NEWS | November 17, 2011

New associate dean, professor join founding team at Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing


Two nationally recognized experts joined the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis founding faculty team in October. Jill G. Joseph, a physician scientist and collaborator with a distinguished commitment to interprofessional and interdisciplinary education and research, was appointed associate dean of research. Mary Lou de Leon Siantz, nationally recognized for her interdisciplinary efforts to prepare health professionals for leadership and policy, and internationally respected for her research in migrant health, was appointed professor.

Associate Dean of Research Jill G. Joseph
Associate Dean of Research Jill G. Joseph

"Both of these faculty members bring expertise and knowledge well in alignment with our vision to advance health," Associate Vice Chancellor and Founding Dean Heather M. Young said. "They are both highly regarded leaders whose specialties in interprofessional research and population health will grow our research and contribute to our mission to improve quality of care and shape policy."

As associate dean of research, Joseph will lead the research program at the School of Nursing as well as develop a strategic plan to further enhance the school's focus on Healthy Systems and Healthy People. She will lead the development of a strategic research plan, support research development through mentorship and collaboration, assure high-quality research infrastructure and support systems, and promote robust and high-impact, interprofessional research.

"I look forward to collaborating with the leadership, faculty and staff at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing to build a vibrant and rigorous program of research in partnership with our colleagues across the health system and university," Joseph said. "It is a unique opportunity for us to work collectively with community partners, individuals, families and policy makers, to optimize health and health care through research."

Before her appointment at the School of Nursing, Joseph was associate dean for clinical and translational research at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C., where she was a professor of pediatrics and an endowed chair. She was also the principal investigator of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute there. Prior to her position at George Washington University, she was a professor at the UC Davis School of Medicine as well as the associate director of the UC Davis Center to Reduce Health Disparities.

Joseph earned a Master of Public Health and doctorate in Epidemiology from UC Berkeley in 1979, then conducted research in New Zealand for three years. She later joined the University of Michigan School of Public Health faculty. While there, she was one of the first investigators in the nation to conduct rigorous research on behavioral and psychosocial aspects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, with her research contributing to preventive interventions. Midcareer, she earned her medical degree from Michigan State University and completed a residency in Pediatrics at Albert Einstein/Montefiore Medical Center.

Her most recent research is broadly focused on understanding and addressing pediatric health disparities and the related system barriers. Her work included the evaluation of programs to enhance parental and child mental health in Head Start, a randomized trial of interventions to improve behavioral risk factors for adverse pregnancy outcomes in African-American women, and studies of violence exposure. As a generalist, Joseph also participated in studies of pediatric brain injury, medication errors and improved asthma treatment.

As a professor at the School of Nursing, de Leon Siantz will teach, conduct research and mentor students in leadership, policy and population health. Her research most recently focused on the impact of migration on the health and development of Hispanic migrant/immigrant children and families in rural and urban areas. Her current research, funded through the Office of Minority Health of the Department of Health and Human Services, focuses on the development of educational strengths of Hispanic immigrant adolescents and the promotion of their reproductive awareness.

Prior to her appointment at UC Davis, de Leon Siantz was the assistant dean of Diversity and Cultural Affairs at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing where she collaborated with other faculty to develop an interprofessional leadership development program as well as a multicultural and global health minor that included a focus on national and international migration.

She earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Human Development from the University of Maryland College Park with a minor in bioethics. She earned a Master of Nursing in Child Adolescent Psychiatric nursing/community mental health from UCLA and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Mount St. Mary's College, Los Angeles.

De Leon Siantz's academic awards and honors include the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Fellowship in Bioethics at Georgetown University, a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellowship, and recognition as a Top Latina in Health and Science, by "Hispanic" magazine.  She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and an expert panel member for the National Academy of Science Institute of Medicine, Health of Immigrant Children and Immigrant Children's Health.


About the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis
For 100 years, UC Davis has engaged in teaching, research and public service that matters to California and to transform the world. The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis was established in March 2009, UC Davis' first major initiative to address society's most pressing health-care problems in its second century of service. The school was launched through a $100 million commitment from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the nation's largest grant for nursing education. The vision of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing is to transform health care through nursing education and research. Through nursing leadership, the school will discover knowledge to advance health, improve quality of care and health outcomes, and inform health policy. The school's first programs, a doctoral and a master's degree program, opened in fall 2010. Additional students and programs will be phased in over the next decade. The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing is part of the UC Davis Health System, an integrated, academic health system encompassing UC Davis School of Medicine, the 645-bed-acute-care hospital and clinical services of UC Davis Medical Center and the 800-member physician group known as the UC Davis Medical Group. For more information, visit