Department Chair Welcome

Sarah Strand 1286x1800 214x300 - Department Chair Welcome
Sarah Strand, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair of the Health and Human Sciences Department

It is great to be back with the Department, even though these are different times! Thank you so much to Hawley for her great work during the fall semester keeping things going! Our faculty continue to do outstanding work via online instruction, although we were able to teach in-person lab classes for our Obesity and Behavior Lab and Exercise Physiology Labs. In addition, we offered students the option for online labs for these two courses as well. For Exercise Physiology Labs, Facilities Management set-up a large 20’ x 40’ canopy in the Featherston Life Sciences Building courtyard. Each week our student laboratory assistants, teaching assistants, and faculty moved equipment out to the canopy for that week’s lab. Students were able to accomplish most activities as if it were a normal semester, just outside and socially distanced. In January and February it was a little chilly and breezy out there! Students quickly found out that shivering really increases metabolism! Click here for a few photos of our students hard at work in lab!

Right now we are preparing for in-person classes and labs in the fall. We have been working hard with the Dean’s office and University to get the right size classrooms to accommodate our students for a full fall schedule of classes. We are really looking forward to returning to in-person instruction in the fall. I think we did an absolutely outstanding job with our online instruction over the past year, but it’s just not the same as being with a classroom full of students eager to learn in-person. I’m sure the students are looking forward to it as well. The University is requiring that all students be fully vaccinated prior to the fall semester. The policy for faculty and staff is still being developed. All the HHSC faculty have been fully vaccinated.

We are once again graduating an outstanding group of seniors. We have 47 extremely competent, highly motivated, hardworking seniors that are headed to jobs, graduate schools, and service opportunities. We want to send a huge congratulations to Ramona Khanna who was the Health and Human Sciences program scholar for the class of 2021 and Amenah Awawdeh who received the Jerome J. Korth Science and Engineering Core Award for the class of 2021! The University held online degree conferral ceremonies for the Class on May 8th, with special Seaver College and Health and Human Sciences Department get togethers following the University ceremony. The big news is the University will be holding the in-person graduation ceremony for the Classes of 2020 and 2021 at the new So-Fi football stadium in Inglewood on July 31st. It will be a great event and tremendous send-off for both classes that graduated during the pandemic.

Stephanie Beaudion (’10), our visiting professor, was instrumental in setting up internship opportunities with the Los Angeles County Public Health office conducting contact tracing. You can access this great story here. As mentioned in the Alumni News and Happenings we would like to thank a number of alumni that so graciously gave of their time to join Todd Shoepe and the Department Journal Club this semester. It is always great to see and hear from alumni and the great things you all are accomplishing. If you would like to get involved in departmental activities please contact us at

We hope everyone is safe and doing well and can enjoy some relaxing time this summer. We again want to thank all our alumni who are on the front lines battling this pandemic! Should you be interested to learn of ways to financially support the Department of Health and Human Sciences, please contact Lynn Witherspoon, Senior Director of Development (; 310 338-7856).  If you have any questions or want further information about the department, please do not hesitate to contact us at (310) 338-7885 or via email at