DLSPH appoints Dionne Gesink as Acting Associate Dean, Academic Affairs

March 10/2020

Dionne Gesink was appointed Acting Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health on March 10, 2020.

Gesink is a Professor of Epidemiology whose work focuses on generating new knowledge on restoring healthy relationships with a focus on the social epidemiology of sexual and reproductive health. Her thinking and ideas are grounded in a transformative relational paradigm. She is an expert in community based participatory research, mixed methods, and knowledge exchange and translation. She also teaches two research methods courses.

Gesink joined DLSPH in 2007. Her research examines the many ways society, culture and environment shape the patterns of our sexual behaviours and relationships. Gesink uses novel approaches to investigate sexual health as a complex system, with connections to physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social health. This exploration provides insight into how to empower and restore sexual health for vulnerable, marginalized, minority, and hard to reach populations, as well as the general and Indigenous populations.

Gesink is a U of T alumnae with a Master of Science in Geography as well as a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Geography. She also holds a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In the role of Acting Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Gesink will work closely with Dean Steini Brown and the Graduate Office to continue to lead the DLSPH into a new era of global leadership in public health education. She will be responsible for the promotion of innovative student learning experiences and administrative oversight of the teaching programs of the Divisions in the DLSPH and IHPME.

Among Gesink’s first priorities will be DLSPH’s response to the University of Toronto’s Mental Health Taskforce Report. She intends to work in partnership with students, faculty and staff to cultivate a safe, collaborative, and inspiring learning environment at the School, where hearts and minds are able to open and grow to ensure that all learners can contribute to public health in meaningful ways.