Center for Health and Behavioral Sciences

The mission of the Bryant University Center for Health and Behavioral Sciences (CHBS) is to educate and train the next generation of leaders who are dedicated to improving the health and well-being of others.

Center for Health and Behavioral Sciences

Kirsten Hokeness, Ph.D., Director

Joseph Trunzo, Ph.D., Deputy Director

The challenges of the ongoing global pandemic have highlighted the critical need for multi-disciplinary approaches to identifying and solving problems in this sector. The CHBS leverages the strength of Bryant’s business core to become a premier choice for students pursuing a career in health sciences, health care or behavioral sciences. 

Through initiatives such as the CHBS, Bryant is removing traditional intellectual, physical and geographic boundaries to enable innovation and collaboration that will prepare leaders and practitioners to solve some of the most difficult problems we face today and in the future. 

CHBS’ Goal: Foundations for Success

The goal of the Center is to ensure that students understand the scientific foundations of human health and disease along with the core concepts in their chosen field of study, while gaining a holistic view of the healthcare industry, human behavior, and mental processes. 

Student researchers and graduates emerge with a skillset required of practitioners, employees, and scholars that enables them to successfully navigate the interconnected nature of human health and wellness.

Building on Bryant’s unique integration of the arts and sciences with business, academic program development at the Center in the area of health and behavioral sciences develops highly skilled employees for a sector that is positioned for future growth. 

What We Do

Here are a few of the ways we educate and train leaders in this sector, as well as a sampling of placement outcomes of our graduates, who have been accepted to prestigious graduate schools and hired by top companies and organizations.

Bryant University features a supportive community of faculty and students who perform innovative research.

Many faculty members at Bryant perform research in various disciplines intersecting with health and healthcare. The CHBS announced the appointment of 15 Faculty Fellows from seven departments, representing the College of Business and the College of Arts and Sciences. The Faculty Fellows conduct research and collaborate on new program development, and they also provide opportunities and mentorship for student research projects.

Recent Faculty Fellows research projects include:

The CHBS Summer Research Institute provides paid summer experiential research opportunities for Bryant students. Students are paired with Faculty Fellows who provide mentorship as well as intensive training in conducting high level, interdisciplinary research in health and behavioral sciences.

The RI-INBRE Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) program, organized jointly by RI NSF EPSCoR/RI C-AIM and RI-INBRE, offers paid research positions for undergraduates to work on original research projects, culminating with the annual SURF conference. 

The CHBS Faculty Fellows conduct research and collaborate on new program development, and they also provide opportunities and mentorship for student research projects. Below is the list of appointed Faculty Fellows:

Executive Faculty Fellows 

Allison Butler, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology
Christopher Morse, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Communication
Julie Volkman, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Communication

Faculty Fellows

Andrea Boggio, Ph.D., Professor of Legal Studies
Rick Gorvett, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Mathematics
Heather Lacey, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology
Stephanie Mott, Ph.D., Professor of Science and Technology
Alex Perullo, Ph.D., Professor of English & Cultural Studies
Chris Reid, Ph.D., Professor of Science & Technology
Kristin Scaplen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology
Steven Weicksel, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Science & Technology
Suhong Li, Ph.D., Professor and Department Chair, Information Systems and Analytics
Michael Gravier, Ph.D., Professor of Marketing/Supply Chain Management  

Building on Bryant’s unique integration of the arts and sciences with business, academic program development in the area of health and behavioral sciences will develop highly skilled employees for a sector that positioned for future growth. 

Building upon Bryant’s longstanding commitment to student success in the STEM disciplines and passion for teaching, Bryant University has been awarded a $650,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program. The grant will support Bryant’s new STEM Scholars program, which funds scholarships and programming to remove barriers to success in STEM education for academically talented students with demonstrated financial need, particularly women, minorities, and low-income students. Key faculty from the Mathematics Department and Kirsten Hokeness, Ph.D., Director of the Bryant University Center for Health and Behavioral Sciences, Chair of the Department of Science and Technology, serve as principal investigators for the grant. Read more in our article on the award and program.

This spring, the CHBS hosted a three-part speaker series featuring renowned industry experts to discuss the challenges of the global pandemic, critical issues and changes in health care today, and the critical need for multi-disciplinary approaches to solving problems.

  • Andrey Zarur, Ph.D., Founder, President and CEO of Greenlight BioSciences in Cambridge, MA
  • Michael T. Osterholm, Ph.D., Epidemiologist, COVID-19 Expert, and Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy
  • Dr. Arun Singh, M.D., nationally known Cardiac Surgeon and Adjunct Professor with Bryant University’s Physician Assistant Program

All three seminar speakers emphasized the importance of Bryant’s interdisciplinary approach to studying and solving problems. Read our article on the speaker series.

Bryant University alumni are accepted into some of the most rigorous and prestigious graduate schools across the country and around the world and are hired by top companies and organizations. Below is a sampling of where our recent graduates who have studied in our Biology, Pre-Medical or Health Professions, Psychology, or Communication programs have placed:

  • Medical School: University of Birmingham, UK; UMass Medical School; Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences; St. George’s School of Medicine
  • Dental School: University of Texas, Temple University
  • Physician Assistant Programs: Bryant University, Yale University, Tufts University, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, High Point University, Johnson and Wales University
  • Accelerated BSN/NP Programs: New York University, Case Western Reserve University, University of New England, MGH Institute of Health Professions
  • Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD): Lipscomb University, University of Rhode Island
  • Doctorate of Physical Therapy: Belmont University
  • Doctorate of Optometry: Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  • Veterinary School: Royal Veterinary College of London, University of Edinburgh
  • Ph.D. Programs: Northeastern University, Syracuse University, University of Toledo, Tufts University, University of Pittsburgh, Rice University, Kent State University, University of Iowa, Purdue University, Georgetown University, University of Connecticut 
  • Master’s Programs: Clarkson University, University of Pennsylvania, William James College, Northeastern University, Notre Dame University, Boston University, Boston College, Brandeis University, Xavier University, George Washington University, Purdue University
  • Companies and Organizations: Ipsos MORI Global Research & Consulting, PUMA, Google, Cigna, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Warren Alpert Medical, Environmental Defense Fund, Smith Psychotherapy, Air Force Medical Service, Insight Global, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Takeda, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, Gartner, New England Sports Network, Parexel, MarketOne International