Dr. Scott Chirhart, chair of the Biology Department, has been named inaugural Dean of Centenary’s new School of Health Sciences. Chirhart, a member of the Centenary faculty since 2003 and the director of the College’s successful pre-med program, will direct the new school that includes the departments of biology, neuroscience, and kinesiology, providing vision, support, and increased opportunities for students during their undergraduate work at Centenary and beyond.
“Dr. Chirhart has provided remarkable leadership for many years at Centenary,” said Centenary President Dr. Christopher L. Holoman. “I am very glad he will be taking on this new role as we grow our Health Sciences programs. These types of programs have long been one of Centenary’s signatures, and we look forward to new partnerships and opportunities for our students.”
Centenary’s School of Health Sciences will be housed in Mickle Hall, slated to undergo a substantial renovation at the end of the current academic year. With a current medical school acceptance rate of 94% and articulation agreements with respected graduate and professional degree programs in allied health, medicine, nursing, and pharmacy, Centenary’s undergraduate science programs provide a strong foundation for growth through the new School of Health Sciences.
The College’s newest articulation agreement provides qualified Centenary students with guaranteed admission to the Public Health Early Access Program at Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Under the agreement, Centenary students who complete their undergraduate degrees with a 3.3 GPA will be guaranteed admission to designated graduate programs in the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. In addition, students admitted to the Early Access Program will receive a Public Health Early Access scholarship.
The School of Health Sciences will allow Centenary to expand its existing articulation agreements and partnerships to provide efficient pathways for students interested in pursuing careers in a variety of health sciences fields, including transfer students from schools such as Bossier Parish Community College. The College is also exploring the possibility of adding a Master of Athletic Training degree to the School of Health Science’s academic offerings.
“I am thrilled to have Dr. Chirhart in this new leadership role,” said Dr. Karen Soul, Provost and Dean of the College at Centenary. “Scott has been instrumental in the success of the pre-medical and pre-health programs at Centenary. He is an inspiring teacher, a committed student mentor, and a respected colleague. Scott has initiated new agreements with multiple graduate programs, including the LSU Medical School, Baylor and Northwestern University nursing programs, the University of Louisiana Monroe College of Pharmacy, and the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine. Scott recently developed and leads a summer Medical Scholars Program which allows Centenary students to shadow practicing physicians at Willis Knighton hospitals. I look forward to working more closely with Scott to develop new programs at Centenary as well as new community partnerships.”
Chirhart is “excited and honored” to be named to the new position.
“My hopes are to build upon the opportunities we currently have for our students and provide them as many pathways to their future goals as possible,” said Chirhart. “I think that these new opportunities will attract more students to our health sciences programs and I’m excited to play a role in recruiting these students to Centenary and guiding them toward successful careers.”