Paul D. Sarvela Papers

Paul D. Sarvela
Paul D. Sarvela, photographed by Steve Buhman
Epiphany Lutheran Church concert with Paul Sarvela and his son John
Paul D. Sarvela and his son John participated in concerts at Epiphany Lutheran Church. From left to right: Jane Terry, Marian Repp, Adam Bockelman, Emily Fink, John Sarvela, and Paul Sarvela.
Reprint request from University of Surrey
Reprint request from University of Surrey 

Affiliated with SIUC for more than twenty-eight years, Paul D. Sarvela was Professor of Health Education and Dean of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts. While serving as vice-president for academic affairs for the SIU System, he was named Interim Chancellor shortly before his death in 2014.

The great grandson of Finnish immigrants, Sarvela was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts, in 1959. He was a 1977 graduate of Menominee Area High School in Menominee, Michigan, and attended University of Michigan, earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1981, a master’s degree in educational psychology in 1983 and a doctor of philosophy degree in health education in 1984. Prior to becoming a faculty member at SIUC in 1986, Sarvela served as a program evaluator for Ford Aerospace and Communications Corporation.

Sarvela was appointed director of the Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development in 1993. In 1996-97, he served as an American Council on Education Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse before returning to SIU, where he became chair of the Department of Health Care Professions in 1999 and dean of the College of Applied Sciences and Arts in 2002. His significant contributions to the university include developing, implementing and securing accreditation for numerous academic programs, restructuring and growing the College of Applied Arts and Sciences, and increasing administrative effectiveness through changes in university policy. Collaborating with his colleagues, Sarvela acquired more than four million dollars in grants and contracts for SIUC as well as regional and state agencies.

The Paul D. Sarvela papers, 1982-2012, in the University Archives, preserves Sarvela's writings, including more than seventy professional articles, convention and conference presentations, teaching materials, and professional service affiliations, including the Carbondale Arts Council and the Cornerstone Foundation. He also served on three Centers for Disease Control expert panels related to HIV/AIDS and injury control issues and in many other professional and community service roles. His teaching interests focused on evaluation and measurement, needs assessment and strategic planning, and community health.

Most of the collection focuses heavily on Dr. Sarvela's professional career in health care management, during which he produced the vast majority of writings, research projects and presentations in Health Education at SIUC. He also served as a visiting professor at the University of Cologne and lectured in Finland. He taught and mentored many students, serving on the thesis or dissertation committees of more than 110 graduate students during his career with SIU.

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Stories will appear in the Memories section of the Elena M. Sliepcevich Centre for Health Education Studies website.