School of Global Public Health unveils new building, welcomes incoming dean

The school held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open its new building at 708 Broadway.

Gabriel Hawthorne, Deputy News Editor

Dozens of NYU community members, including President Andrew Hamilton, gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil the School of Global Public Health’s new building at 708 Broadway on Thursday, March 31.

Hamilton opened the ceremony with a speech about the importance of public health and the work that GPH founder and current dean Cheryl Healton has completed during her time at NYU. Healton and university provost Katherine Fleming also discussed the school’s history, including the process of gaining accreditation in 2016 and the current move.

NYU president Andrew Hamilton delivering a speech at a podium. On the podium, a purple banner hangs with the NYU logo and the words “School of Global Public Health” in white letters. Hamilton is wearing a black blazer, white button-up shirt and bright purple tie.
NYU President Andrew Hamilton attended the opening of the new building and spoke about the importance of public health. He also addressed the foundational work of the school’s dean, Dr. Cheryl Healton. (Staff Photo by Manasa Gudavalli)

“This is a much-anticipated ribbon cutting of our new space for NYU’s newest school,” Hamilton said. “The move into this space was delayed by nothing other than a pandemic. It was inevitable, it was ironic. But it is also now coming to a close.”

The GPH faculty and administration offices were housed in various university buildings on Broadway prior to the construction of the new building, which conjoins two separate buildings — 404 Lafayette St. and 708 Broadway. The school’s student affairs department was located at 726 Broadway, the administrative offices were at 665 Broadway and the faculty offices were at 715 Broadway, according to GPH chief of staff Julia Cartwright.

Faculty and staff began moving into 708 Broadway during the spring and summer of 2021 and students were given access to the building’s study spaces and training centers during the fall of 2021, Cartwright said.

Some of the new amenities for students include common study areas and individual study rooms. A recording studio, recording room and podcast production studio have also been added to the new building.

“Since the space is relatively new, we are still getting used to the amenities and resources that are available,” Cartwright wrote to WSN. “As we get more settled, we will evaluate needs for additional features and amenities.”

Debra Furr-Holden, an epidemiologist, biostatistician and the associate dean for public health integration at Michigan State University, has been appointed as the new dean of GPH starting July 1. She has experience working in drug and alcohol dependence epidemiology as well as health equity policy.

A candid portrait of Dr. Debra Furr-Holden. She is wearing a burgundy snakeskin blazer and black glasses. She is turned in profile and looks toward the left side of the frame.
Dr. Debra Furr-Holden, an epidemiologist and biostatistician, was appointed as the new dean of the school. Furr-Holden is set to start her tenure on July 1, 2022. (Staff Photo by Manasa Gudavalli)

Furr-Holden said that in the future, GPH should focus on ensuring that communities have the resources they need to be

healthy. She plans to launch a global health equity initiative during her first year as dean, working with stakeholders such as the World Health Organization to bring the school to the forefront of addressing health equity issues.

My dad died at 37 of a preventable illness,” Furr-Holden said. “My mom died at 56. I come from a family where I have lots of relatives who are suffering from diabetes, they’re missing limbs, substance abuse, and diseases and ailments that are both preventable and treatable … The work of health equity is about making sure that people not only live long, but that they can live well.”

Contact Gabriel Hawthorne at [email protected]