June 20, 2019
Dr. Meeta A. Kumar will be joining the University of Chicago as the Director of Student Counseling Service (SCS), effective September 1, 2019. Kumar is currently Deputy Executive Director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at the University of Pennsylvania, where she has served for more than twenty years.
“I am excited to join a great team at the University of Chicago and shape a new vision for wellness during this exciting phase of growth,” she said. “I am particularly looking forward to working with such a diverse and talented staff.”
As Director of SCS, Kumar will oversee a multidisciplinary staff who are committed to supporting comprehensive student wellness at UChicago.
“We’re thrilled to have Dr. Kumar join the staff at SCS,” said Mario Polizzi, Assistant Vice President for Student Services. “Throughout the interview process, it was clear that she will be an inspirational and innovative leader for the SCS team and will drive enhancements in mental health and wellness services on campus that will enable us to better serve our diverse population of students.”
Kumar will lead SCS during a critical period of growth as the University prepares to open the new Student Wellness Center in Autumn 2020, which will enable SCS to further expand its staff and programming. Kumar will be an integral part of the Student Health and Counseling Services leadership team, and will identify ways in which health, counseling, and wellness services can be further integrated and improved to better meet the current and future needs of the student body. She will also support the professional growth of staff within SCS and will provide consultation and liaison services to faculty and staff across the University.
While at the University of Pennsylvania, Kumar oversaw transformational changes to reduce wait times and increase student satisfaction. She helped develop innovative programs, such as the Penn I CARE initiative, which equips faculty, staff, and students with intervention skills to support students in distress and crisis. She also provided tailored outreach programs focused on mental health promotion and prevention efforts to diverse communities of students, staff, faculty, families, and alumni.
In addition to her work at CAPS, Kumar served as the Interim Director of the Pan-Asian Community House at Penn from 2011–2012.
Kumar earned her PhD in counseling psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. She completed her master’s degree in psychology at Osmania University in India, and earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology, philosophy, and English literature at Nizam College in India.