Tishra Beeson appointed new department chair for Health Sciences

Megan Rogers, Staff Reporter

Tishra Beeson has been appointed the new department chair for Health Sciences. Beeson will begin this new position on Sep 1. 

Beeson shared her gratitude to her colleagues who elected her into this position.

“I feel very grateful that my colleagues have elected me and have some faith and confidence that I can help lead the department,” Beeson said.

Besson reflected on her family’s history working in the field of medicine and how it inspired her work. 

“My grandfather was an anesthesiologist, was a rural family doctor from Colombia, so my family immigrated to the United States from Colombia,” Beeson said. “When they moved to the United States, he had to go back to medical school because, in the 1970s, they didn’t necessarily acknowledge medical degrees the same way.”

Beeson said she is really inspired by this story because her grandfather became the chief of anesthesiology at a medical center in Kansas.

“He, as a physician, taught us all now generations later, what it meant to serve your community and what it meant to take care of people around you, whatever your role is,” Beeson said.

Beeson said at first she thought she wanted to be a physician, like her grandfather and go to medical school. However, after visiting Colombia and seeing where her family grew up and experiencing a different country and different socioeconomic conditions, she changed her mind. 

“What that taught me that I hadn’t known before was really how our environment and what we’re exposed to in our communities shape our health,” Beeson said. 

Beeson said she realized that she could help people in another way and that is when she chose public health. 

“I learned about how we can do a lot more to serve by solving major, social and economic issues that affect people’s health,” Beeson said. 

Beeson grew up in Washington State. She got her undergraduate degree and a bachelors degree in Economics from Washington State University. At Oregon Health and Science University she got a master’s degree in Public Health. Then Beeson received her doctorate in Public Health and Health Policy from George Washington University.

Before coming to CWU, Beeson did some postdoctoral research at the University of Washington, in their Northwest Center for Public Health Practice. She also stayed at her doctoral institution and taught there. Beeson also was in practice in between graduate school and doing other research work.

After a position opened up at CWU she applied for it. 

“I was just hoping with all my heart that it would work out to come to Central because I knew it was such an awesome university,” Beeson said. 

Beeson got the job and has been at CWU for nine years and is the program director for the Public Health Department and a professor across those different programs. 

“The student body is as amazing as it is and I have not been proven wrong,” Beeson said. “It is, for me, the perfect place to really thrive in my own professional role, but also to see really amazing students and faculty colleagues and community members be a part of something really cool.”

Next school year when Beeson takes on the role of department chair, a majority of her time will be administratively focused, but she is committed to not losing touch with her students. 

“The worst thing is when you have someone …  who’s leading an organization and they’ve completely lost touch with what it’s like to really do the work that they are expecting others to do,” Beeson said. “Our colleagues and our students really make this job worthwhile.”