Sider to "The Healing Touch"

Brooke's greatest stand


A retired Army colonel standing 6 feet, 5 inches tall, School of Allied Health Sciences Dean Paul Brooke, Jr., Ph.D., can seem a little formidable. But one handshake and a sincere welcome later and it is no wonder Brooke’s staff love him, and that his students are leaders in the academic arena of what he calls “the service end of medicine.”
Brooke is genuine in his love for the school, and he’s proud of the growth they’ve achieved over the course of the past 25 years since its inception. Yet, he’s humble when admitting the majority of it has happened during his tenure at the helm.
Initially offering only undergraduate degrees, the School of Allied Health Sciences now offers 15 programs within its four separate academic departments: laboratory sciences and primary care, speech, language and hearing sciences, rehabilitation sciences, and clinic administration and rehabilitation counseling. In addition to undergraduate-level programs, the school offers graduate degrees in seven master’s and four
doctoral programs.
“Bottom line: We’ve doubled our enrollment and tripled our degree programs,” Brooke explains. “Why? Because we could.”
Matter of fact? Yes. But that is Brooke. Then spills the genuine care he has for what his students study, for their accomplishments and for the people in West Texas to have the very best care from his graduates.
“Our goal has been to increase academic opportunities for the people of West Texas by offering quality education that meets our geographical demands,” he explained. “And, ultimately, to turn out graduates who may choose to stay in this area and contribute to the quality of health and life in West Texas.”
While Brooke says his graduates are sought for jobs across the United States, more than 90 percent choose to stay in Texas – many in West Texas. And that’s just fine with him.
“We’ve been pioneers in a number of programs, from offering the first Doctor of Audiology program west of the Mississippi, to having the first Master of Science in Molecular Pathology in the country,” he said. “But directly affecting the quality of life and living in West Texas – whether it be for the students seeking an education or the lives they touch after graduation – I’m glad it’s all happening right here.”

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