College of Health Professions Dean Charlotte Exner will assume a new role as executive director of the Hussman Center and Strategic Initiatives beginning July 1, 2014.
Exner’s new position signals Towson University’s decision to fund a full-time administrative position for the Hussman Center for Adults with Autism, as it does with other large centers of the Institute for Well-Being.
The position will expand opportunities to grow the center’s student experiences, research activities, grants, contracts and external relationships. To date, the Hussman Center’s staffing has been funded via a generous gift from the Hussman Foundation, other gift monies and program-related fees. This position also will focus on development of other key inter-professional, health-related initiatives.
“I very much look forward to continuing to collaborate with the outstanding leadership and staff of the Hussman Center for Adults with Autism, the Institute for Well-Being, and faculty and staff across the College of Health Professions and other Towson University colleges,” said Exner.
“It is a privilege to have a role in contributing more directly to the excellent work already underway, advancing our impact in areas important for adults on the autism spectrum through research and other activities, and supporting Towson’s role in key community health-related needs.”
Exner has served as dean of the College of Health Professions for 16 years. Prior to that, she was chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy; a graduate program director; and a faculty member. As a practicing occupational therapist, she worked with many children and youth with autism and their families. She also has held leadership roles for various boards of directors and professional organizations.
“Charlotte was directly involved in launching the Center for Adults with Autism and has actively supported the continual growth and impact of the center’s work while serving as dean, including its transition to becoming the Hussman Center,” said Towson University Provost Tim Chandler. “With Towson’s commitment to a new position addressing this important area and other health-related initiatives, I am very pleased that she will be taking on this key role.”
The Hussman Center for Adults with Autism provides adults on the spectrum with a diverse range of experiences while emphasizing the education of students, professionals and the public. The Hussman Center’s programs create a broad array of opportunities for adults on the autism spectrum from which they can choose to support work skill development and community engagement, and address their social, educational and fitness goals.
Towson students from many majors interact with and learn to mentor program participants. The close interaction gives the students unparalleled professional experiences while empowering adults on the autism spectrum with life skills that lead to greater independence and social interaction. Programs and educational events are also offered to support community members’ and professionals’ knowledge about autism.
The Hussman Center is part of the College’s Institute for Well-Being, a large health and wellness complex that houses centers for occupational therapy, speech and language; hearing; and general wellness, as well as programs that address the health-related challenges of community members.
The university will conduct a national search for a new dean of the College of Health Professions beginning immediately and will strive to fill the position by July 1 to ensure a smooth transition.