New Director of Health Promotion and Community Impact

I am pleased to announce that Karen McComb, M.S., has accepted the position of Director of Health Promotion and Community Impact.  Karen will be joining Student Health and Wellness at UConn starting August 30, 2019.  Karen brings over 20 years of experience, with a concentration in progressively responsible roles within student affairs in higher education.  Karen comes to us from the University of California, Riverside, where she served in several key positions providing direct student services and programs, overseeing departments within Student Affairs, and leading campus change initiatives.  In her most recent role as the Senior Director of Student Wellness, Karen has demonstrated that she is passionate about student wellness, access, and inclusion, and she is dedicated to supporting and leading innovative teams to advance the success and wellbeing of college students.

The Director of Health Promotion and Community Impact reports directly to the Executive Director of Student Health and Wellness (SHaW) and is a key member of the SHaW Executive Leadership team. In this role, Karen will focus on building a strong, resilient, and healthy campus community by creating proactive strategies to help the student population achieve improved physical and mental health, enhancing student access to resources and skills to manage stress and promote resiliency, and promoting a healthy campus culture.   The Director will collectively engage, plan, and coordinate cross-functional connections and collaborations to create health and wellbeing across the UConn campuses.

I am also pleased to announce that Dustin Brentlinger, MBA, has accepted a position with Denison University.  For the past year, Dustin served in the temporary position of Interim Director of Strategy for Wellness and Prevention, helping to prepare the Wellness and Prevention team for the transition to a new health promotion community impact model.  Dustin’s last day at UConn is Friday, July 19th.   I would like to thank Dustin for his work at UConn and his contribution to the successful transition.

Finally, I would like to thank Stacey Murdock, Chair of the Search Committee, for her leadership and vision, as well as Pam Schipani and Cyndi Costanzo, members of the Search Committee, for their time and expertise in securing an exceptional candidate for this new role.

Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or needs related to Student Health and Wellness Health Promotion between July 20th and August 30th.

Please join me in welcoming Karen McComb to UConn and supporting her in her new role when she arrives in August.

Thank you,


SUZANNE A. ONORATO, PH.D. | she/her/hers




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