Garden named assistant dean for disability at Upstate

Rebecca Garden, Ph.D., associate professor of public health and preventive medicine, has been named assistant dean for disability and inclusion at Upstate Medical University

As assistant dean for disability and inclusion, Garden will expand her role as co-chairwoman of the disability and inclusion task force to align Upstate Medical University with best practices for disability awareness and accessibility. These efforts will include faculty development, inclusive pedagogy and integrating disability as subject matter into the curriculum. This initiative will help create greater access for all in the university, particularly diverse populations.

Garden’s research and teaching are in a field called the health humanities, and she uses literature — particularly autobiographical narratives — as well as literary and disability studies to address social, cultural and ethical issues in healthcare and public health. Her most recent research looks at popular and literary narratives of aging and dementia, exploring the social and ethical issues and how disability studies perspectives might help to address bias and disparities.

Garden joined Upstate in 2004 and has served as a professor of bioethics and humanities.

She holds a Ph.D. in English and comparative literature from Columbia University.