New Administrators and Faculty in Academic Affairs

It’s been a busy year of recruiting.  As you know, Richard Finkelstein accepted our offer and is joining us as the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.  He comes to us from the State University of New York at Geneseo, where he served recently as chair of the English Department.  I anticipate he will be on campus in the second week of

July.  We’ve been in contact, and I know that he is eager to get started.  The College of Arts and Sciences has been at work on a strategic plan, and a report of that work was recently completed.  He’ll obviously need to become familiar with that document and understand some of its background as he settles in.  I’m looking forward to working with him, and I’m sure all of you are eager to get to know him and will do you part to help him learn about UMW and feel welcomed.

This week, the first of the candidates for then Dean of the College of Education will be interviewing on campus.  Additional campus interviews are scheduled the following week.  Three finalists are coming to campus.  As soon as that search closes, and an offer is made and accepted I’ll make sure everyone knows who will be joining us as our founding Dean of the College of Education.  This was a very competitive search, with a large slate of applicants.  We have an excellent group of finalists. Hopefully, the Dean will be able to join us very shortly after the new college begins operations, which as you know is July 1, 2010.

We also successfully completed three searches for other administrative positions that fill key roles in the academic affairs area.

Kimberly Johnston will join us in April as Dean of Admissions and will oversee all aspects of the student recruitment and admission processes.  She comes to UMW from the University of Maine in Orono, where she served since 1987 in a variety of positions in the Office of Admission. She also served as President of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), an organization of more than 11,000 counselors and admissions professionals.

Cheryl Mason will start in May as our new Assistant Director of International Academic Services and Visa Manager.  She brings a unique blend of credentials.  Cheryl worked previously in the international students office at the University of Iowa, and has also taught English as a second language.  In addition to holding a Master’s degree, she is a practicing immigration attorney.  Her unique blend of skills will be an asset to our international students and faculty, especially with respect to the increasing complex areas of student and employment visas.

Taiwo Ande just accepted our offer and intends to start during the second week in July as our new Assistant Provost for Assessment. He is currently Coordinator of Institutional Research and Assessment for Patrick Henry Community College.  Experienced in dealing with both SCHEV and SACS, he recently had primary responsibility for coordinating the assessment and institutional data components for Patrick Henry’s recent successful reaffirmation by SACS.  He was also involved in developing their Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).  While earning his Ph.D. at Indiana State University, he worked extensively with departmental outcomes assessment coordinators.

On the faculty front, a number of new colleagues will be joining us in full-time continuing positions.  We have completed two successful searches in Spanish (with one additional search ongoing).  Maria Laura Bocaz-Leiva and Marcello Fajardo-Cardenas are joining the Modern Foreign Languages Department.  Ms. Bocaz-Levia is currently completing her Ph.D. at the University of Iowa and has been involved in the study of Spanish and Latin American literatures (Twentieth-Century literature of Chile, in particular).  Mr. Fajardo-Cardenas is completing his Ph.D. at the University of Arizona with a focus in Hispanic American literature and cultural studies.

Hilary Stebbins will be joining us, again, in the Psychology Department.  I say again because she was here previously on a visiting faculty appointment in 2006-2007.  She is also a UMW graduate!  Her most recent appointment was to the faculty at Virginia Wesleyan College.  Among her areas of interest are the biological and physiological processes underlying behavior and cognitive processes.

Laura Mentore joins the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.  Her Ph.D. in social anthropology is from the University of Cambridge, and she’s currently serving in an adjunct assistant professor at James Madison University and teaching cultural anthropology and also a course in Amazonia (one of her regional specialties).

One visiting faculty member will join us next year. Will Mackintosh, who focuses on Nineteenth-Century U.S. history and U.S. cultural history, will be teaching in the Department of History and American Studies.  His Ph.D. is from the University of Michigan.

And we’re not done, as we still have a few full-time faculty searches ongoing.  Hopefully, those remaining searches will conclude soon.

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