpha – Medical College of Virginia in 1999, election to the American College of Psychiatrists in 1998, and listing among the Best Doctors in America in both 1994 and 1998, Best Doctors in Midwest in 1998, and Best Doctors in Southeast in 1995.
In 1982, Dr. Colenda received an M.P.H. in Health Services Administration from Johns Hopkins University, his M.D. from the Medical College of Virginia in 1977, and a B.A. in Chemistry in 1974 from Wittenberg University. His training in psychiatry was completed at the University of Virginia Hospitals and at Emory University where he served as Chief Resident and Fellow.
Dr. Colenda has additional postgraduate residency training in pathology from the University Hospitals of Case Western Reserve University and preventive medicine and public health from The Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Colenda has been federally funded and has published over 125 research papers, abstracts, book chapters or monographs in mental health services research and policy in geriatric psychiatry.
The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center provides the state with health education, outreach and research. Its five components, located in communities throughout Texas, are Baylor College of Dentistry, the College of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Institute of Biosciences and Technology and the School of Rural Public Health.

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