The East Carolina University Board of Trustees approved the appointment of Dr. Nicole Bromfield as dean of the College of Health and Human Performance and Dr. Debra L. Jackson as dean of the Graduate School during its meeting April 12.

Dr. Nicole Bromfield

Bromfield has been appointed dean of the ECU College of Health and Human Performance, effective July 1.

In addition to extensive international academic experience in a 25-year career, including as an assistant professor at the United Arab Emirates University from 2010-16, Bromfield is a seasoned scholar and administrator with 16 years in academic administration in multiple leadership positions.

Her most recent leadership role was as associate dean for academic affairs for the University of Houston’s Graduate College of Social Work, where she has been an associate professor since 2016. Under her four-year tenure as associate dean, the college enjoyed 30% enrollment growth and received a full program reaccreditation. She previously held administrative appointments at Virginia Commonwealth University as a director of student services and as a student services coordinator.

Dr. Nicole Bromfield

Dr. Nicole Bromfield

“Being selected as the next dean of East Carolina University’s College of Health and Human Performance is an incredible honor,” said Bromfield, who recently served as a Fulbright Research and Teaching Scholar for 20 months at the University of Namibia. “I am delighted to lead our vibrant HHP community dedicated to fostering holistic well-being through groundbreaking research, service and experiential learning, and to work with the college to further foster a welcoming and collaborative environment that supports each one of our talented faculty, staff and students in reaching their full potential. Our collective commitment to enhancing human well-being, academic excellence and collaborative innovation in research, teaching, service and community engagement will continue to guide us in advancing the college’s legacy and impact on eastern North Carolina and beyond.”

Bromfield has completed research projects in the United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh, India, Namibia and other nations. She co-authored a scholarly book, “From Intercountry Adoption to Global Surrogacy: A Human Rights History and New Fertility Frontiers,” and her research has been highlighted in various media outlets, including The Boston Globe, The National UAE newspaper and BBC News.

“Dr. Bromfield’s expertise, academic experiences, and alignment with the dimensions of College of Health and Human Performance are a few of the reasons why I am very excited to welcome Dr. Bromfield to our ECU team,” said Provost Robin Coger. “I also thank interim dean Stacey Altman for her leadership over the last couple of years in collaborating with the faculty, staff and students of CHHP to ensure the many strengths of this critical college.”

HHP has been led by Altman since July 1, 2022. Her tenure will continue until June 30 when she completes her 22 years of service to ECU. Altman is looking forward to welcoming the new dean.

“Dr. Bromfield’s breadth of experience and collaborative style is ideally suited to lead the HHP community to further success and positive impact as we continue to deliver on the promises associated with the ECU mission,” Altman said. “I look forward to supporting her transition to ECU and the position.”

Bromfield earned a doctoral degree in public policy and administration, with a specialization in health policy, from VCU. She holds two degrees from West Virginia University — a Master of Social Work, with a concentration in community organization, and a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and anthropology as a summa cum laude graduate. She has completed academic leadership training with Harvard University, the Council on Social Work Education, the National Association of Deans and Directors, and the University of Houston.

The College of Health and Human Performance offers a wide range of degrees, certificates and other credentials in health education and promotion, human development and family science, interior design and merchandising, kinesiology, recreation sciences and social work, as well as home to Army ROTC and Air Force ROTC. The college serves the region by providing transformative opportunities for students while collaborating and promoting holistic health and well-being.

Dr. Debra L. Jackson

Jackson has been named dean of East Carolina University’s Graduate School, effective July 1.

Jackson takes over for interim dean Dr. Kathleen Cox, who has held the position since July 2022 following the retirement of Dr. Paul Gemperline.

“The work of our Graduate School benefits all of ECU, and Dr. Jackson’s experience and collaborative leadership style will enable the next phases of the development and growth of our Graduate School,” said Coger. “I am also extremely grateful for the leadership of interim dean Kathleen Cox over the last couple of years. These two leaders have already met and are eager to work together and with their teams in the Graduate School and across the university.”

Dr. Debra L. Jackson

Dr. Debra L. Jackson

Jackson joins ECU after serving two decades at California State University, Bakersfield. In her most recent role as associate vice president for academic affairs and dean of academic programs, Jackson secured $7 million in funds to support student success.

Under her leadership, CSU Bakersfield received a five-year grant from the Department of Education for “Promoting Excellence in Graduate Education and Increasing Hispanic STEM Related Degree Completion.” She also helped secure the 2023 Award for Innovation in Promoting Success in Graduate Education from the Council of Graduate Schools for a California State University system-wide program titled “The Next Step: Building Career Readiness Among Graduate Schools across the CSU.”

“I am very excited to join the Pirate Nation family and look forward to working with the incredible team in the graduate school,” said Jackson.

While at CSU Bakersfield, Jackson also served as the associate dean for graduate and undergraduate studies, interim associate dean for the School of Arts and Humanities, coordinator for the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies program, and the assessment coordinator for both the School of Arts and Humanities and General Education program. She recently completed a three-year term on the executive board of the Western Association of Graduate Schools.

She is an active member of the Bakersfield community, volunteering with the Women’s and Girl’s Fund, Girl Scouts of Central California South, and the Panama – Buena Vista Union School District Equity Task Force.

Jackson’s research addresses ethical, political and epistemological issues regarding sexual violence against women. She earned her Doctor of Philosophy from Purdue University in 2002 and an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Middle Tennessee State University in 1996.

ECU’s Graduate School enrolls over 5,000 students and offers 69 master’s degree programs, two intermediate degree programs, five professional doctoral programs, 13 research/scholarship doctoral programs and 77 graduate certificates.