Meet the Director

Dear Supporters and Friends of the School of Human Ecology,

I am honored to be writing to you as the new Director for the School of Human Ecology.  Effective June 1, I took the reins from Dr. Sheldon Ekland-Olson who led the school for the past six years and expanded outreach to our alumni and friends.

I joined the University of Texas at Austin in the summer of 2011 as the David Bruton Jr. Centennial Professor in Nutritional Sciences.  My research focuses on the role of early life exposures such as diet in pregnancy and infant feeding on newborn and infant growth as well as on the effects of early life exposures on risk for adult disease.   I have over four decades of research experience internationally and nationally with past affiliations at the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Blumberg School of Hygiene and Public Health, the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control.

As Director, I am committed to supporting the stellar work of our faculty and together, we are passionate about training the next generation of ‘science based, human focused’ Longhorns at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Building on the strengths of the School of Human Ecology, I envision an environment that:

  • Enhances our visibility by establishing a Director’s Seminar Series that highlights the work of our faculty and students and offers the opportunity for presentations by outstanding thinkers/researchers from inside and outside UT Austin.
  • Supports the best science through funds for seed projects and the test of hypothesis that are classified as ‘out there’ because they go beyond current thinking.
  • Builds strong ties to the newly established Dell Medical School, highlighting the work in the departments of Nutritional Sciences and Human Development and Family Sciences.
  • Preserves the excellence of our training and furthers the reach of this training to a worldwide audience.
  • Amplifies the accomplishments of faculty and students in the School of Human Ecology to communities ranging from the UT campus to global collaborators.
  • Fosters a strong foundation of and collaborations in the Division of Textiles and Apparel to industry and other colleagues.

I invite you to contact me with questions/comments if you would like to know more about my vision for the future.  I look forward to meeting as many of our friends and alumni as possible.

We have so much to be grateful for:  An outstanding faculty who are recognized as exceptional teachers, fantastic students who are awe-inspiring, and committed, engaged alumni.  I look forward to working with all of you.

Sincerely yours,

Michele R. Forman, Ph.D., M.S., M.S.P.H.
Director, School of Human Ecology
David Bruton Centennial Professor, Nutritional Sciences
University of Texas at Austin