Question and answer with the new dean of biology and health sciences

Vandy Manyeh, News Editor

Ahmad Chaudhry is the new dean for biology and health sciences at College of DuPage. Chaudhry took some time from his schedule last week to talk about his new role and what the college should expect. Here is how it went:

Vandy Manyeh: Who is M. Ahmad Chaudhry?

Ahmad Chaudhry:  I’m the new dean at College of DuPage for the division of biology and health sciences. I have training and expertise in basic sciences like biological sciences, health sciences and many clinical disciplines.

VM: How do you feel being the person in charge of the biology and health sciences division?

AC: This is a really exciting opportunity. Many institutions either have biological sciences or health sciences. The COD division is unique as it offers a combination of both of those disciplines. That carries a lot of excitement and a lot of opportunities. I feel great in the position where I can create the platform to promote collaborations across disciplines.

VM: What new programs do you intend to roll out at COD?

AC: We are putting together a new program in neurodiagnostic imaging. The healthcare industry is changing, and there are new demands and areas that require more manpower. An institution like College of DuPage should be ready to provide that workforce to the emerging needs for health care services. We have determined that neurodiagnostic imaging is a new area where there is a demand. So we are fulfilling those needs.

VM: For a person who doesn’t know anything about the quality of the programs we have here at COD, what would you say about the programs we have under the biology and health sciences division?

AC: We have a large variety of programs. Some programs like nursing are very familiar. We have highly specialized programs like nuclear medicine technology, proton therapy, polysomnography and others, which an ordinary person may not have a greater insight of. There are over 80 different fields in the broader umbrella of health sciences, and they are expanding. At COD we have over 25 programs in many different areas. We have state-of-the-art facilities that are not available at many institutions. We have simulation hospital for nursing, surgical technology, respiratory care, sonography and other programs. We are undergoing a renovation and update of the cadaver laboratory. Other modern laboratory support phlebotomy, biology, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, physical therapy and other programs. The availability of these facilities indicates the high quality of our programs.

VM: What are some of your goals as the new dean for biology and health sciences?

AC: My goals are students-centered. I want to provide experiences to our students so they are prepared as our future leaders. We want to make sure they have all the skills with them once they graduate. We have seen employers really like our students because we have prepared them with practical knowledge and all the necessary skills. They are ready to start a job once they leave COD. Clinical experiences are embedded in almost all of our programs. The students are no stranger to the clinical settings; they have already seen the setup and equipment. They understand the overall operation of a medical facility, and they walk in and are ready to start their job. We want students leaving COD to be familiar with the health care delivery standards in the industry. My other goal is to support our faculty. They are really making a lot of difference in the overall students’ experiences. My goal is to bring them to the level where they can deliver up-to-date cutting edge technologies experiences to students.

Chaudhry holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Manchester, UK, and carried out his postdoctoral research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania, University of Vermont and Bowling Green State University before joining COD.