Dean of Naturopathic Medicine - Retirement Announcement and Welcome

Kristina Conner smiling in front of greenery

 It is with an equal mixture of happiness and sorrow that Bastyr announces the retirement of our beloved Dean of Naturopathic Medicine, Dr. Arianna Staruch, effective July 1.

"Dr. Staruch was always there remaining calm and humble and putting in the hours and intention to really keep our medicine alive. So we really thank her for her sense of being and her relentless grit." Ellen Edgerton, ND student.

Dr. Staruch came to Bastyr in January 2011 with fourteen years of experience as a naturopathic physician and seven years of teaching experience in an online environment.  She began her career at Bastyr as an associate professor, teaching both in the classroom and at Bastyr Center for Natural Health. Dr. Staruch later took on the role of Associate Dean of Academics just as Bastyr was opening the San Diego campus in 2012.  She then became interim dean in 2017 and became the permanent Dean shortly thereafter. During her time in this role, she and the ND faculty have accomplished a comprehensive self-study process and a successful Council on Naturopathic Medical Education site visit in 2019.  

“Being part of Bastyr has been my dream job, no matter what role I played.  Becoming dean has been the highlight, due to the support and hard work of the entire School of Naturopathic Medicine team and the University administrative team.  I hope I have left the program in a better place.  I know that we have an excellent administrative team that is fully capable of growing and improving the program into the future, no matter what the challenges may be,” said Dr. Staruch.  

 

Bastyr Welcomes Kristina Conner, ND, MSOM, LAc (’01) as New Dean

As Bastyr enters the new academic year, we welcome Dr. Conner!

Dr. Conner graduated from Bastyr University in 2001 with a degree in naturopathic medicine. She then completed residency at the University of Bridgeport, College of Naturopathic Medicine in family and integrated medicine in 2003. From there, she went on to complete her Master of Science in Oriental Medicine (MSOM) degree at the National University of Health Sciences.

 
“Dr. Conner has expressed her interest in growing both the Naturopathic Medicine program at Bastyr and helping to support the growth of Bastyr as a whole.  We look forward to all she will do in this new position and are confident in her ability to lead and support the Naturopathic medicine program,” said David L. Rule, Ph.D, Senior Vice President and Provost. 

Dr. Conner most recently worked at the National University of Health Sciences, College of Professional Studies as the Department of Clinical Sciences Chair. Before this, Dr. Conner had held the positions of Assistant Clinic Director at the University of Bridgeport, College of Naturopathic Medicine. In addition, Dr. Conner had worked as faculty at both the National University of Health Sciences, College of Professional Studies and the University of Bridgeport.   

“What a privilege to be back at Bastyr! It’s been 20 years since I graduated and during that time, I have learned so much as an advocate, clinician, instructor, and administrator. I am grateful to bring these experiences to my role as Dean. My main goal is to support the faculty, staff, and students of the School of Naturopathic Medicine, and the entire university, so we can continue to build programs that are known for excellence in natural medicine education. The past 16 months have been immensely challenging, but also offer an opportunity for growth and innovation, so I am thrilled to be here right now," said Dr. Conner.

We look forward to all she will do in this new position and are confident in her ability to lead and support the naturopathic medicine program!

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