Daemen University continues to evolve with its new academic structure that supports three distinct colleges. Following a national search, Daemen appointed Dr. Lisa Rafalson as the founding dean of the College of Health, Human Sciences, and Business and Dr. Greg Ford as the founding dean of the College of Health Professions in June 2023. These leadership appointments complete the transition to three colleges which began with Dr. Heather Stassen joining Daemen in June 2022 as the founding dean of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Education.

Lisa Rafalson smiling with arms crossed
Lisa Rafalson, PhD

Founding Dean of the College of Health, Human Sciences, and Business

Dr. Lisa Rafalson earned a B.A. in Spanish language and literature from Loyola University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in epidemiology from the University at Buffalo. She was a postdoctoral research fellow through the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Fellowship, which focused on risk factors for type 2 diabetes mellitus and prediabetes. Rafalson has completed several leadership programs including the American Council on Education, the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York, and the Institute for Nonprofit Practice.

Previously, Rafalson served as dean of the School of Health Professions at D’Youville University, overseeing multiple accredited programs. Rafalson brings over a decade of higher education leadership experience to this critical role at Daemen having served as a tenured faculty member and chairperson, director of accessibility resources and tutoring, and assistant vice president for academic affairs. 

Rafalson is a steadfast supporter of accessibility and equity and a champion of universal design in teaching and learning, health literacy, and serving people of differing abilities. She served on the board of Visually Impaired Advancement for many years and currently serves on the Deaf Access Services Advisory Council.

As dean, Rafalson will oversee the departments of behavioral sciences, health promotion, leadership & innovation, public health, and social work and sociology, and The Alfiero School of Business, which includes accounting, paralegal studies, business administration, and MBA programs.

Greg Form smiling hands in pants pockets
Greg Ford, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS

Founding Dean of the College of Health Professions

Dr. Greg Ford earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in physical therapy from Daemen University and a Ph.D. in science education from the University at Buffalo. Ford was promoted to professor in 2021, having served as a Daemen physical therapy faculty member for 24 years and the past 12 years as chair of the PT department and director of the DPT program. His teaching expertise includes orthopaedic physical therapy, biomechanics, and kinesiology. His research interests include blood-flow restriction therapy in orthopaedic PT and variables that predict academic success for students in graduate healthcare programs. In 2017 Ford was named Outstanding Faculty Member. His service to the University includes multiple committees throughout his tenure and terms as vice president and president of the Faculty Senate.

Externally, Ford has been a consultant for developing DPT programs, a PT expert witness for numerous law firms, and a research abstract reviewer for the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). Ford was an invited faculty member to the University of Beijing School of Chinese Medicine, where he taught orthopaedic PT to medical students. Most recently, Ford was named as a Commissioner on the PT Panel and a member of the Finance Committee for the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). 

Ford received the James Gould Excellence in Teaching Physical Therapy Award from the APTA’s Orthopaedic Section in 2007, and he was recognized as Who's Who in Health Care by Buffalo Business First in 2020.

As dean, Ford will oversee the departments of nursing, physical therapy, and physician assistant studies.